The airline industry continues to be faced with the most challenging of times yet, equally, faces the most opportunistic time in terms of adopting new, more modern, flexible, innovative digital retail technologies.
Traveller’s digital expectations are higher than ever and booking behaviour remains erratic with demands for greater, real-time flexibility. To keep pace, airline digital transformation is paramount. Legacy technology is slowing airlines down, when they need, more than ever, to speed up.
From an airline perspective, the need for speed via automation, AI, cloud technologies and for flexibility, is greater than ever before. The AI powered dynamic pricing opportunity is key but remains untapped. Customer centricity and contactless travel are the overwhelming themes for digital investment in areas such as Biometrics, Dynamic Offer, Payment Flexibility and AI. Faster strategic investment in One Order is on the horizon. And crucially airlines recognize that in order to be successful in their digital transformation strategy, they need to transform organizationally with a digital mindset and culture.
A time of crisis brings with it the opportunity for greater innovation and change. In a recent independent and anonymous survey commissioned by Datalex, we asked airlines what their top digital transformation priorities are for the next three years. Their responses can be categorised into the five key areas:
- A Digital Customer Centric Experience – with initiatives for an enhanced travel experience including customer centric pricing and offers, biometrics and contactless travel, empowering travellers with digital self-service.
- Artificial Intelligence and Automation- for operational efficiencies, to drive greater flexibility and enable airlines to power superior customer interactions and drive increased revenues
- Data - to really make personalisation of the traveller experience a reality.
- Cloud Transition - to achieve greater efficiencies, greater agility as well as cost reductions via SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
- Payment Innovation – to allow for more choice, flexibility and modern ways to pay.
Now is a time for digital renewal. A digital renewal that empowers airlines to respond to perpetual uncertain and dynamic times. The combination of the right digital tech executed by an airline with a digital centric mindset and culture, and with the digital customer at its heart – will be the winner.
Datalex is on a mission to drive forward this digital renewal in 2022 and beyond.
Datalex engaged an independent and international market research consultancy firm Censuswide to conduct anonymous research with over 100 senior airline executives in 8 countries worldwide (Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Singapore, UK and US) and with 10,000 travellers in 10 countries worldwide (Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, UAE, UK and US). This research was conducted in late November 2021 and comprises both quantitative and open, qualitative questions. The research report can be downloaded here: https://content.datalex.com/the-digital-airline-and-customer-2022