Airlines and Airports Spend Record US$50
Billion Improving Travel Experience
Airlines and airports spent a record US$50
billion in 2018 on IT to support improvements to the passenger
journey and are now beginning to enjoy the benefit of that
Figures published in the SITA 2019 Air Transport
IT Insights report on Tuesday, show
that this investment has resulted in a significant improvement in
both the satisfaction levels for passengers and average processing
The report highlights that 60% of airline CIOs recorded up to a 20%
year-on-year improvement in passenger satisfaction. During the
same period, 45% of them recorded up to 20% improvement in the
rate of passengers processed.
These strong returns on investment
in technology were also seen at airports where 63% of CIOs
reported a year-on-year improvement of up to 20% in passenger
satisfaction levels while 44% recorded quicker passenger
processing times. Both airlines and airports also recorded an
improvement in their business performance.
Matthys Serfontein, SITA President, Air Travel
Solutions, said, “The good news is that the growing investment in
automating the passenger journey means the industry is providing a
faster, more pleasant airport experience. This is a real success
story for automating the passenger journey, particularly at a time
when we expect passenger numbers to double over the next 20 years,
with physical airport infrastructure struggling to keep pace.
Technology is key to alleviating the industry’s capacity crunch
and avoiding negative impacts on passengers.”
This year’s report shows that the industry
continues to increase its IT spend, reaching $50bn in 2018. This
was driven in part by a sharp increase in airline IT spend after
several years of virtually flat growth.
Total IT spend for
airlines as a percentage of revenue rose to 4.84% while airport IT
spend grew to 6.06% of revenue in 2018. Projections for 2019 show
investments will continue to grow.
“The increase in airline spend
over the past year was driven by the larger airlines which
continue to invest to speed up the pace of digital transformation.
Investments in business intelligence and cloud services have
emerged as priorities,” added Serfontein.
From an operational point of view, airlines and
airports are increasingly investing in intelligence to provide
real-time and historic views of their operations, allowing them to
proactively manage everything from baggage and passenger flows, to
aircraft turnaround and the allocation of key assets, such as
parking stands and gates.
“Overall, we can see that the
industry is focused on improvements to its operations to make it
more efficient and facilitate better collaboration with partners
and other stakeholders in what is a highly integrated industry.
This in turn is having a profoundly positive impact on the service
they are able to provide to passengers,” said Serfontein.
Airline Baggage Tracking - Interview with Peter
Drummond, SITA's Portfolio Director Baggage
It has happened to most
frequent travellers at one time or another, you arrive at your
destination only to find that the baggage you checked-in a few
hours earlier somehow missed the flight.
How does that happen, are
more bags being delayed or lost now than in previous years, and
what technology can airports and airlines use to minimise, or even
eradicate, this problem?
These are just a few of the many
questions that Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com asks Peter
Drummond, SITA's Portfolio Director Baggage in this exclusive