The face of air travel is changing as airlines plans to invest in IT systems over the next three. which will allow them to get to know their passengers better and deliver tailored services directly to them.
This is revealed in the 2013 SITA/Airline Business IT Trends Survey, now into its 15th year, which finds an industry that is quickly adopting the digital world. This year 100% of airlines surveyed plan to invest in business intelligence (BI) solutions, which allow them to know more about their customers and have better information for decision making in their operations. This is a huge jump from 2012 when one in five airlines had no plans at all.
By 2016, 97% also plan investments in mobile passenger services and personalization. Together these will help boost sales via direct channels, from 54% up to 67%, and change how airlines deliver services to passengers.
Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA, said airlines are investing in business intelligence to improve their operations and boost revenues.
"We see a strong desire to increase revenues using techniques borrowed from the retail industry, including personalisation. Nearly three quarters of airlines rate business intelligence for sales and marketing as a high priority. The airlines' investment plans show the future of the industry is smarter, more mobile and more personal."
The need for investment in business intelligence is evident. Only 9% of airlines currently rate data quality as meeting all their requirements, while just 7% have achieved the necessary integration of different data sources from across their company.
Over the last three years, offering mobile services to passengers has topped airlines' investment list. It retains the number one place with 97% of airlines now investing, or planning to invest, in this area in the coming three years.
By 2016, nine out of ten airlines plan to sell tickets via mobile phones. They expect to be rewarded with a leap in mobile sales to more than US$70 billion by 2016, or 10% of total sales, up from just below 3% today. By using this and other channels, airlines aim to reduce their dependence on indirect sales and open up the opportunity to maximise ancillary sales.
Mobile phones, kiosks and social media will represent nearly 14% of ticket sales by 2016, while indirect sales through GDSs will reduce from 46 % to just 33% of sales in the same time period.
Violante foresees a new a new battleground of mobile functionality emerging as airlines strive to differentiate passenger services. "The result will be a much deeper integration of personalised mobile services at every step of the journey for passengers on the move."Read the full story HERE