Technology is at the forefront of airlines’ focus as many companies are investing to ensure their operations run smoothly and simplify the passenger journey through smart technology.
Gone are the days of clunky apps and unnecessary lines, as SITA’s 2022 Air Transport IT Insights Report reveals accelerated digitization of airlines and airports to meet growing passenger demands and continue to find new technologies to help strengthen operations.
IT spending in the industry is expected to continue to grow, with 96 percent of airlines and 93 percent of airports expected to see IT spending remain flat or increase compared to 2022, with these industries reporting increases of approximately $37 billion and $6.8 billion, respectively.
SITA chief executive David Lavorel said: “Air travel is recovering from the pandemic faster than anyone in the industry initially expected, particularly in Europe and the US.”
“While the recovery is welcome, airports and airlines are finding themselves disadvantaged by shortages of staff and resources. This is putting pressure on operations, leading to an increased risk of congestion, delays, cancellations and mishandled baggage.”
Airlines place great emphasis on IT tools to manage disrupted operations and provide the best possible passenger experience, even with staff shortages. Over the next three years, 90 percent or more of airlines will invest in IT service management enhancements and disruption warning systems, as well as business intelligence initiatives for aircraft turnover management, passenger handling and baggage handling.
“Digitalization is seen as key to meeting these challenges, offering greater scalability and flexibility,” Lavorel said.
Airlines have identified self-service technology as key to helping manage irregular operations, and this remains their top investment priority for 2022, followed by contactless solutions and biometric ID management.
To support effective baggage management and empower passengers after a period of severe disruption, most airlines plan to provide real-time baggage tracking information to passengers by 2025.
Airports are also prioritizing self-service initiatives, with a focus on self-service check-in and self-bag drop, with 86% planned for implementation by 2025. The proportion of airports implementing secure single biometric tokens across all touchpoints has surged from just 3% to 39% between 2021 and 2022, with more than half of the plans set to be implemented within the next three years, marking the next generation of A strong commitment to the travel experience, passengers can easily navigate through the airport using their face as a boarding pass.