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Do you know the next steps in your PSS journey?

Published on  29 August by Allison O'Neill , Vice President, Passenger Solutions, SITA
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All businesses evolve – from startups to mature organizations every business needs to evolve and grow to realize new opportunities and adapt to change. Airlines are no exception and it’s no surprise that they don’t always follow the same path to growth. Along the way, there will be decisions about which business direction to take next.

Passengers’ expectations for a more personalized travel experience are still on the rise, with the demand for omni-channel sales and distribution capabilities higher than ever. Airlines are having to adapt to evolving business models or market-specific needs.  And their IT systems need to be responsive but without unnecessary complexity and cost.

Working with airlines around the world the one thing I have noticed, again and again, is that no matter how much airlines plan for their future business, as they progress they often require different capabilities than the ones they started out with. This may result in them examining their passenger services system (PSS) to see how it can provide the functionality needed at each step along the way.

Got what it takes?

At SITA we are often involved in that examination and our team of consultants see that there are consistencies across all regions, all types of business structures and all airline sizes. Everyone needs to check out the essentials and the enablers when selecting the ideal PSS provider. There are a few things you need to consider and grill your suppliers on before you make your decision.

The Essentials

There is no getting away from it, certain components are must-haves. Core systems provide the building blocks of the airline passenger services system:

  • Reservations, Inventory, Fulfilment, Pricing, E-Commerce, Departure Control and related services.

These are the starting blocks on which to build your business.

The Enablers

Wherever the airline is in its current business model it must consider the evolving and growing business. It needs flexibility to:

  • Branch out into partnerships with other carriers through code share, interlining, perhaps joining an alliance. You’ll also want to broaden your channels of distribution and the different markets those channels reach, such as corporate and international buyers.
  • Build additional sources of revenue. You can unbundle and re-bundle the components of your services and deliver them in new, creative ways. This can be a win-win proposition for your airline and your customers alike. You can be competitive on price, while opening new revenue streams by offering a base fare with upsell options.
  • Step up the passenger experience. Make self-service the main channel through which customers experience your brand. It can help you increase efficiency and reduce costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Recognize customers and build enduring customer relationships. Get to know your regular travelers better. Value them as individuals, and treat them accordingly. Customer focus is not just the function of a single application. It’s an operating standard that’s embedded across the airline system and processes.
  • Get smart with data - harness it in real-time, with great accuracy. The masses of available information can be used to improve your airline’s operation, and turned into actionable intelligence. Make better use of this data and you can broaden the opportunities to keep passengers happy and create more revenue.

In this rapidly changing business environment your PSS partner needs to be with you for the whole journey, no matter which direction you take.

Want to discuss your PSS Journey?

Join us at the Aviation Festival in London, stand #121, and take the opportunity to meet with our solution experts from Air Travel and Passenger Solutions.

Want to learn why more than 90 airlines and ground handlers, boarding over 152 million passengers each year, rely on Horizon® PSS? Read our paper 'The next steps – Your journey to the future’.

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