In spite of ongoing economic uncertainties worldwide, the outlook for air travel is positive. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts airlines will carry 3.6 billion passengers in 2016. That's an increase of 800 million from 2011.
We can get an idea of how well the industry is prepared to meet this growth by looking at airline and airport IT investments for the coming years, and how they compare with what passengers want.
Luckily, SITA has done a ton of research in this area. Our four annual reports and surveys track technology trends in the industry. Not only do they monitor the opinions of leading airline and airport executives, they also collect input from our most important stakeholder - the passenger.
Combing through the available data, it's clear that by the end of 2015, there will be significant changes in air travel. For example:
- The way we buy travel products will be significantly different
- Self-service will have come of age, giving passengers greater control over their journeys
- Smartphones and social media will dominate passenger interactions for customer services
What does this mean for our industry?
Simply put, higher quality business and customer intelligence will be essential. It's not just a simple matter of more is better, or quality vs. quantity. Airlines and airports will need to accommodate both more passengers and the increasingly personal demands of each and every passenger. And to succeed, IT and business intelligence will need to play bigger roles than they already do.
To learn more about how these changes will impact the industry's IT needs, I invite you to download our latest report, Flying into the future. The report is free of charge, but registration is required.