Loosen your grip on your technology to meet customer needs, says Gatwick

Loosen your grip on your technology to meet customer needs, says Gatwick

Pictured Michael Ibbitson

Gatwick has opened its API for sharing data, after partnering with easyJet to build an app earlier this year.

The move is aligned with chief information officer Michael Ibbitson’s view that the travel industry must embrace technology innovations and be prepared to share data.

Speaking at the SMART London joint event with London & Partners as part of London Technology Week, Ibbitson said that only by embracing collaboration can big travel companies provide “the seamless travel experience desired by customers”.

Established businesses should open up their technology, information and supply chains to early-stage, innovative companies if the future needs of customers are to be met, he said.

“Business and leisure travellers are looking for a seamless end-to-end experience which combines their travel, be it by plane, train or automobile, with their hotel and airport experience,” he said.

“The travel companies that succeed in the future will be those that relax their grip on their own technology and information to work in partnerships to give their customers what they want.”

Gatwick is now sharing the airport’s operational data for the research and development community to have realtime access to data via an API, on request.

At the event it was announced that the Traveltech Lab has created an Associate Membership scheme to enable more start-ups to participate in the its activity.

The lab is an incubator created by the Mayor’s promotional organisation London & Partners and The Trampery, it brings together tech start-ups and big corporates in the travel industry

Andrew Cooke, chief operating officer of London & Partners said: “Over 100 companies originally applied to be part of the Traveltech Lab and as news of the initiative has spread, we are now receiving requests from companies on a daily basis that wish to join the community. p>“Associate Membership will allow a larger number of companies to enjoy many of the benefits of the incubator programme including drop-in access to the lab – allowing us to expand the strong ecosystem we are creating to support and nurture the growth of tech companies in this sector.

““If major companies embrace partnerships and incorporate the dynamic innovation coming out of initiatives like the Traveltech Lab, London can cement its position as a global leader in travel technology.”

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