Delays and cancellations are getting worse – airlines must embrace a more human approach

Delays and cancellations are getting worse – airlines must embrace a more human approach

‘Chaos’, ‘shame’, ‘misery’. On the morning of Tuesday 29th August, there wasn’t a single national news outlet – from the Daily Mail to Sky News – that didn’t feature at least one of these words in its headlines following the UK air traffic control system crash.

While these articles followed a particularly unusual event, the stories of passengers abandoned in departure lounges, dealing with limited support on the ground, closed call centres and crashing airline apps are all too familiar.

There’s also reason to believe these problems will only get worse. Airspace congestion, war and climate change are contributing to the disruption that began with Covid. The result has been additional stress and expense for airlines and passengers alike.

This inevitably harms customer satisfaction – at CMAC, we surveyed 1,100 UK adults who had taken at least one flight in the last year, finding that most believed disruption had become worse and many were dissatisfied with the airline response.

Our survey also found a significant number of passengers had been forced to arrange and pay for their own alternative accommodation, transport and meals when dealing with delays.

Given the current wave of employee strikes – alongside the other issues airlines face – we strongly believed it was time for fresh research into how airlines are managing disruption, how this is affecting passenger satisfaction and the key steps to retaining customer loyalty.

We conducted our research with the aim of gaining passenger insights that would empower airlines – allowing them to understand how people feel about the existing response to delays and cancellations, which allows airlines to address the areas where they might be falling short.


A worsening problem affecting customer loyalty

Our research found that the majority of people (71%) have experienced airline disruption, while most believe it is getting worse. Almost half of UK travellers also said their experience of flight delays or cancellations – and the service they received – made them less likely to fly with that airline in the future.

The good news is that embracing a better approach is very achievable. Our data shows that by just making sure a human employee is on hand when disruption occurs can make a world of difference.

We also found that passengers are frequently expected to make their own alternative travel and re-accommodation arrangements when flights are disrupted – 53% who had booked alternative transport following a delay said they did so without airline support, while some 61% of people who booked last-minute hotel rooms received no airline support.

If this continues the industry’s reputation is at risk, however it offers an opportunity for airlines to change their approach. Every passenger with a bad experience is also someone whose long-term loyalty could be won through a better approach when things go wrong.


Empowered teams and the human touch

We examined what this better approach might look like and our data shows the importance of an empathetic, human touch during flight cancellations or delays.

We found that while passengers are broadly happy to embrace technology when it comes to booking and checking in, if disruption happens, they want to be able to speak to a human.

Some 82% of passengers said they want a real person to help them when things go wrong, with 77% saying that human support will always be superior to technology in times of crisis. As many airlines move towards ‘digital transformation’ and are trialling AI and technology-only solutions, this is an important customer view to consider to ensure satisfaction and repeat business.

Technology needs to be used as an enabler, not a replacement, for airline and ground handling staff to provide quick, in-person and meaningful re-accommodation and alternative transport solutions to disrupted passengers.

Realising the potential of this human workforce means ensuring staff receive the right training and tools, enabling them to focus on passengers and reassure them that action is being taken, while providing regular updates and realistic timeframes.

Alongside having staff on hand to answer questions, tools – such as user-friendly apps – can also be used to help travellers easily find and book alternative travel or hotel rooms on their own terms. Meanwhile, airlines can also make use of live dashboards to gain full visibility and control when supporting customers during times of disruption.

With these things in place, there’s a big opportunity for airlines to win the long-term loyalty of passengers, despite the challenges our industry faces.


Download the full whitepaper to gain insight into passenger pain points and how airlines can more effectively meet expectations and earn long-term loyalty.


Article by Peter Slater, CMAC Group


Modern data strategy – Elevating the airport and airline industry

Modern data strategy – Elevating the airport and airline industry

In today’s digital age, data is the lifeblood of innovation. The airport and airline industry, with its intricate operations and vast customer touch points, can create lasting value by harnessing the power of data to improve the traveler’s experience, reduce operational costs, and increase revenue. In our increasingly digital world, unlocking the value in data requires companies adopt a modern data strategy to become more data-driven. Let’s delve deeper into what it means to be a data-driven organization and its implications for airlines and airports.


What is a data-driven organization?

A data-driven organization must do more than collect vast amounts of data. They must:

  • Harness data as an asset
  • Drive sustained innovation using these assets
  • Create actionable insights to supercharge the customer experience

Airports and airlines recognize the importance of data to enhance customer experiences. They’ve shifted from traditional brick-and-mortar activities to omni-channel experiences, driven by evolving customer expectations.

New technologies, like generative AI, are challenging us all to think bigger about what is possible to meet traveler’s expectations. Imagine an airport where real-time insights can predict flight delays, optimize ground operations, and personalize passenger experiences. That’s the power of being data-driven.

By adopting the right mindset, data-driven organizations:

  • Create compelling new customer experiences
  • Unlock new revenue streams
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors

Ryanair, for example, uses data to optimize the supply of food and beverages on 3,000 daily flights with a goal to make sure “no one is disappointed” according to Aoife Greene, Ryanair’s deputy director ancillary and head of retail. Ryanair uses passenger nationality, flight time, flight destination, and time-of-day to predict the right in-flight product mix to delight customers and improve revenue.


Creating a data flywheel with data products

We suggest using the concept of a “data flywheel” to Think Big, Start Small, and Scale Fast to power new experiences and capabilities. It’s an iterative cycle where organizations focus on solving customer challenges using data products. Data products can be thought of as an evolution of traditional data sets. They represent a curated, managed, and trusted presentation of data or insights for a specific purpose.

In the same way we shop grocery aisles and ecommerce sites for physical products, data products are easily discoverable and accessible by anyone with access rights. For example, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Ryanair worked together to make MAG’s airport gate change events available as a data product to improve the customer experience. The real-time data product ensures gate change information is aligned across MAG’s airport flight information display screens and Ryanair’s customer facing applications.

In the broader context, data products and adopting the flywheel approach can help companies use data to improve use cases spanning the end-to-end traveler experience and operations. For example, data can be used to enhance and personalize in-flight entertainment, to streamline baggage handling and visibility, or even optimize flight paths for fuel efficiency based on weather conditions.

Just as other industries are embracing experimentation to test consumer reactions to new features and experiences, airports and airlines can adopt a similar approach. By continuously designing experiments, such as A/B or multivariate tests, and leveraging data-driven insights, they can stay attuned to changing passenger expectations and innovate accordingly.

This is the power of the “data flywheel”.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) use the flywheel as an integral part of our AWS Data Driven Everything (D2E) program that helps customers unlock value using data. D2E is used by hundreds of customers to activate priority use cases using the flywheel and Amazon’s working backward approach. By continuously collecting feedback and iterating, organizations can create data products that add value consistently and repeatedly for priority use cases.


Building a modern data community

At the heart of a data-driven organization is the Modern Data Community that supports empowering employees with data-driven insights and decision-making capabilities. By pushing decision rights to the edges and promoting a culture of experimentation, airports and airlines can foster agility and innovation.

The community is comprised of three stakeholder groups. First, data producer teams are often aligned with business domains (flight operations for example) sharing data in the form of products and ensuring their quality. Next, data consumer teams may use a collection of data products to gain insights. For example, marketing consumers may use products containing traveler’s past purchases, booking preferences, and customer service interactions to fine tune customer segmentation models.

Consumers drive the creation of new insights and innovations using data and often become data producers by creating new, higher-order data products. In the marketing example, the fine tuned customer segmentation model can be published as a higher-order data product for use by consumers.

Last, data platform teams form the backbone that operate the marketplace ensuring data products are accessible, reliable, and secure. They can use tools like Amazon Lake Formation and Amazon DataZone to facilitate efficient and secure sharing of data products across the organization.


What about data governance

Being data-driven doesn’t mean compromising on governance. Modern data strategies balance innovation with compliance. Tools like Amazon Macie, which uses machine learning to discover and protect sensitive data, ensure that organizations can innovate responsibly. AWS Clean Rooms helps customers and their partners more easily and securely collaborate and analyze their collective datasets—without sharing or copying one another’s underlying data—protecting personal identifiable information (PII). For the aviation industry, where safety and compliance are paramount, achieving a balance between security and collaboration is crucial.



The aviation industry is on the cusp of a data revolution. From enhancing passenger experiences to optimizing operations, the possibilities are endless. As technology evolves, airports and airlines that embrace a data-driven approach will lead the way, setting new standards for efficiency, customer satisfaction, and innovation. Generative AI, for example, is a transformative technology that requires a modern data strategy and foundational ecosystem to realize its full benefits.

By understanding the principles of a modern data strategy, the data-driven organization, and leveraging modern data platforms, the airport and airline industry can soar to new heights, delivering unparalleled value to passengers and stakeholders alike.


To learn more, join myself (Brian Buch) and Craig Suckling, AWS Global Lead of Data Strategy, at the World Aviation Festival September 27-28 in Lisbon, Portugal to discuss how a modern data strategy can help maximize value using data.

We will co-host a workshop on September 27 with Ryanair and Massimo Morin at 10:30 and we will also be available for meetings at Booth 1-180.


Article by Brian Buch, Principal Analytics Strategist, Amazon Web Services


Embracing the Tech Future Of The Airline Business In Three Charts

Embracing the Tech Future Of The Airline Business In Three Charts

The world of aviation has always been about movement, connection, and evolution.

As Lisbon’s skies get ready to welcome aviation professionals from across the globe for the annual World Aviation Festival, the pivotal role of technology in reshaping our dynamic industry is more pronounced than ever.

Today’s traveler expectations have transformed, heavily influenced by the turbulence of the pandemic. Frequent cancellations, shifting flight schedules, and evolving travel restrictions have amplified the demand for flexibility in travel bookings. Moreover, with the rise of environmental consciousness, options like CO2 offsetting and the availability of convenient services like cancellation insurance have become the norm rather than the exception.

At the same time, we also live in a world where consumers can buy anything with a single click on platforms like Amazon. In this evolving landscape, the traditional airline retail experience seeks rejuvenation to match the pace.

As we look into the future of the airline experience, it’s becoming clear that it’s not just about convenience anymore. Other industries have progressively raised the bar for customer expectations. In response, airlines are navigating this shift, aspiring to provide a more seamless and advanced booking experience.

Our extensive OAG Airline Transition Tech Report delves into these transformative shifts. Labeled as the transition from “Old to New,” it’s clear this isn’t merely a trend but a crucial strategic evolution towards a more sophisticated travel paradigm.

As we gear up for the festival’s discussions, we bring forward three illustrative data charts from our report. These visuals not only depict the trajectory of tech innovations but also underscore the pressing need for and the inescapable nature of this transformative journey.


1. The Role of Ancillaries: More Than Just Add-Ons

As a result of technological progress and changing traveler preferences, the aviation industry has witnessed a steady rise in its ancillary businesses.

What began as simple add-ons mostly offered by low-cost carriers has matured over the last decade into a cornerstone of the financial landscape for many airlines.

The potency of ancillaries was on full display in 2022. A record was set, with ancillaries contributing an astonishing 15% of total revenue for airlines.



Direct channels, such as an airline’s official website, have given airlines more control over their offerings.

Furthermore, with the introduction of NDC, the promise of tailored experiences for travelers has come closer to reality. The future of distribution promises to deliver a refined, personalized touch to each customer, effectively revolutionizing how airlines engage with their patrons.


2. Virtual Interlining: Reshaping Airline Inventory and Expanding Travel Choices

The aviation industry, traditionally characterized by formal network collaborations and partnerships, is undergoing a transformation with the advent of Virtual Interlining.

A brainchild of innovative platforms like and Dohop, this model first made waves in the early 2010s. Instead of relying on time-honored interline and codeshare agreements, Virtual Interlining hinges on groundbreaking technology and fresh, entrepreneurial strategies.

This strategic shift is doing more than just shaking up airline inventory management. It’s also unlocking a new world of options for today’s travelers. More flexible, convenient, and, most importantly, cheaper flight options, are now at passengers’ fingertips, aligning perfectly with the demands of our fast-paced, convenience-oriented consumer era.

Our data models reveal a significant surge in self-connecting passengers in recent years.

These are travelers actively choosing to book connecting flights across different airlines, without traditional interlining. From a modest 55 million travelers making such choices six years ago, 2022 saw this number leap to an impressive 179 million.



The figures underscore a clear shift in passenger behavior and preference, pointing towards a more flexible future for air travel.


3. Payment Processes: The Unseen Barrier in Airline Retail

When it comes to booking travel, there exists a curious phenomenon unique to airlines: astonishingly high booking abandonment rates.

While other e-commerce sectors consistently convert more interested shoppers into buyers, airlines see potential passengers frequently leaving their carts behind. One primary reason can be traced back to the way airlines manage payments and customer experience, which often exist as siloed departments.

The tangible fallout of this separation is evident in the alarming abandonment rates on airline websites close to 80%, sometimes even touching a staggering 90%. It paints a picture of a missed connection between what a customer wants and what the booking process delivers.



But the silver lining here is the immense opportunity that lies ahead.

Airlines, by enhancing the retail payment experience, especially through direct channels, can not only mitigate this dropout but also unlock a wealth of potential revenue.

The broader travel industry seems to have recognized the goldmine that is payments.

According to recent survey data, a whopping majority of travel businesses, over 80% to be exact, view fintech and payments as a top-tier investment priority.

Curious about the future of travel payment solutions and how they might transform the airline booking experience?

Take a deep dive into this topic in our comprehensive Airline Transition Report.



Article by OAG


OAG The Airline Tech Transition: A Journey Towards “Travel Done Right”

OAG The Airline Tech Transition: A Journey Towards “Travel Done Right”

As we usher in a new era of technological advancements, the airline industry is in the throes of a seismic transformation. Two parallel systems are driving this change – the historically grown legacy system, and a modern, dynamic, adaptive system. This critical transition is setting the stage for what we at OAG like to call “Travel Done Right”.

To explore this transition in-depth, we have published a comprehensive report, see the download link here, offering detailed insights into this complex evolution.

Below is a teaser into some areas we cover, including an overview of the 50 most promising Travel Tech companies driving this change.



The Legacy System and Its Challenges

The legacy system, a stalwart of the airline industry for decades, is slowly yielding to obsolescence. Dating back to the 1970s, its outdated interfaces and limited flexibility pose significant challenges in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world.

Even essential upgrades or replacements become herculean tasks due to their inherent rigidity. Furthermore, it struggles to integrate with innovative third-party software solutions essential for maintaining competitiveness.


The Modern System and Its Promises

In stark contrast, the modern system offers improved usability, scalability, and cost savings.

It’s designed for today’s airlines and travelers who expect intuitive interfaces, customization options, and data-driven decision-making. Cloud-native software solutions enable easy integration with business applications, giving airlines real-time insights into customer behavior.


Driving Forces of the Transition

Two intertwined trends drive the transition towards the modern system: new technologies and changing customer needs.

Airlines can now offer products in more flexible ways due to advancements like NDC, which allows more individualized inventory packaging.



Changing customer needs also play a significant role.

Today’s travelers expect flight booking and new ancillary products, including CO2 offsetting and cancellation insurance, to be readily available. As a result, airlines are under pressure to match the seamless retail experiences offered by platforms like Amazon.


The Transition Across Major Airline Functions

This tech transition is not limited to IT infrastructure but extends across the entire airline value chain. Physical aspects, such as how aircraft are powered, are also experiencing change, as exemplified by the rise of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

However, the transition predominantly focuses on the customer-facing side of the airline business. How flights are offered, packaged, sold, and re-booked is undergoing dramatic change, slowly but steadily making for more seamless travel journeys.

In our report, we meticulously navigate through five crucial chapters, each exploring a specific aspect of the airline industry undergoing this significant transition:

  • Airline Revenue Management: The Shift from Dynamic Offers to Continous Pricing
  • Airline Distribution: The Transition from Traditional GDS-led Distribution to NDC
  • Airlines Ancillaries: The Transition from Up-selling to Right-selling
  • Airline Inventory: The Evolution from Network Agreements to Virtual Interlining
  • Airline Payments: The Movement from Fixed to Flexible Purchasing Schemes


Hesitation and the Need for Change

Despite these promising advancements, many airlines remain hesitant to move away from the legacy system due to perceived stability and the industry’s inherent risk aversion.

However, recent IT outages have spotlighted the legacy system’s vulnerabilities, indicating it’s time for a more robust technology stack.

This paradigm shift will pave the way for “Airline Retail of the Future,” enabling airlines to create the right offer at the right time. Flexibility in purchasing tickets and ancillary services throughout the travel journey, and options like buy-now-pay-later models, will redefine the travel experience.


What’s Next?

While the transition to “Travel Done Right” has just begun, the potential benefits are significant. To bring this new era into fruition, airlines not only need to invest in radical transformation efforts but should also closely observe the rapidly evolving Travel Tech ecosystem.

Emerging startups and tech players are already showing the way, illustrating how the legacy system can be disrupted and replaced with newer, more flexible, and customer-friendly ways of doing business. These entities are leveraging data-driven technologies to create innovative solutions that can dramatically improve the travel experience, from ticket purchasing to ancillary services.

As such, airlines stand to gain immensely by keeping a close eye on these trailblazing companies. In the spirit of this forward momentum, we aim to shed light on those with the most advanced data capabilities, guiding the industry towards this exciting transition.


The Rise of Travel Tech Companies

Leveraging digital technologies like Machine Learning and AI, many of these emerging startups are detangling airlines from outdated tech systems, accelerating the industry towards a modern, dynamic, and customer-friendly system.

In the below mapping, we highlighted 50 of the most promising Travel Tech companies in a structured overview.

For more information, download the full report.



Article by OAG


The growing cost of doing nothing in airline digital retailing

The growing cost of doing nothing in airline digital retailing

As many airlines and most system providers either have implemented a solution or have a plan towards digital retailing, several players have not decided a way forward yet. The main reasons for “doing nothing” about digital retailing include a lack of compelling business case, a lack of funding or simply competing priorities.


The business case for the transition to airline digital retailing

The business case for the transition to airline digital retailing is well defined at industry level. The last example comes from IATA who published a document[1] in March 2023. The document covers key findings about potential savings from NDC and ONE Order implementations, as well as the cost of not implementing.

Since 2019 McKinsey published a report on the value of airline retailing, estimated at $40Bn by 2030. They added a new report[2] in 2022 exploring the benefit of payment innovation, to address the $20Bn annual costs of payment.

BCG has published a series of articles about the “Airline retail revolution”. In an October 2022 report[3], they focus on the airline organization required to undertake the transition to digital retailing, around: Revenue Management, Offer Creation, Ancillary Products, and Marketing.

Not only the business case is here but the solutions are here too. In June 2023, Threedot published an article[4] about Order Management Systems available in the market, listing 9 vendors and their respective solutions.

Funding is also here after a profitable year for airlines, as reported[5] by IATA in June 2023. The latest forecast is $9.8Bn for 2023, which is still low compared to revenue but a positive sign of recovery.

If the business case, the solutions and the funding are there, why do some players opt for “doing nothing”? Is there a business case for “Wait & See”?


The short-term consequences of inaction

Let’s imagine we had to get a business case approved for the “Wait & See” strategy. The three pillars of this strategy would be:

  • Missed opportunities in ancillary sales
  • Delays and costs in changes and refunds
  • Lack of integration with multimodal partners

Each pillar has small consequences in the beginning, which may justify the inaction. We miss opportunities of selling ancillaries via travel agents, compared to direct sales, but we don’t know how much, so it doesn’t hurt. We have delays in changing booking and refunding customers, but we don’t know how upset customers are and we cannot measure their frustration, or the impact of frustration on lost business. Finally, we cannot do business with rail partners seamlessly, but we don’t measure the impact on our business and our carbon emissions, so it does not matter.

When assessing the short-term consequences of inaction, we can justify “doing nothing” for another year or two.


The long-term impact of not-transitioning

As more partners and sellers get on with NDC, the new normal will be API connectivity, somewhere between 2025 and 2030. The cost of “doing nothing” will keep growing and include for example:

  • No personalization of offers
  • Inability to implement continuous pricing and dynamic offers
  • Double cost of infrastructure: Direct + Legacy indirect

The business case of inaction will include the growing complexity of innovating on legacy platforms. Every new requirement for the coming years will be developed on old systems that will be decommissioned soon, meaning that every development will have to be done again. The sooner the transition the cheaper.

In summary, the more the industry will move to digital retailing, the more missed opportunity will pass by.



In most cases, the cost of “doing nothing” is not measured, although we can assume that it is growing every year.

The good news for “Wait & See” strategy is that there will always be a bridge to phase out legacy processes and systems. There is no train leaving the station and a risk of missing the train.

Even better, in 2030 (or before) there might be a radical new way of selling airline products which makes NDC obsolete and digital retailing can be leapfrogged (although I cannot imagine yet what this would like, maybe a decentralized platform).

In any case, “doing nothing” when it comes to digital retailing has a cost, a growing cost, and sooner or later, after a system failure, a major business requirement, a cyber-attack or else, the remaining player will embrace the transition and get the benefits of a modern, customer-centric, retailing experience.


[1] IATA Modern Airline Retailing – A Business Case:—a-business-case/

[2] McKinsey Airline retailing : How payment innovation can improve the bottom line

[3] BCG Reshaping the Airline Organization for the Future of Retail

[4] Threedot Overview of Airline Order Management Systems

[5] IATA Airline Profitability Outlook Strengthens


AI in aviation with Glenn Morgan

AI in aviation with Glenn Morgan

“The aviation industry is a key area where AI can play a really significant factor. It goes from everything like personalised customer service, dynamic pricing, predictive maintenance, flight operations optimisation. To everything through from baggage tracking to handling of systems, biometrics and identity, autonomous vehicles, moving towards a dark airport, and robots…”

Reflecting on the significance of AI in the industry, Glenn Morgan, MD, Airfusion Ventures highlighted some of emerging trends to look out for at the World Aviation Festival.

Joining as a moderator for several AI panels at the event, Glenn will be covering the tech’s human adoption, applications on the ground, and much more with representatives from airlines including Emirates, easyJet, United, and Cathay Pacific.

As MD, Airfusion Ventures, and an active investor in AI companies, Glenn is well positioned to engage in dynamic discussions around aviation’s engagement with upcoming technologies. Airfusion Ventures is an innovation advisory firm building bridges between leading global corporations and the emerging tech economy. As IATA Chair, Glenn also launched the industry airline digital retailing program NDC, one Order.

Watch the full discussion below to hear Glenn’s thoughts on applications of AI in the industry and a short introduction into his sessions.



For more on what to expect at the event see:


Multimodal Travel: Aviation Needs to Think Beyond the Flight

Multimodal Travel: Aviation Needs to Think Beyond the Flight

The future of aviation has always seemed like a distant one. But the future we look to today – of flying EVs and net-zero flights – might be out of reach for decades.

Innovation has undeniably been slow. There hasn’t been a quantum leap in ages – only incremental nudges towards better ops, safety and efficiency.

In a sector characterised by intense competition and paper-thin margins, funnelling cash into R&D for technologies that might be a dead end isn’t the smart choice right now.

So what is the smart choice? The answer so far has been ancillaries.

But in the face of mounting environmental awareness and evolving customer expectations, the industry needs to start looking beyond its siloed offering if it wants to stay relevant and keep the cash flowing.


Ancillaries – how did we get here?

The concept of ancillary sales in aviation didn’t really exist until low-cost carriers (LCCs) emerged. Up until this point, all-in bundled fares were the norm. But as LCCs started to displace flagship carriers and take more market share, the adoption of product unbundling and ancillary sales became increasingly common.

In 2022, ancillary sales totalled US$102 billion – 15% of total airline revenue. In the US domestic market, seat bookings alone account for more than US$4 billion.

That’ll only continue if passengers keep choosing air travel as their main mode of transport. But today, consumers are hyper-aware of their impact on the climate.

Travellers and governments are pressing aviation to do more to fight global warming.

Ancillaries aren’t going to remain sustainable, unless aviation retailing starts to think beyond the flight.


Moving beyond the airline ecosystem

Carbon offsetting isn’t cutting it anymore. People are demanding more action on the environment from aviation.

France announced higher taxes on aviation which will directly fund railway investment, closing the price gap between air and rail. This comes off the back of a ban on short-haul domestic flights.

More could be coming. But the industry can survive this, with multimodal travel.

It offers a life raft, until we get net-zero flights and EVs. It’s an opportunity for airlines to meaningfully reduce their carbon footprint, while shoring up a new kind of ancillary revenue.

Far from competing with airlines, multimodal travel opens new opportunities for ancillary sales, beyond the aircraft and beyond the airport.

Air France, Iberia and Lufthansa have already launched intermodal tickets.

Passengers are increasingly booking direct, too – and this keeps customers in the airline’s ecosystem, where these new ancillaries can be offered meaningfully, in context.

Retailing has always offered relevant products like airport transfers, car hire and hotel for decades. What’s new is the inclusion of modes that would traditionally be seen as eating the aviation industry’s lunch.

The potential opportunity here is staggeringly vast, and this doesn’t even account for cross-border rail travel.

But ultimately, multimodality is better for the customer.


Keeping up with customer expectations

Customers want to feel represented by the brands they buy from, including travel brands.

The heightened awareness of environmental impact is being pushed into view by Gen Z, whose purchasing power has come of age, and whose role in businesses is now significant.

Allowing them the flexibility to book air, rail and road transport in a single booking wins you the direct booking and the ancillary revenue, instead of forcing customers to book piecemeal trips – or into the arms of your competitors.

For corporates who’ve got all eyes on their ESG strategies, this kind of tangible reduction in emissions is extremely attractive. This isn’t just a “nice to have” anymore, thanks to the European Union’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Multimodal travel will have a profound effect on the outcomes of sustainability reports, and adoption will likely be widespread. But as timely and on-point as it may be culturally, climate action is only a fringe benefit.

Because when the chips are down, most customers are all about convenience.

Visit most sites, and you’ll only be able to search for airports they fly to – not destinations. Passengers don’t travel to airports; they travel to resorts, hotels and experiences.

Aviation’s missing link is completing the whole journey in a single booking.

Imagine being able to search for a destination, and getting the nearest airport, plus a rail or public transport connection to take you the rest of the way – without having to book anything separately.

Travellers get a better experience. The airline increases ancillary revenue, with higher-quality data on what their customers actually want: data that can be measured against events that impact mass travel – like Taylor Swift’s tour, World Cup matches and festivals.

Multimodality is an affirmation of customer values, in an experience that reflects them as an individual. Facilitating their freedom is precisely what airlines should be doing.

So, how do we get there? Well, the tech to do this already exists.

Because we built it.


The road to multimodality

There are several routes into a multimodal future – all riddled with problems.

The travel ecosystem is a fractured, fragmented collection of disparate, often old systems: GDS, EDI/EDIFACT et al.

These can only support a limited number of verticals, like air and hotel – not rail, ferry, ride hailing, or any other modes. Attaching these modes to bookings takes airlines into a further fragmented realm of micro vendors, with literally thousands of APIs and platforms dedicated to single functions.

Airlines could consume multimodal content via all these distinct APIs – but imagine how resource-intensive it would be to integrate each mode, each supplier, each platform.

Even existing aggregators only offer a limited breadth of products, requiring multiple integrations.

Snowfall has created the answer to this, with Junction – our flagship travel technology platform.


Discover the tech behind multimodal travel at World Aviation Festival

Come and see the future of aviation for yourself – meet us at stand 1-106 at World Aviation Festival 2023.

Book a meeting with Snowfall at World Aviation Festival 2023


Article by Snowfall


AI that “gives you back time.” Maximising predictive data with FlightAware

AI that “gives you back time.” Maximising predictive data with FlightAware

The industry’s become really good at using that data and those tools at optimization on days where things are going well and delivering a really good experience for passengers. But I think where AI in particular has a place is the bad days, the days where there’s weather or some other issue. And then once those delays start, the whole system becomes more challenging and unpredictable.”

Paul Gibson, VP of product at FlightAware explained AI’s potential for elevating operations. Predictive data can help to guide airports and airlines, optimising their available resources and improving decision-making. As the industry battles with increased disruption from extreme weather and staff shortages, the ability to harness the full power of data using AI can open up a considerable competitive advantage.

Looking towards the future, Paul also pointed out several ways the uses of AI will evolve from longer term predictions around mass disruption to sustainability.

Get your ticket for the World Aviation Festival to hear more from Paul who will be joining speakers from Emirates and United Airlines, answering the question, “How can we better-integrate AI to improve overall operations?”



FlightAware, is best known for the flight tracking website and app, but it specialises in collecting data from multiple sources to tell the story of each flight. The data is then interpreted and enriched, including with some AI technology to deliver information to customers so they can use it to empower their business. For two years, FlightAware has been part of the Collin’s Aerospace family, enabling an even greater impact on the industry.

For more on what to expect at this year’s World Aviation Festival see:


Offers & Orders; Customer-centric, modern digital retailing as a bridge between today and tomorrow

Offers & Orders; Customer-centric, modern digital retailing as a bridge between today and tomorrow

Offers & Orders is not a new topic within the wider travel industry; but it is an entirely new method of selling products that enables airlines to create and distribute personalised offers to travellers. It’s not surprising that new methods and old habits don’t cohabitate well. As a result of this mismatch the customer experience today is deeply affected by legacy standards, processes, and technology. Airlines in the past have struggled to create and manage the attractiveness of offers, whilst delivering on efficient orders, in addition to keeping the customer at the centre of it all. Some may view Offers and Orders as a challenge to bridge the old and the new and the end customer simply having to deal with the result. The opposite is true however, and instead of the customer being an inconvenient truth, it could be the solution to the very problem.

As an industry, many commentators have been quick to dismiss how imminent such a switch to one single order across the journey is, but research suggests that we are closer than we think. According to Datalex’s research findings outlined in ‘The Digital Airline 2023’, over 9 in 10 (92%) of airlines believe their underlying PSS system is significantly or somewhat hampering the simplification of order management and ease of booking, suggesting that this is a significant headache for airline executives. In addition to this, 60% of airlines surveyed intend to move away from their current PSS provider towards an Offers & Orders enabled technology platform in the next 1-2 years. With just 1% of airlines planning this in the next 5 years or more, and only 8% stating that their PSS does not hamper them at all, it is clear from the majority that they have reason to start this transition sooner rather than later.

By moving to a unified Offers & Orders future, airlines can take back control of what they sell, merchandise and manage in a personalised way. But equally, customer-centricity is crucial for the long-term success in the next phase of airline retailing and should be acknowledged as such. A recent survey by McKinsey indicates the true value of a customer-centric approach, with $40 billion annual value creation opportunity available to airlines.

If airlines chose to ignore this transition, they will be left behind. In order to remain competitive and to future-proof their position in market, airlines must be cognisant of the inevitable move to Offers & Orders. Datalex has cautioned airlines by stating that “the cost of doing nothing cannot be underestimated”, as voiced to by Conor O’Sullivan, Chief Product Officer, when speaking to the course of the transition to Offers & Orders. Not moving may result in losing any competitive edge you had, because while your airline may have a fabulous onboard experience or relatively accessible digital experience by today’s standards, your future customers won’t buy it if you don’t engage them in an advanced digital way.

The moment of truth comes when you stop investing in the past and start investing in the future, and this is true for technology and people. If an airline continues on their current trajectory, they are sustaining costly and outdated systems with less and less people available to attract to work on these systems. This may not be true today but will be true as soon as the transition starts, and the airline will be left behind. While there will be undeniable upfront costs for the transition to take place, the cost of not starting will be much more.

Partners like Datalex are ready for the future with standalone Offer & Order Management but recognises that airlines will exist in a parallel universe in the transition state. We support this, via connection to legacy systems as needed, but there is still huge value to be had in the transition state. AI-based pricing for example can be implemented to reflect real-time price optimisation, fulfilled as a price adjustment if required to conform to existing downstream processes awaiting transformation. Once the initial transition begins, your airline’s roadmap will evolve in the coming years, there is no “end-state”, just a future vision that will be continually optimised.


Article by Datalex

At Datalex, we are committed to delivering against its vision for Offers & Orders and has a clear transition path across all phases from initial optimisations for Modern Retailing towards 100% Offers & Orders. To learn more about how airlines can go back to first principles and accelerate value creation through customer-centric modern airline retailing for an Offers & Orders future, download Datalex’s Offers & Orders whitepaper. In addition, visit the Datalex team at booth at World Aviation Festival on 26-28th September in Lisbon to find out more about our progressive airline digital retailing work. Datalex’s Chief Revenue Officer, Bryan Porter, will also be on-stage discussing the steps required to deliver a better and more personalised customer experience through NDC – a key part of the journey to 100% Offers and Orders.


Industry trends and event insights with Sinead Finn

Industry trends and event insights with Sinead Finn

Sinead Finn, Founder, affinnity joined for a brief discussion in preparation for the World Aviation Festival. The conversation touched on notable trends shaping the industry landscape, a glimpse into her upcoming sessions, and a comment on the event’s evolution.

Discussing the Revenue Management panel that Sinead will be moderating, the affinnity Founder explained:

“I’m really excited about our panellists and we’ve got some great airlines on there. So we’ve got EasyJet, we’ve got Sun Express, and Lufthansa – it’s a good spread across all the airline types. It’ll be really interesting to see what they have to say about revenue and how revenue is moving and how technology is helping.”

Sinead also highlighted two prominent trends in the industry to look out for in discussion at the event. Firstly, the loyalty shift towards building relationships beyond travel, rooted in an elevated understanding of individual customers. Secondly, the cost of sustainability going forward and how airlines will navigate this.

Watch the full interview below.



For more on what to expect at World Aviation Festival see:


Reducing disruption with climate resilience: Extreme weather

Reducing disruption with climate resilience: Extreme weather

Reducing disruption with climate resilience: Extreme weather


SITA recently published an article on leveraging technology for climate resilience. It highlighted that disruption caused by weather conditions account for 75 per cent of air traffic delays, “costing airlines billions of dollars each year in extra fuel, maintenance, crew, and compensation expenses.”

Patrick Edmond, Managing Director, Altair Advisory told Aviation News:

“Airlines have always had to deal with disruption, often caused by extreme weather. The reality of climate change is that this kind of disruption will become more frequent – whether it’s due to extreme high or low temperatures, wind, rain, or snow – and increasingly airlines will have to treat this as ‘business as usual’ instead of something exceptional.”

Extreme weather events are on the rise and, although they are just one of the many symptoms of climate change, they form the focus of this article. Confronted with the challenges of a hostile climate, the industry’s response comes in two broad parts:

The first, a push towards sustainable aviation. The industry must resolve its negative contribution to climate change; this requires extensive investment and commitment, willingness to embrace new technologies, and experimentation with alternative energy sources.

The second, which is explored here, is climate resilience: the need to adapt to the environmental consequences of climate change. This will enable the industry to navigate the impact of complex weather conditions whilst minimising disruption for passengers.


The impact of extreme weather on the industry

An informal survey by the World Aviation Festival had a look at the impact of extreme weather events on travel experiences and the results can be seen below.



Although this was just a small sample to canvas opinion on the topic, wider research shows the number of extreme weather events has grown “substantially” over the past 10-15 years and this has very tangible consequences for travel. As these events become more frequent and intense with the rising global temperature, this translates to delays, cancellations, and more disruption to passengers.

EUROCONTROL’s article, ‘Understanding the impact of climate change on aviation’ highlighted several of the ways weather events impacted the industry, ranging from damaged communications equipment, flooded control towers, and even melted runways when, in 2012, high temperatures melted the tarmac at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, trapping a plane as its wheel became stuck.

In addition to disrupting operations, the necessary counter actions themselves can result in further sustainability setbacks.

Research by Professor Paul Williams found that flight paths may become more convoluted to avoid stronger and more frequent patches of turbulence, lengthening some journey times and increasing the overall consumption of jet fuel. Similarly, the EUROCONTROL article reports that in 2019, over 1 million km were flown as a result of avoiding a major storm. This corresponds to over 6,000t of extra fuel consumed, or over 19,000t of CO2 produced.


Climate resilience

While the industry strives to meet sustainability targets, it must also build climate resilience to combat the challenges posed by climate change.

ICAO describes aviation climate resilience as:

“The ability for the aviation system operations and infrastructure to be able to withstand and recover from external perturbation resulting from the impacts of climate change. Therefore, anticipation of and adaptation to these impacts are vital to ensure a reduction in the magnitude of consequences of climate change to the whole aviation system.”

Technology plays a pivotal role in climate resilience. Innovative solutions help to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from adversities caused by climate change. These include but are not limited to, advanced air traffic management (ATM) systems, remote sensing and satellite technologies, and advanced weather forecasting systems. A couple of examples of technologies employed to address the surge in extreme weather occurrences include:

American Airlines’ HEAT tool which “dynamically moves flight schedules around to ensure that customers, crew, and aircraft keep moving when weather threatens to disrupt the schedule.” HEAT optimises data about weather, customer connections, gate availability, volume of passengers on each flight, and any air traffic control or crew constraints. American’s algorithm has so far prevented nearly 1,000 flight cancellations across their network.

SITA eWAS and SITA Mission Watch. This aggregates multiple weather feeds, ensuring accuracy and reliability in weather forecasts. These solutions provide pilots and dispatchers with high-resolution, real-time, 4D weather forecasts, enabling them to visualize flight plans over weather conditions.

In building climate resilience, it is imperative the industry invests in and leverages cutting edge technology. At World Aviation Festival,  there will be a specific IROPS Summit looking at how to manage disruption by utilising technology. The sessions will include speakers from AirAsia, WestJet, Lufthansa, KLM, and more.

Additionally, sustainability will form a core topic at the event exploring everything from digitalisation, ecosystem collaboration, and preparing for optimal SAF production, in the first day alone. Speakers include Lauren Riley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Managing Director, Global Environmental Affairs at United Airlines, and Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director at easyJet. Patrick Edmond will be moderating a panel asking “When can we expect the industry to be prepared for optimal SAF production, and what will this bring?”


From physical passport to Digital Travel Credential (DTC)

From physical passport to Digital Travel Credential (DTC)

As digital boarding passes and travel documents increasingly become the norm, how long will it be until the physical passport is no longer needed?

Mobile-based Digital Travel Credential (DTC) are paving the way for a future where the traditional passport is no longer necessary. ICAO explains a DTC:

“Is intended to temporarily or permanently substitute a conventional passport with a digital representation of the traveller’s identity, which can in turn be validated using the travel document issuing authority’s public key infrastructure.”

There are already pilots testing out the logistics of this shift. Finnair is the latest to experiment with the technology, launching a “world first” pilot programme alongside the Finavia and the Finnish Police. Running from late August until February 2024, passengers on Finnair flights to London, Edinburgh, and Manchester can register as a voluntary DTC user and use the ID when leaving air/or arriving in Finland.

The project is designed to test the DTC in a real border control environment, “allowing smooth and fast border crossings without compromising security.”

The Finnish flag carrier is not the first to experiment with this technology with IDEMIA and a Dutch Consortium testing the use of DTC-1 on KLM flights between Canada and the Netherlands for three months back in March.

Funded by the Commission, Finland’s DTC trial hopes to assess the technology’s ability to make the travel process easier for everyone. Would you be willing to leave your passport at home?


For more like this see:


Aviation 2030: AI flight scheduling

Aviation 2030: AI flight scheduling

Can low-cost-carriers squeeze more flights into their already packed schedules? Computer says yes.

Flight schedules are probably airlines’ most critical factor towards commercial success and for decades flight scheduling analysts have been tasked with the critical but challenging role of making sure they are profitable.


Arranging flight schedules is probably the most critical factor for determining if an airline thrives or flounders.
  • Increasing aircraft utilization is the number one strategic goal of all the low-cost carrier CEOs with which we have spoken.
  • Why? The airline industry is highly capital intensive and operates on razor thin profit margins. This is especially true for low-cost carriers (LCCs), for which the margin per available seat kilometer is only around 0.8 Euro cents, compared to 2.6 Euro cents full-service carriers; approximately 70% less.
  • Abrupt changes in the broader operating environment can quickly make such economics untenable.
  • This reality came into stark relief during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021, during which 63 airlines failed or restructured, including LCCs such as Norway’s Norwegian Air, the UK’s Flybe and South Africa’s Mango Airlines.


Maximizing airplane utilization by increasing the number of sectors (a flight leg between two points) an aircraft can serve over a given period is achieved through optimizing the flight schedule.

Not only does maximizing aircraft utilization drive top- line uplift, but it also yields improvements in bottom- line performance.

  • Aircraft operating costs: Boeing has calculated how airlines can reduce aircraft related operating costs by increasing airplane utilization. A 5% reduction in aircraft related operating costs is achievable by increasing aircraft utilization by 20% when the average flight distance is 500 miles (800 kilometers) or less, which is a typical flight length for low-cost regional and domestic carriers.
  • Cabin crew costs: Improving aircraft utilization can directly increase daily flight hours per crew member, and improvements in crew productivity can lead to significant improvements in operating costs. Prior to the pandemic, Lufthansa modelled a 0.20 Euro cents improvement on CASK for its Eurowings subsidiary between 2019-2022 by taking various steps to improve crew productivity, of which one lever was flight schedule optimization.

To read the full article click here.


Article by Optifly 


Loyalty, gamification, and NFTs:  Lufthansa Innovation Hub

Loyalty, gamification, and NFTs: Lufthansa Innovation Hub

At the end of the August, Lufthansa Innovation Hub went live with a unique loyalty experience in partnership with Miles & More.

Available through the Uptrip app, Lufthansa Group Airlines passengers can collect trading cards, completing collections to redeem rewards. These include airport lounge access, flight upgrades, or status and award miles.

Notably, passengers can elect to exchange every card for NFT trading cards, storing them in their own crypto wallets, as the app is integrated with Web3 technologies.

For the passengers, the process of collecting cards is simple:



Christopher Siegloch, Head of Program Development Miles & More, said

“We are delighted to see so much interest in Uptrip. Gamification elements introduce participants to Web3 technologies such as NFTs in a fun way. Furthermore, we have managed to transfer the enthusiasm for collecting that people know from trading card booklets into a digital space […] Together with our customers, we are testing and developing another exciting feature in the Miles & More universe.”

In the next few months, the app plans to transition to the next phase: The Uptrip marketplace. Here, passengers will be able to connect with other travellers through the App, trading cards with one another to complete collections faster. This will also see an expansion of the range of available rewards.

Earlier in August, Etihad launched its second non-fungible token (NFT) collection. The “ultra-exclusive 300-piece NFT collection” mirroring the Boeing 787 Dreamliner associated with the Mission Impossible franchise. Although eye-catching, the translation of these into real world benefits is the most interesting part of this release. Holders of the new NFT collection will receive a 12-month Etihad Guest Silver Tier Status, priority check-in, a 25 per cent boost in earning Etihad Guest Miles, and lounge access at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

At the World Aviation Festival, Joao Fernandes, Venture Development, Uptrip will give a presentation on “A new approach to Airline Loyalty using Gamification and NFTs.” Lufthansa Innovation Hub’s MD and Director Strategic Innovation will also be sharing their thoughts on innovation in the industry. Book your ticket now to avoid missing out. 


For more on how airlines have been embracing NFTs in varying ways including tickets, payments, and in the metaverse. Read below:


The UK hydrogen alliance: Accelerating decarbonisation

The UK hydrogen alliance: Accelerating decarbonisation

The aviation industry connects people, boosts economies, and fosters international collaboration. To enable its long term benefits to continue, aviation urgently needs to decarbonise.

For now, the path to a decarbonised aviation sector is not yet clear, with hydrogen, SAF, synthetic fuels or batteries, and many more approaches all working towards a greener future.

This week, major players in the UK aviation and renewable energy sectors established the Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) alliance. Members including easyJet, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Ørsted, GKN Aerospace and Bristol Airport will work collaboratively to accelerate the delivery of zero carbon aviation, urging more attention should be paid to the potential of the direct use of hydrogen.

Composed of members that have already begun developing new hydrogen powered aircraft and tested hydrogen powered jet engines, HIA is well positioned to fast-track the industry’s progress.

Sabine Klauke, Chief Technology Officer at Airbus said:

“As Airbus continues to mature the aircraft technologies needed to deliver hydrogen-powered flight, a united industry voice is needed to secure a robust ecosystem of renewably-sourced hydrogen. Joining our peers from across the UK aviation landscape in a targeted approach to policy and investment action brings us closer to a decarbonised future of flying.” 

The alliance urges collaboration across policy makers, promising to work constructively with Government, local authorities, and the aviation and hydrogen sectors. Eager to position the UK as a global leader of hydrogen in aviation, Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet and first Chair of HIA, said:

“There is no doubt that the UK has the potential to become a world leader in hydrogen aviation, which could bring with it a £34bn per annum boost to the country’s economy by 2050, but in order to capture this opportunity, rapid change is needed and the time to act is now.

We must work together to deliver the radical solutions required for a hard to abate industry like aviation so we can protect and maximise the benefits that it brings to the UK economy and society and that we know British consumers want to be preserved. 

HIA looks forward to working with the UK Government to ensure the right funding, regulatory and policy changes are implemented to accelerate the delivery of zero carbon aviation.”

It is likely we will see more alliances and partnerships forged, as the industry strives towards sustainability.

At this year’s World Aviation Festival, Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director, easyJet will be speaking alongside Caroline Drischel, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Lufthansa Group, Gonçalo Pires, Chief Financial Officer, TAP Air Portugal, Yvonne Moynihan, Chief Corporate and ESG Officer, Wizz Air, and others discussing how the aviation ecosystem can work better to achieve global sustainability goals. Book your ticket now to hear what they have to say.

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Retail: Emerging trends, innovation, and key themes with Ann Cederhall

Retail: Emerging trends, innovation, and key themes with Ann Cederhall

As the industry’s landscape evolves, innovation is key. At World Aviation Festival, Ann Cederhall, Consultant at LeapShift will be sitting down with industry leaders, facilitating discussion around the future of PSS, new modal connections, NDC, emerging trends, and much more.

In this short interview, Ann, author of The State of Airline Retailing whitepaper, highlights a few key trends to look out for at the event and outlines how these will be explored.

This year’s retail agenda is packed with thought-provoking sessions working through industry challenges, exploring the impact of new tech, and empowering the adoption of innovative strategies. Some of the key industry speakers include Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Chief Commercial Officer and Member of the Management Board, Swiss International Air Lines; Julio Rodriguez, Chief Commercial Strategy Officer, IAG; Tiddo Veldhuis, Director Product Strategy, KLM; and Justin Jovignot, Director, Commercial Strategy and Distribution, TAP Air Portugal.



To hear directly from industry leaders at the World Aviation Festival get your ticket now.


Investing in aviation’s identity-first future

Investing in aviation’s identity-first future

The most crucial identity industries, defined by FindBiometrics and Acuity Market Intelligence are: financial services, government services, healthcare, hospitality, and travel. These foundational sectors rely on a complex, rapidly evolving ecosystem that spans big tech, web3, authentication, identity verification, targeted biometric solutions, biometric identity platforms, core biometric technologies, and identity platforms. This ecosystem is envisioned in the Biometric Digital Identity Prism, a proprietary visualization describing the current digital identity landscape as it relates to the aforementioned industries.



The aviation industry is evolving quickly as flight volumes return to pre-pandemic levels. With over 4.1 billion travelers expected to fly in 2023, airports and airlines are being put to the test as passenger demand meets the reality of operational challenges. Digitization technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics are being looked at to ease the burden in coordination with identity automation.

Aviation is a unique sector in the context of the Prism. The needs of airports, airlines, government travel and border agencies are interrelated and cannot be served by discrete, siloed solutions. From booking to arrival at a destination, passenger identity must remain consistently trusted and secure throughout the journey, not just for the best possible customer experience, but for the sake of security and operational efficiencies. While identity platforms are well suited for this sector, companies in the Prism’s ”Big 3” segment best serve the complexity of the passenger identity lifecycle.


Passenger demands shape the future of aviation

The passenger experience is the catalyst for evolution in the aviation sector. Today’s passenger is a technology-literate traveler who expects a mobile-first experience and is not accustomed to delays. Operational struggles experienced by airlines and airports in 2022—from misplaced baggage to significant delays and cancellations—have marred the travel experience in mainstream and social media. Thankfully, enhancing the customer experience by reducing friction within the passenger journey has the effect of improving operations through streamlined throughput, automation, and enhanced security.

Following the passenger journey, one sees a map of identity transactions: booking, check-in, bag check, security, boarding, flight, customs, and baggage pickup. And that’s not including the retail and service transactions along the way. Every time a passenger interacts with an airline, agency, retailer, or other stakeholder during their travel journey, they must prove who they are. The easier that is, the less friction and stress they experience.

According to SITA—the world’s leading aviation IT services provider with deployments in over 200 countries—the most pressing pain points for passengers are the touchpoints with the most friction: health checks, security screening, and bag collection. Invasive, time-consuming, and out of the passenger’s control, these three processes are in opposition to on-demand services. Thankfully, they are also the areas seeing the highest levels of innovation, and therefore the greatest rate of improvement.

Following passenger demand, we see the evolution of aviation trending toward frictionless, identity-first gateways that leverage consumer mobile technology and robust IT infrastructure to allow for fast and reliable identity checks at every touchpoint. By the end of the decade, the travel experience will allow travelers to enroll their biometrics and identity data when they book a trip on their phone, check-in and drop-off their bag in a fully automated fashion, speed through security without invasive measures, purchase food, retail items and airport amenities with their face or their phone, and board their plane in record time without having to dig through their belongings for their physical ID.

And while that’s all great for the customer, it’s even better for the airlines and airports…


Read the full eBook here.


Article by NEC 


Twelve takeaways from SITA’s 2023 Passenger IT Insights report

Twelve takeaways from SITA’s 2023 Passenger IT Insights report

“Travelers are telling the industry loud and clear: the more they are subjected to clunky and inefficient processes, the more likely they are to consider other options. They demand that the industry offer the same digital options they use in their daily lives to make travel easier. 

As the industry pushes for a seamless travel experience, boosting efficiency and digitisation, it is vital that passenger expectations are understood.

SITA’s 2023 Passenger IT Insights report, released earlier today looks at the evolving landscape of passengers expectations and technology adoption, providing a useful guide as aviation continues to invest in digitising the travel experience.


SITA 2023 Passenger IT Insights


Here are twelve key findings from the report:

  1. Passengers are increasingly comfortable using technology and demanding new services during travel.
  2. Rates of technology adoption are on the rise at each stage of the journey with 92 per cent of passengers using booking tech in 2023.
  3. The two areas showing the biggest increases in technology adoption this year have been dwell time (+7 per cent) and check-in (+6 per cent).
  4. The use of mobile devices has grown steadily over the years and travellers rely more on mobile apps for booking and connectivity during dwell time and on board.
  5. Areas like baggage handling and border control lag behind in the availability of technology and passenger comfort levels with its use.
  6. Boarding, security, and identity verification remain the three areas where average comfort levels are highest when it comes to the use of biometrics – Boarding (7.59), security (7.57), and identify verification (7.42) out of 10.
  7. Passengers want to see better flight options and more automated checks before arriving at the airport, enabling them to arrive at the airport ready to fly.
  8. Three in four passengers expect to book intermodal trips in the coming year, with growing interest in technology to streamline processes such as baggage handling across the entire journey.
  9. When identifying valuable smart solutions on an intermodal journey, 33 per cent expressed desire for a feature enabling them to drop off their baggage at the journey’s start point and have it seamlessly delivered to the destination.
  10. Sustainability initiatives have grown in importance to passengers in 2023.
  11. Despite playing a key role in the passenger decision-making process, sustainability may not influence their decision to travel more.
  12. At the booking stage, passengers have indicated that the primary source of anxiety is now flight delays and cancellations.

Expressing confidence in the industry’s investment in digitisation, David Lavorel, CEO, SITA said:

As the industry looks to ramp up spending on technology, they can rest assured that passengers will welcome automated, self-service options in the airport. It will also help airlines and airports grow without sacrificing the passenger experience.

With the demand for travel looking strong and the industry committed to technological advancement, the findings of this report will help to keep the industry at the forefront of innovation whilst prioritising passenger expectations.


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Generative AI as a decision maker in revenue management

Generative AI as a decision maker in revenue management

Artificial Intelligence. It is hard to dispute that the future lies with AI, but are airlines doing everything they can to stay ahead of the curve? AI has existed for a while but has only hit the mainstream in the last few years. The most common use cases are routine task automation, customer service improvement, and rule-based tasks such as revenue optimization. All of these use Machine learning and AI to study the previous actions of humans and apply them automatically to future decisions. What happens when you allow the AI to transform from a decision-support system into a decision-making system? Let’s dive into how Generative AI is changing the airline industry.


What is so special about generative AI?

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning refer to any model that can create a result based on supplied data. When moving into the world of Generative AI, we reach models that can create something entirely new after understanding the provided data. The most known instance of generative AI today is ChatGPT. The way it works is that when given two words, the AI can predict the next most probable word. Such a model is driven by a Goal supplied to it by the user. Now imagine taking that same thought process, but instead of text, we apply it to market data.

When provided with rich data that every airline has, Generative AI can understand an airline’s market down to the most granular level and then make market move decisions, taking into account the actions and reactions of all market participants: The airline, The buyers, and the competitors.


Truly understanding demand using AI

Demand is the bread and butter of any revenue management department. If we can forecast and understand demand accurately, we can price correctly and capture the most revenue.

Analysts spend hours upon hours dissecting data to predict how demand will change. The most significant limitation of humans is that we can consider at most 3-5 factors when deciding. When it comes to demand, the amount of factors that need to be considered is in the tens. By feeding the same data airlines use today into a generative AI engine that can digest internal and external data such as weather, stock prices, entertainment shows, and other things that impact demand, airlines can genuinely understand and react to live demand. Instead of five factors per decision, the AI will consider ten or twenty and do it faster and more accurately. A generative AI engine can create tens of thousands of demand curves and discover the most probable one and its demand elasticity.


Dealing with the competition

Competition is one of the most significant impacts on any revenue management decision. The actions of our competitors affect decision-making directly, and the key to success is to understand and foresee what my competition will do. Once again, the knowledge of historical competitor actions can inform us of their future decisions, but what about other factors?

Competitors adapt their pricing strategies, and relying on historical data is not enough anymore. When applying a Generative AI engine to competitive analysis, a brand new dimension of simulating competitor reactions comes into play. Imagine if you could decide on a tentative price, see how your competition reacts, and determine if it was the right decision. Imagine doing that ten thousand times for every single pricing decision, all in milliseconds. This isn’t a dream. It’s done today in e-commerce.

Generative AI engines also learn from live data, so every single pricing decision gives it another data point as to the pricing strategies of their competitors, allowing the forecasting of competitive behaviours to become much simpler and more accurate.


Putting it all together, from decision support to decision making

The possibilities with Generative AI engines are immense, but how can you harness them to your goals? The greater the degrees of freedom given, the greater the result such an engine can produce. An AI engine that accurately forecasts demand, optimizes prices to the fare base level, controls inventory allocation across RBDs, and publishes automatically creates a significant revenue uplift. Such an engine is agnostic to the airline type because it learns the singular market for each airline. A legacy airline and an ultra-low-cost airline are just different markets for the AI to learn. A Generative AI engine is a decision-making machine that can empower airlines to capture hidden and lost revenue by transforming the entire pricing approach.


The power of generative AI

Now, Imagine taking everything above and giving it a voice. By applying existing LLM technologies, You can talk to the Generative Pricing and Inventory Engine. Ask why it made a particular decision, and discuss the best way to increase the load factor by 10% in a certain O/D. Ask it to make you a report about competition performance over the last week, every Monday at 8 am, and send it to your email. Generative AI can empower airlines across all departments, giving a voice to the airline’s private data for the first time.


AI is the future, and the future is already here. With shifting market shares and revenue generation, the first-to-market advantage of airlines willing to embrace generative AI and empower their departments with its possibilities will be evident in the coming years. Fetcherr is leading the charge and bringing the future to airlines today, with Azul and Virgin Atlantic already in production.

Interested in learning more? Join the airlines embracing the future and contact us at Don’t forget to mark your calendar for September 27th, when we will host a workshop showcasing our system in production and present a case study with one of our customers.


Article by Fetcherr


Approaching the business case for the Order Transformation

Approaching the business case for the Order Transformation

Within the airline IT and commercial departments, everyone is talking about the Order Transformation, or the airline’s digital transformation in more general terms. Ignoring this completely will put an airline into a position of vulnerability in the next few years – vulnerable to the competition which has moved forward, and vulnerable to your PSS (Passenger Service System) provider which might dictate your pace of change.

There are several elements to consider in the case for change – future state architecture, functional benefits, how to transition and many other aspects. However, none of the elements are quite as daunting as trying to build the business case.

Luckily, airlines do not need to start from scratch. Some work has been done over the years which can be used as a reference or starting point. These are mainly the McKinsey study from 2019 and the more recent business case created by IATA (International Air Transport Association) with the Modern Airline Retailing Consortium specifically for the Order Transformation. Of course, many airlines will have their own experience with similar business cases due to investments in NDC (New Distribution Capability), enhanced eCommerce and similar digitally transformative projects.

There are several factors to consider when working through the business case for the Offer and Order Transformation.

  1. The starting point and approximate target state: without knowing this, or at least having an idea of what the target state may be, it will be difficult to identify costs and benefits. And, while we may not know with which solution providers we may be working, or which new ancillaries or better services we may be able to offer in three, five or ten years, having an idea of the direction is essential.
  2. What the revenue drivers are likely to be: this will often be linked more to the offer transition than the order component, however several airlines have already found that they cannot realise their offer vision without solving the “order” challenge as well. Moving to dynamic pricing may be possible with enhancing the offer and not the order, however will you be able to exploit all the benefits? Or do you calculate factors such as a potential increase of conversion of sales due to the better offers or improved customer servicing you can enable through order? There are many potential revenue drivers, however many of these are often based on various prerequisites – some of these not being technical but rather contractual.
  3. The cost savings: this element ranges from potential distribution cost savings to process enhancements which simplify the business to, potentially, having the ability to remove certain solution components altogether. Often, the challenge on the cost saving element in such a large transformation programme is that the business case is made for a three or five-year period. However, with the offer and order transformation, many of the benefits will only be achieved towards the latter part of the transformation, thus only having a positive contribution once the transformation is complete. Thus, we recommend creating a post transformation calculation as well, which should help show if the cost of the transformation will render financial benefits during or only after the project, and which savings (and revenue) can be expected after completion. The removal of software and solutions is an important one. There are considerable opportunities to modernise the system landscape and interfaces well beyond just the offer and order management solution, as the processes are undergoing considerable change. Thus, a solid sketch of the future potential solution and business processes will certainly help understand which solutions are needed in the future and where savings can be achieved.
  4. The less obvious and substantiable factors: can factors such as customer satisfaction be converted into revenue? There are studies which clearly state that customer satisfaction and conversion are linked. Or that personalisation and increased conversion go together. However, conversion, the effects of customer service and satisfaction and similar are much more difficult to put into numbers which are not based purely on statistics. Furthermore, there are many other factors which could influence this. For example, if we enhance customer service capability considerably and NPS (Net Promoter Score) shows that we have great customer satisfaction, however we then have considerable delays due to airport congestion, customer satisfaction may well sink.
  5. The investment: of course this could (and some may argue, should) be part of the cost aspect. I have separated this to differentiate between cost savings in operations, servicing, processes, and sales from the actual capex spend. The main investment factors will be in new solution components (or re-engineering existing ones) and into the workforce needed for the project. The investment into people and processes should not be underestimated at this stage. Moving to offer and order without considerably reviewing and rethinking business process and data flows will end up in the rebuilding of legacy. However, with the redesign towards a retail environment, we must also invest into a retail mindset, and an organisation which is structured and trained to understand, live and breathe airline retailing.


While the above categories (cost, revenue, etc.,) are obviously part of any business case, Travel in Motion has seen some of these ignored or forgotten. In some cases, we have seen airlines and vendors challenged to define and decide which elements should be considered for each, and for example, if the soft factors such as improved customer service should be considered or not. These choices will be individual to each airline, and may either be ignored (after careful consideration), included, or used to sway a decision.

Pulling the business case together will not be an easy task. It cannot be done in isolation. The business case must be part of a concept phase where the future target state is discussed, where the architectural concepts are outlined, where the business is involved in helping identify process improvements and current challenges to be overcome and numerous other aspects. Thus, to create a solid business case, there must already be investment into time and resources, and potentially external support from companies such as Travel in Motion or many of our other industry colleagues and competitors. There will be workshops to share knowledge and align concepts between departments, and some airlines have even held workshops with vendors to understand their views on the change. Not a single vendor in the airline commercial space is ignoring this change and each has their own ideas and plans for the transition, which makes them great sources of ideas.

Do not expect the business case to be completed in a week. It is complex and multi-faceted. Do not assign one person in your organisation to try to master this – it is an unfair expectation, as this is extraordinarily complex and requires many parts of the organisation. Do not ignore the true costs, and use a realistic view of the potential revenues. While we would never criticise what companies like Bain and McKinsey did in their studies, we would say that those are ideal and very generic cases.

After all those “do not’s”, here is what we think you should do: plan a process of several months for the concept design of your offer to order transformation, involving various departments in the airline with clear expectations of what offer and order should deliver. Do not shy away from external help, be that from IATA to get an industry perspective, vendors to understand their paths to the future or industry experts like us to give a broader perspective and potentially an “outside in” view.


Article by Daniel Friedli, Travel in Motion GmbH