In June, IATA urged aviation stakeholders to “embrace data and digital transformation to help deliver a frictionless customer experience while enhancing safety and efficiency.”
The digital age is still relatively young. And even if some struggle to keep pace as the extent of data creation and mining has outpaced anything we witnessed in the same timeframe in the last century, airlines – like so many other industries – are indeed embracing the digital revolution. For better or worse, common business sense dictates that the organization must exploit this change for the advantages and opportunities that it presents. Staying behind is not an option.
Liberation from the Legacies
Regardless of business model, airline size, market or the competitor matrix, the digital era, as IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac pointed out, is liberating the industry from a century of accumulated legacies, “…delivering a much-needed modernization of distribution and back office processes.” Specifically, he was referring to IATA’s NDC and ONE Order programs, which are lending themselves to the digital transformation that so many airlines are going through or planning to undertake.
Of course few, if any, will say they have completed this process. This is because even the earliest innovators and adopters will recognize that this is an ongoing process for the foreseeable future. In fact, the innovators are the very cohort who recognize that this must be the case. They had the long-term vision and courage to lead while others pondered how they would break-up with, or at least stop being monogamous, with those legacy behemoths. The innovators will continue to have a long-term vision so that they will be the first to identify the future trends and will not miss a step as the digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down.
New Retail, Another Battlefield
‘Identifying Trends’ is the theme of this year’s TravelDaily Conference in Shanghai, of which Datalex is a proud sponsor. The event will explore how the travel industry can look beyond the noise of the digital travel landscape to see what emerging trends, products and technologies will help them to make accurate predictions and identify the next ‘big opportunity’.
Running with this theme, Datalex’s Head of APAC Chris Guo will be speaking on the panel ‘New Retail, Another Battlefield’. Retail is a key concept for airlines on the digital transformation journey. This panel will ask the questions, what will airlines be like in the new retail era, and what will be the next trends in aviation retailing.
This discussion will be of interest to airlines at any stage of their travel retail journey. Whether they are an innovator or a laggard, airlines that identify the need to create their own niche through the retail offering will always be keen to learn how best to leverage technology, data or machine learning to improve the offer. As well as increasing revenue by improving the offer, these tools work best when they work together to establish that ‘frictionless customer experience’ that IATA espouses. Create this, and you have created the pathway to personalisation that will incubate future and sustainable customer loyalty.
The TravelDaily Conference and Digital Travel Show takes place 27-29 August at the Shanghai International Convention Centre. Click here to contact us and arrange a meeting with Datalex at the conference.