Dutch airline may not fly on Jan 1, 2000

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is seriously considering not flying on January 1, 2000 because of uncertainty over the year 2000 issue. But Air New Zealand is confident it has the matter under control, according to its CIO, Garth Biggs. "The programme is well in hand," says Biggs. Air New Zealand's programme includes verifying suppliers of goods and services, from caterers to fuel supplies, even the airports Air New Zealand flies to.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is seriously considering not flying on January 1, 2000 because of uncertainty over the year 2000 issue.

But Air New Zealand is confident it has the matter under control, according to its CIO, Garth Biggs.

“The programme is well in hand,” says Biggs.

Air New Zealand’s programme includes verifying suppliers of goods and services, from caterers to fuel supplies, even the airports Air New Zealand flies to.

“We’ve announced to the stock exchange and to our shareholders that we’ve put aside $15 million and we anticipate that will be adequate to become compliant.”

KLM’s manager for millennium issues, Gerry Huizinga, in contrast will advise the KLM board of directors to ground its fleet on new year’s eve, 1999. Huizinga is unsure whether internal and external IT systems will be able to handle the millennium date change, and he points to an IDC survey that claims nearly 60% of Dutch companies don’t have Y2K programmes.

Ansett New Zealand’s Hans Wentink believes his company is dealing with the issue properly.

“Obviously it’s a major concern. We’re the service agents for the manufacture of the planes, so that’s an issue.”

Wentink has adopted a “triage” ap--p--roach to the issue. Ansett will assess the mission-critical requirements first, then look at less vital areas. It’s these less vital areas that are proving to be the more costly.

“It’s all the revenue/management systems that have been built over the past 30 years that have promulgated the problem around the whole complex,” says Wentink. He has put those issues into the hands of Ansett Australia while he concentrates on the more immediate areas of concern.

Both Ansett and Air New Zealand are confident they will have become compliant in time and neither have any plans to stop flying for the turn of the century.

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