Technology, retail, and distribution. An interview with Richard Engelmann, Regional Vice President, Asia, Oceania, and India at Japan Airlines
Before Aviation Festival Asia, Richard Engelmann, Regional Vice President, Asia, Oceania, and India at Japan Airlines joined for a conversation around retail, distribution, and the impact of new technology on the industry.
Throughout the interview, Richard shared his personal views on the evolution of airline retail and distribution, drawing on a rich and varied career within the industry. Towards the end, the Regional Vice President also answered some more specific questions on Japan Airlines’ approach to sustainability and growth amongst international travellers.
Commencing with a broad discussion around non-aviation specific technological advancements, Richard discussed the potential these hold for the aviation industry. Ranging from ChatGPT to digital identities, advancements in other sectors are a useful reference point for the aviation industry.
As the conversation moved towards tech developments within airline retail and distribution, Richard raised some nuanced observations concerning culture. Here, drawing on personal experience, the impact of cultural differences on rates of tech adoption and customer expectations were highlighted, providing a subtle balance to the discussion.
In the course of the interview, an array of topics were covering including predictions for the future of distribution, post-pandemic expectations, and customer experience. The entirety of the interview lasts 45-minutes. However, the below index can help to navigate to specific areas of the conversation.
- Richard Engelmann’s introduction and background [0.38]
- Discussion around ChatGPT and its potential uses in the aviation industry [3:25]
- Question: Are there any specific developments in tech and innovation that you are excited to see in airline retailing and distribution? [6:30]
- Exploring the cultural nuances of travel [10:45]
- Question: Can you highlight some of the ways that technological innovation is already improving experiences for customers in the retail space? [13:30]
- Discussion surrounding the adoption of technology and how it is received [16:10]
- Question: Is there a pattern to how we have seen distribution evolve over the last five years? [19:25]
- Question: How do you expect to se distribution advance in the future? [21:50]
- Question: How have you seen customer demands and expectations shift since the pandemic? [27:45]
- Question: Does technology play a role in meeting post-pandemic expectations? [31:50]
- Question: Could you give me an overview of how you make Japan Airlines attractive to international travellers? [33:20]
- Question: Would you be able to talk a bit about sustainability and Japan Airlines? [36:35]
- Japan Airlines’ sustainable charter flight [40:05]
- Question: Why are you joining us at Aviation Festival Asia? [42:10]
Richard Engelmann will be joining us on the retail track at Aviation Festival Asia on 28 February to talk about these topics and more. The interview will cover, ‘Exploring the evolution of digitalised airline distribution’ and Richard will also sit on a panel discussing ‘Developing strategies which optimise the use of existing technologies within distribution systems.’ To hear these session and a diverse range of opinions from other key industry players, book your ticket here.
Article by Jess Brownlow