As the industry is undergoing some significant changes, we are closely monitoring trends to stay ahead of the game and update our airline customers on the many exciting movements going on in the industry at the moment.
Airlines = OTAs?
NDC (New Distribution Capability) has been a large topic in 2018. It enables the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, and passengers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations: product differentiation and time-to-market, access to full and rich air content and finally, transparent shopping experience (IATA).
As the NDC standard moves towards industrialization in 2019, a major focus on distribution is observed as a response. Challenges like growing competition, increased fuel prices, and unremarkable economic conditions impact airlines’ revenue-generating potential. As a result, airlines are noting the opportunity to think of products as more than just a seat. It is about selling ancillary products and services to meet more of the passengers’ total travel needs. Over the last years, airlines increasingly benefit from selling hotel accommodation on their website. When we look at the fact that cross-selling a hotel room to a loyal customer offers potentially more profit than the flight itself, it is considered as a source to diversify revenue and increase margins. Today, airlines are actually taking it one step further by becoming travel agents, offering complete packages including combinations of flights, hotels, and car rental services.
As airlines will truly embrace the concept of travel retailers rather than transportation providers, our Passenger Retail Solution combined with our unique hotel offerings is designed for airlines who are looking to offer their passengers the most modern online experience but without compromising their spending budget.
More Tech Than Ever
We are aware that personalization and improving passenger processes will remain a top priority for all areas of the travel industry. To remain one step ahead of passenger demands and to guarantee personalized experiences at every stage of the customer journey, we will see more and more use of artificial intelligence, data, and analytics. From apps to in-flight entertainment to airport security, technology is an ever-evolving part of the air travel experience.
Biometric technology will likely see more growth in 2019. It’s a combination of facial and iris recognition used for security screening. Biometric identification is already used for airline and airport security and is also developing in identification for boarding processes, as well as for car rental and hotel check-in. Delta Air Lines, for instance, launched America’s first “biometric terminal” in Atlanta, which uses facial recognition to identify passengers as they proceed through the terminal on their way to and from foreign shores.
Let’s Take a Look at Mobile
Today, electronic boarding passes and online check-in via smartphone are the preferable alternatives to paper formats, especially within the age range of 25 to 54. Furthermore, travelers are increasingly using mobile devices to book flights and travel. As mobile is currently shaping consumer travel, airlines should become aware of arising opportunities to gain competitive advantages. You can find more detailed insights about this topic in recent articles of our blog.