Discussing digital transformation with Chamara Perera, Group Head of IT at SriLankan Airlines
This week I was joined by Chamara Perera, Group Head of IT at SriLankan Airlines to discuss the digital transformation of the aviation industry. Chamara will be attending Aviation Festival Asia in Singapore 2023 and our chat delved into some of the topics that will be discussed at the event including sustainability, payments, partnerships, segmentation, and distribution.
One of the particularly interesting points of discussion in this interview surrounded the distribution landscape. Chamara emphasised that each airline must identify the right mix for their unique needs. Catalysed by NDC, the relationship between travel agents and airlines has evolved and airlines have taken more control over the distribution process. However, as Chamara highlights, there is wide variation within this new relationship and it is necessary to discern the most profitable strategy specific to the individual airline. Many airlines may retain lucrative partnerships with agents whilst others pivot more towards direct sales. A previous article exploring further into NDC can be found here.
A full list of the questions asked is outlined below the video.
The interview explores:
- Where is SriLankan Airlines on their digital journey?
- Are you seeing a fast enough rollout of cloud in aviation?
- What changes do you think are required to improve the distribution landscape?
- How does Travel Agents Portal solve issues at customer touchpoints and assist in a better end-to-end experience?
- What are the unique challenges in your region?
- Are you finding it challenging to secure talent in tech roles?
- What are the benefits of transitioning to an advanced revenue management system?
- What role does technology play in your sustainability journey?
- How does your partnership with HNB help to mitigate payment fraud?
- How can SriLankan Airlines transform the passenger journey through digitalising ancillaries?
- How are you improving cross-selling options with travel partners?
- What are the key priorities for next year onwards?
- What passenger technology do yo see making a big difference in the next five years?
Many of the themes explored within this article will be discussed in depth at Aviation Fest Asia in February 2023.
Article by Jess Brownlow