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Customer and digital trends shaping the Aviation industry

Customer and digital trends shaping the Aviation industry

The pandemic hiatus ignited a fierce case of wanderlust in 2021. Travellers embraced any opportunity to make up for lost time. They endured interminable queues, endless hold times, and even the occasional dose of dubious customer service with gritted teeth, their yearning for escape overriding any inconvenience. But those days are gone. Travellers have changed. Their tolerance for frustration has dwindled, replaced by a newfound set of expectations. Delays, hassles, and subpar service are no longer viewed as the inevitable toll for the thrill of the open road.

The aviation industry, long known for its stringent processes and rigid protocols, is facing a revolution propelled by these powerful forces to transform the way we travel today and deliver a smarter, friction-less, and more personalized travel experience in 2024. As per a recent ACI report, 2024 is expected to be a milestone for global passenger traffic recovery surpassing 2019, with airline revenues expected to grow 7.6% year over year.

To improve profitability, reduce costs and build new digital capabilities – airlines airports, and travel tech enterprises are embracing new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Contactless Solutions, Digital Retailing and Automation. We believe that below three trends will dominate in 2024 and accelerate the digital transformation.

1. One click assistance and 24*7 Virtual Assistance with AI

One click assistance and 24*7 Virtual Assistance with AI

The travel magic wand is already in our pocket. The smartphone with several travel apps that are enabled by magic of AI, provide the convenience of a personalized travel concierge available 24x7. An AI buddy curates bespoke itineraries based on our preferences and lifestyle, unlocks hidden gems and local experiences. The app reminds us of health forms, tracks the luggage, books everything from flights to lounge access, provides real time updates, and empowers the traveller as all desired services and information are just one-click way, making the journey seamless, stress-free while greatly enhancing customer experience.

2. Contactless solutions powered by Digital Identities

Digital Retail and Digital Economy

The travel industry is caught in a bind: airlines and airports struggle to offer a seamless experience for passengers due to budget cuts and workforce reductions, even as IATA's 2023 survey reveals a clear demand for speed and convenience, especially among millennials, Gen Z, and frequent flyers who crave integrated digital journey experience. SITA's Mega trends report echoes this need, highlighting the industry's search for scalable automation solutions. The answer lies in embracing digital identities. Replacing manual checks with biometric authentication, empowering passengers with self-service kiosks, and eliminating physical documents through secure digital wallets all fuel a contactless future where travel is faster, smoother, and more enjoyable for everyone.

This shift not only overcomes resource constraints but also speaks to the evolving wants of modern travellers, paving the way for a smoother, more safe and delightful journey from check-in and boarding to immigration checks and border control.

3. Digital Retail and Digital Economy

Digital Retail and Digital Economy

Travelers crave convenience and control. IATA data reveals a staggering 73% preference for card or digital payments, highlighting the demand for a frictionless experience. Airlines and airports are seizing this opportunity, embracing technologies like NDC and OOM to empower direct sales and personalized offers and orders. But this isn't just about convenience; it's about the overall experience by unleashing the potential of the digital economy. Mobile payments eliminating queues & reducing fatigue, streamlining operations, and unlocking new revenue streams. Buy-now-pay-later options attract new customer segments, while data-driven insights fuel targeted marketing and dynamic pricing strategies. Thereby, transforming the purchasing experience throughout the traveller’s journey through personalisation.

These customer & digital trends require the industry to modernise their legacy IT systems. Constrained by these legacy systems, airlines and airports are tethered to the ground, strangled by data silos and operational inflexibility. To ascend to a future of seamless travel powered by digital identities, personalized experiences enabled by One click assistance and 24*7 Virtual Assistance with AI, and competitive dominance offered by Digital Retail and Digital Economy, a strategic digital transformation is their only escape hatch. Modernizing reservation platforms, operational systems, and passenger management helps reduce cost reduction and improve NPS. It's about harnessing real-time data to fuel innovation, optimize sustainability, and outmanoeuvre competition in the digital landscape.

Coforge with more than three decades of experience in the global aviation industry has been enabling its clients to transform at the intersect of business and technology and make a long-term business impact.

Learn more about Coforge industry solutions and offerings addressing key client challenges.

Visit: Coforge | Travel, Transportation & Hospitality | Consulting & Technology Services

About Coforge

Coforge is a global digital services and solutions provider, that leverages emerging technologies and deep domain expertise to deliver real-world business impact for its clients. A focus on very select industries, a detailed understanding of the underlying processes of those industries, and partnerships with leading platforms provide us with a distinct perspective. Coforge leads with its product engineering approach and leverages Cloud, Data, Integration, and Automation technologies to transform client businesses into intelligent, high-growth enterprises. Coforge’s proprietary platforms power critical business processes across its core verticals. The firm has a presence in 21 countries with 26 delivery centers across nine countries.

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