Travel technology specialist IBS Software (IBS) entered into a definitive agreement with Massachusetts-based Kronos Incorporated and acquired AD OPT, a market leader in aviation software that provides crew management solutions to some of the biggest names in the global airline industry. AD OPT (www.ad-opt.com), founded in 1987 in Montreal by a group of mathematicians and operations research experts, was acquired in 2004 by Kronos, a multi-national workforce management software and services company employing nearly 6,000 professionals worldwide. The cutting-edge crew planning and optimization platform of AD OPT currently powers some of the top airlines in the world including Air Canada, EasyJet, Emirates, FedEx, Garuda, Lion Air, and Qantas. The multi-million dollar acquisition is an integral part of IBS’ growth strategy to become the leading technology provider to the airline industry worldwide. Prior to this, IBS has made six strategic acquisitions – three in the USA, two in Europe, one in India – in its 21-year history. The acquisition process began in May, 2019.
IBS is a specialist in aviation software, supporting flight operations of large airlines including British Airways, KLM and Emirates. This landmark acquisition will help IBS leverage AD OPT’s deep domain expertise to provide the most advanced, end-to-end, integrated digital solution for the highly complex task of flight and crew management. The coming together of the assets, expertise and capabilities of IBS and AD OPT will bring to the market a state-of-the-art, holistic software for crew planning, pairing, rostering, optimizing, tracking and managing the entire operations of large and complex network carriers. The acquisition of AD OPT will add more than 20 airline customers to IBS, significantly widen IBS’ footprint in North America, boost IBS’ go-to-market capabilities and enhance IBS’ addressable market. The move will also deepen IBS’ managerial bandwidth by bringing into its fold AD OPT’s team of highly skilled subject matter experts, some with more than 25 years of airline operations experience.
AD OPT is a widely recognized name for 30 years in the global aviation industry for digital innovation, and its progressive crew optimization technology helps airlines assign cockpit and cabin crew to the flights in the most optimal manner to achieve operational efficiency, maintain full regulatory compliance, reduce operational costs and at the same time improve quality of life of the crew. In 2015, AD OPT was awarded the prestigious CORS Omond Solandt award in recognition of ‘substantial contribution to operational research in Canada’. Post the acquisition, IBS will take over the office of AD OPT in Montreal and evolve it into a modern Center of Excellence dedicated to crew optimization technology. An aggressive R&D investment strategy is envisaged to make the solution a market leader in fleet and crew management, helping clients innovate at speed and execute at scale.
“IBS represents a well-established and logical acquirer of AD OPT – a game-changing combination which will bring meaningful expertise and complementary benefits to employees and customers of both organizations. AD OPT employees will be joining a thriving company dedicated to the travel industry. Customers will also benefit from IBS’ and AD OPT’s shared commitment and passion for innovation. Even though we plan to transition the AD OPT division to IBS, Kronos will continue to provide airlines with world-class solutions for workforce management and human capital management,” said Bob Hughes, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Kronos.
“Acquisition of world-class travel technology companies has been a deliberate strategy of IBS to fulfill its commitment to the aviation industry. AD OPT offers a sophisticated suite of airline crew planning and optimization products, a sizeable customer base and a highly experienced team of professionals. The coming together of IBS and AD OPT is, therefore, extremely relevant for the industry as it enables us to create the most advanced digital platform, delivering a holistic solution for flight operations and crew management. We will continue to pursue our inorganic growth strategy to expand our solutions landscape and deliver outstanding value to our customers” said VK Mathews, Executive Chairman, IBS Group.