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7th annual Insight Sessions

Published on  17 June by Arthur Calderwood , Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales Operations, SITA
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I had the pleasure of welcoming delegates to the 2015 Air Transport IT Summit this morning, as well as introducing this year’s Insight Sessions. As I wrote yesterday, this has been a highly anticipated event and you could feel the buzz in the auditorium as the sessions were getting started.

The first Insight Session, Are airlines ready to connect with travelers?, moderated by Max Kingsley-Jones, Editor of Airline Business and Executive Director Content of Flightglobal, centered on the results of the 2015 Airline IT Trends Survey. Nigel Pickford, Director, Market Insight, SITA, dove into the survey’s findings, which will be released to the public tomorrow.

The next Insight Session, Travelers & technology: it’s an emotional journey, was moderated by Catherine Mayer, Vice President, SITA. Renaud Irminger, Director of the SITA Lab, kicked off the session by going through the results of this year’s Passenger IT Trends Survey.

Munich Airport’s Senior Vice President IT, Michael Zaddach, spoke about their investment in free Wi-Fi for passengers, linking its importance to the fact that 49% of their airport revenues come from non-aviation sources. Using Wi-Fi to connect with passengers via their mobile devices is a key driver of those revenues.

Gilles Brentini, Innovation Manager IT, Geneva Airport, explained how the airport is exploring robots and mobile apps to anticipate passenger needs and provide a positive experience.

Pearl Pu Faltings, Human Computer Interaction Group of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), talked about how emotions motivate passenger behavior and the learning opportunity this presents to the industry.

The third Insight Session, Creating a sense of place: airports get personal, was moderated by SITA’s Vice President of Airport Solutions, Matthys Serfontein. Robert O’Meara, Director Media & Communications, ACI Europe, gave some notable examples of how airports in Europe are creating a sense of place for passengers, including Bologna Airport’s “Follow me” campaign with Lamborghini.

Piet Demunter and Pedro Casimiro of Brussels Airport and Brussels Airlines, respectively, gave a joint presentation on the importance of airlines and airports working together on the ground and in the air to enhance the passenger journey.

SITA’s Carlos Kaduoka, Director of Airport Solutions, explained how technology can enable airports to connect peoples and cultures to create a sense of place.

Nigel Pickford made an encore appearance to moderate this year’s final Insight Session, Contextual engagement at 30,000 feet: the new personalized on-board experience? Tim Grosser, Head of digital transformation, IATA, gave lessons learned from the SkyZen app which links wearable technology with flight data. Michel Dulery of Digitas expressed the need for innovation to begin with a problem that customers are facing and to build on real-world experiences, including failure.

Last but not least, SITA OnAir CEO Ian Dawkins provided a holistic view of nose-to-tail connectivity that takes all perspectives into consideration: passenger, cabin crew, cockpit crew, aircraft, flight operations, and air traffic control.

For more information, see the speaker presentations from today’s sessions on the event microsite. And don’t miss photos from today’s activities.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a final blog post discussing the plenary sessions and wrap-up of this year’s Summit.

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