Flying into the future in Style
Dubai, February 11, 2013
By 2015, the way we travel will change significantly fuelled by innovation in IT - used by airlines, airports and passengers, according to a leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions.
Over the next three years, the industry will see a major transformation in the way passengers buy travel services and use self-service along their journey, according to SITA, the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions..
In addition, these journeys will take place in a fully mobile and social environment with airlines and airports intelligently using vast quantities of data to deliver real service and operational improvements, said SITA in a report published today.
Nigel Pickford, the director of Market Insight, SITA, said: "Information technology has already had a major influence on air travel. And with the number of global travelers expected to double by 2030, it will continue to lead the way for the industry."
"Our survey analysis shows four major IT trends which will shape the entire travel experience, from how we book flights to how we interact with airlines and airports during the journey, to the kinds of services we expect," he noted.
Based on SITA’s most recent surveys of airlines, airports and passengers worldwide , the four major trends which will shape the future of global air travel are:
*The way passengers buy travel services:
By 2015, both airlines and airports expect the web and the mobile phone to be the top two sales channels. Passengers are asking for a more personalized buying experience, and the industry is responding. For example, Alaska Airlines is one of several airlines with a travel app that alerts fliers to airfare deals from their hometowns and to cities where their friends live.
*Passengers will be in control:
By 2015, 90 per cent of airlines will offer mobile check-in - up from 50 per cent today. Passengers will use 2D boarding passes or contactless technology such as Near Field Communications (NFC) on their phones, at different stages of their journey, such as at boarding gates, fast-track security zones and to access premium passenger lounges.
Japan Airline’s Touch & Go Android is one example of an app, which will allow passengers to pass through boarding gates using their NFC-enabled phones. France’s Toulouse-Blagnac Airport is piloting a similar service.
*Customer services will become more mobile and social:
By 2015, nine out of ten airlines and airports will provide flight updates using smart phone apps. The i industry is also exploring apps to improve the customer experience.
At Japan’s Narita Airport, roaming service employees personalize the customer experience by using iPads to provide airport, flight and hotel information to passengers.
In addition, Edinburgh Airport is one of several airports with apps that help passengers plan their journeys to and from the airport, track their flights, access terminal maps and reserve parking spots before they arrive.
*Improvement in passenger experience:
By 2015, more than 80 per cent of airports and airlines will invest in business intelligence (BI) solutions. Most will focus on improving customer service and satisfaction, often through personalized services. For example, one European airline, Vueling, researches customers via social media in an effort to understand them better. It then integrates this information into their BI programs to improve loyalty.
According to Pickford, the passenger needs and preferences are changing.
"Today’s passengers want more control throughout their journey. They expect transformation in both the kinds of services airlines and airports offer, and the way they communicate with them," he stated.
"At the same time, the industry is investing in business intelligence solutions and collaborating more to increase operational efficiency and improve customer service and loyalty," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
More Analysis, Interviews, Opinions Stories
- Arab Spring boosts demand for bulletproof cars
- Kuwait bourse to be big fish in small pond
- Online vs in-store shopping: convenience is key
- Online 'Magna Carta' needed: Web founder
- Terror tag to Brotherhood complicates Gulf ties
- All change as Formula One enters new era
- The age of genomic medicine dawns, finally
- Huge housing deal signals Gulf investment push into Egypt
- Syria healthcare system bleeds as newborns freeze to death
- Majority of women in news media suffer abuse
- Taking the strain out of Gulf-US flights
- Missing jet: Rarest of aviation disasters
- Middle East leads drilling boom
- New engine, new rules and new sound for F1 in 2014
- Qatar rift a pivotal test for GCC
- Lufthansa to offer in-flight movies on smartphones
- Gulf's rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms
- GCC insurance industry on a stable footing
- Turning charisma into cash: Bernanke's 40 minutes
- 'Healthy' role for private sector needed
- Riyadh, Jeddah among world’s cheapest cities
- US oil export ban could be lifted piecemeal
- Bill Gates with $76bn is world's richest again
- Mideast leads global luxury shopping spend
- ME firms facing ‘record level of cyber attack’
- Clubbing business with leisure and community work
- $27bn capital shortfall facing regional banks
- Obama, wary of foreign crises, faces new Ukraine test
- The brief reign of bitcoin's top exchange
- Iran's fleet back in business as exports pick up