Mumbai passengers express interest in mobile travel services

Date: 5 March 2014
Location: Mumbai


First generation mobile services don’t inspire regular use

Passengers at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai have expressed strong interest in accessing and purchasing travel services using their mobiles, according to a recent global survey from SITA. However, first generation mobile travel services are not yet appealing enough for passengers to use them regularly, reports the SITA/Air Transport World Passenger IT Trends Survey.

Smartphone penetration in Mumbai ranks among the lowest of all airports surveyed at 62%, compared to a global average of 76%. However, the desire to use mobile travel services is considerably higher in Mumbai in than other regions surveyed, according to the report. For example, 76% of Mumbai passengers would definitely access baggage status information on their mobiles, compared to 52% globally. In addition, 65% of passengers would make changes to their bookings on a mobile and 54% would buy tickets via mobiles, compared to a global average of 47% and 37% respectively.  

This interest seems to contradict Mumbai passengers’ current use of mobile services. Only 4% of Mumbai passengers use mobile check-in regularly, the lowest of all airports surveyed—compared to a global average of 8%. And 9% of passengers regularly use mobile boarding passes, compared to usage levels above 10% in airports in Atlanta and Frankfurt.   

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President, India and Subcontinent, SITA, said: “In India, there is an opportunity to promote more self-service in general, including via mobiles. Although passengers have not adopted self-service as quickly as they have at other airports in the world, this is changing steadily. Over the next decade, passenger numbers in India are expected to triple to 450 million. To help manage this growth, self-service, including mobile services, will become increasingly important.”

Jaikrishna added: “Our survey shows that airlines have a great opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and earn passenger loyalty by providing superior services such as travel services on the move. This includes enabling passengers to use their mobiles for everything from accessing information to checking in and boarding, and buying tickets and other travel services.”

When asked why they don’t use mobile services, 76% of Mumbai passengers cited usability concerns. Twenty-two percent of passengers said they feared the mobile services wouldn’t work when they needed them. However, 28% didn’t see any benefit in using current mobile apps, as compared to other options such as websites and SMS, and 27% said they considered the apps too complicated.

SITA and ATW conducted the eighth annual Passenger IT Trends Survey with a sample of the 299 million passengers who pass through six of the world's leading airport hubs: Abu Dhabi International; Beijing Capital International; Chhatrapati Shivaji International, Mumbai; Frankfurt International; GRU Sao Paulo International and Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta.

The survey included 2,489 passengers from more than 70 countries. Those surveyed comprised a mix of business and leisure travelers, and occasional and frequent flyers at all locations.

More information on this and other SITA surveys can be found at www.sita.aero/surveys-reports.