Four trends to look out for in 2023
2022 has been a mixed year for the aviation industry. It has been forced to respond to challenges caused by the war in Ukraine, rising oil prices, inflation, and more. Undoubtedly, 2023 will bring with it fresh challenges to which the sector must adapt.
However, it has also been a strong year for the industry. Travel and tourism has gradually recovered from the global pandemic, many Covid travel restrictions have eased worldwide, and the industry is set to return to profitability in the next year. Looking forward, here are four areas that we expect will continue to grow significantly in 2023.
Airlines and airports continue to streamline their processes while crafting the ultimate seamless journey for passengers. Biometrics has been a key development of recent times, eliminating the need for physical documents and reducing time spent queueing. Biometrics are physical or behavioural characteristics used to identify an individual. Common examples include fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition. Importantly, for the aviation industry, biometrics can make identification a more efficient and secure process.
We have already seen biometric technology be implemented into some areas of the aviation industry. However, this has not necessarily been a smooth adjustment. There are multiple challenges to integrating this technology including public concern over data usage, maintaining a connected experience across international waters, and many others. The full potential of biometrics in the travel industry has not yet been achieved and 2023 should see a development in this area.
The standard role that travel played in business was overturned by the pandemic. With the use of Teams, Zoom, and working from home, it looked like business travel would be a thing of the past. However, as the world has returned to “normal,” business travel has not entirely disappeared. Rather, it has morphed into something new. That being said, companies are still finding their feet with what business travel looks like in a post-pandemic world. At the World Aviation Festival 2022, this was discussed in depth, with airlines witnessing a shift in the specific day passengers would travel for work, as well as different lengths of stays, and the emergence of the bleisure traveller.
Both Skift and Amadeus have identified companies’ relationships with travel as something to look out for in 2023. Skift pointed towards the war on talent and how companies should use their travel policies as an employee perk. Acknowledging the frustrations with managing air travel at the moment, Skift suggested that “organisations have an opportunity to differentiate their employee experience based on their travel program.”
Amadeus proposed a slightly different take, predicting that there will be an increase in business travel as a tool for team bonding. Citing the American Express Global Business Travel paper, ‘Why Business Travel is At The Centre Of The New Company Culture,’ Amadeus anticipates business travel playing a significant role in “motivating teams, improving employee satisfaction, and strengthening company loyalty.”
Data is at the centre of many industries and aviation is no exception. The harvesting of information and subsequent processing of this allows for optimisation at every stage. Data analytics allow companies to run at lower operating costs and maximise efficiency across the board. This applies to everything from understanding how to target a customer to ensuring the minimum fuel load is carried and exerted allowing for more economical flights. Through gathering meaningful data players across the aviation industry can enhance their offering and adapt. Real-time processing of data comes with many challenges and is consequently less present. However, this is an area that is attracting a lot of attention in the industry and will allow companies to remain agile.
Sustainability has been one of the most prominent discussions in 2022. It is unlikely that this will change moving forward into the next year. As awareness of the environmental impact of travel has grown, the aviation industry in particular has come under scrutiny. With many key players committed to Net Zero by 2050 targets, there have been huge developments in sustainable travel already which are expected to continue into the next year. Conversations surrounding the scaling up of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production are expected to bear fruit in the coming years and even more widespread demand for SAF is predicted for next year. The continued shift towards optimised processes is likely to continue into 2023, helping the sustainability agenda as well as the general efficiency of the industry.
2022 has seen meaningful progress made in each of these four areas, and more. The advancements in these so far are only the beginning and we expect to see far more growth around them in the coming year.
What do you think will be the biggest area of development in 2023?
Article by Jess Brownlow