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Strategic Use of Technology Can Improve Airline Passenger Experience

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The International Air Transport Association is calling on governments and the airline industry to join forces and make better use of modern technology.

During a speech in Warsaw at the IATA Global Airport and Passenger Symposium (GAPS), Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said greater efficiency can be achieved in the industry and passenger journeys can be improved through the strategic use of technology.

To improve the passenger experience, technology options should focus on what the passenger wants, according to de Juniac.

A 2019 IATA Global Passenger Survey revealed strong preferences among travelers for technology that does such things as enables tracking of baggage in real-time and expedites a passenger’s journey through the various airport processes.

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The industry has solutions for both these passenger expectations, said de Juniac, in the form of the One ID initiative, and RFID for baggage tracking. Both need the support of stakeholders, including governments, he said.

IATA’s One ID initiative is helping the industry to transition towards a day when passengers can move from the curb to the gate using a single biometric travel token such as a face, fingerprint or iris scan.

“Biometric technology has the power to transform the passenger experience. Airlines are strongly behind the One ID initiative. The priority now is ensuring there is regulation in place to support the vision of a paperless travel experience that will also ensure that their data is well protected,” said de Juniac.

On baggage, airlines and airports are working together to implement tracking at key journey points, such as loading on and off aircraft. In June, airlines committed to the global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking.

“Implementation of RFID has seen some good progress, especially in China where the technology has been thoroughly embraced. In Europe several airlines and airports are successfully working together to introduce RFID, notably Air France at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The industry needs to be reminded that in addition to meeting our customers’ expectations, implementation of RFID will help reduce the USD2.4 billion cost to airlines from mishandled bags,” said de Juniac.

De Juniac’s commentary also touched on the key role infrastructure will play in meeting customer expectations.

Developing infrastructure that can cope with future demand, without relying on ever-bigger airports, is essential, he said.

In cooperation with Airports Council International (ACI), the NEXTT (New Experience Travel Technologies) initiative explores important changes in technology and processes to improve operational efficiency and the customer experience.

NEXTT is examining various new operational approaches including:

—Increasing off-site processing, which could reduce or even eliminate queues.

—Using artificial intelligence and robotics to more efficiently use space and resources.

—Improving data sharing among stakeholders to enhance efficiency.

“Accommodating growth by building bigger and bigger airports will be challenging from a public policy perspective,” said de Juniac. “NEXTT provides a major opportunity to focus on using the latest industry technology standards for a sustainable future. “

The CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Rafal Milczarski, who also spoke at the event, reinforced the need for industry transformation using new technologies to ensure a sustainable future for aviation.

“As Poland’s flag carrier and the leading airline in CEE, we believe that European aviation needs significant transformation and we opt for an industry that is fair for all. For airlines to remain competitive and sustainable and to respond to growing passenger demand, it is crucial to implement solutions which will be based on cutting-edge technologies,” said Milczarski.

Before wrapping up his comments at the event de Juniac also touched on two key issues that are also critical to the industry’s future – gender balance and climate change.

With regard to gender balance, De Juniac called for airlines to support the recently launched 25by2025 Campaign.

“Global air connectivity is delivered for people by people. We need a diverse workforce that has the training and skills for an increasingly digital and data-driven world. We will not have the capacity needed for the future if we don’t fully engage the potential of women in the workforce at all levels,” said de Juniac.

The 25by2025 Campaign is a voluntary program to address the airline industry’s gender imbalance. Participating airlines commit to increasing the number of women at senior levels and in key positions by 25 percent or to a minimum of 25 percent by 2025.

As for climate change, de Juniac said airlines have long recognized sustainability as the key to their license to grow and spread the benefits of global connectivity. These benefits, said de Juniac, are linked to 15 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For more than a decade, the industry has had a target to cap emissions from 2020, he said.

This goal is to be secured by the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which was agreed in 2016 and reaffirmed earlier this month.

By 2050, said de Juniac, the industry target is to cut net CO2 to half of 2005 levels.

Already emissions from the average journey are half what they were in 1990, according to IATA. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), the organization suggested, offer the biggest and most practical opportunity to cut carbon.

But IATA stressed that governments must develop a supportive policy framework to realize the potential of SAF.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source |

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Numerous Cities on List For Potentially Losing Air Travel

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The ball is now in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s court when it comes to deciding whether to grant the request of domestic airlines to significantly trim certain cities and airport from their respective service lists.

And, ironically, it comes at a time when the majority of the country is starting to reopen for business in the wake of the effects from the coronavirus pandemic.

The government comment period on the matter ended on Thursday, leaving the matter to a decision by the DOT, which has not said when it will issue a ruling according to USA Today.

Airlines are looking to drop service to conserve some desperately needed cash, with demand for air travel having dropped to unprecedented lows. At one point, screenings by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were off 94 percent compared to a similar date last year. But as a condition of accepting federal grants and loans as part of the CARES Act stimulus package, U.S. carriers needed to maintain the same amount of service it offered prior to the coronavirus impact as well as seek permission from the DOT to drop routes.

But the cuts could be devastating to small airports.

According to USA Today, Anthony Dudas, the airport director in Williston, North Dakota, said that the town is a gateway to the rich Bakken oil fields. Before the pandemic, it had five daily flights from United and Delta. Now, those flights have been reduced to one a day for each of the two airlines. If Delta is granted permission to suspend service, the community will be down even further – serving a $275 million airport that opened last year.

“While we understand the need for air carriers to have flexibility in adjusting schedules and services, we believe the impact from significantly reducing air service to western North Dakota will be enormous,” Dudas wrote.

Here is the list of cities that could be dropped.

ALASKA AIRLINES

Charleston, South Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

El Paso, Texas

New Orleans

San Antonio, Texas

ALLEGIANT AIR

New Orleans

Ogdensburg, New York

Palm Springs, California

San Antonio

Springfield, Illinois

Tucson, Arizona

AMERICAN AIRLINES

Aspen, Colorado

Eagle, Colorado

Montrose/Delta, Colorado

Worcester, Massachusetts

CAPE AIR

Portland, Maine

Corvus Airlines

Goodnews Bay, Alaska

Kodiak, Alaska

Napakiak, Alaska

Napaskiak, Alaska

Platinum, Alaska

DELTA AIR LINES

Aspen, Colorado

Bangor, Maine

Erie, Pennsylvania

Flint, Michigan

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Lincoln, Nebraska

New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, North Carolina

Peoria, Illinois

Santa Barbara, California

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Williston, North Dakota

ELITE AIRWAYS

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

FRONTIER AIRLINES

Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina

Mobile, Alabama

Palm Springs

Portland, Maine

Tyler, Texas

JETBLUE AIRWAYS

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Palm Springs

Sacramento, California

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

Worcester, Massachusetts

Seaborne Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Culebra, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

SILVER AIRWAYS

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Huntsville, Alabama

Key West, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

SPIRIT AIRLINES

Asheville, North Carolina

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Greensboro/High Point, North Carolina

Plattsburgh, New York

SUN AIR EXPRESS

Nashville, Tennessee

SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES

Madison, Wisconsin

Philadelphia

Portland, Oregon

Sacramento

St. Louis, Missouri

UNITED AIR LINES

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pennsylvania

Charlotte Amalie

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Fairbanks, Alaska

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Ithaca/Cortland, New York

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Key West, Florida

Lansing, Michigan

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Rochester, Minnesota

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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