Airlines look to prioritise funding to invest in disruption management technology

by Martin Ferguson in Brussels

Airlines are increasingly diverting large chunks of cash into developing technology to manage flight disruptions, according to a new report.

The 2014 Airline IT Trends Survey, published by Sita and specialist publication Aviation Business, found that nine out of 10 airlines planned to use business intelligence (BI) to mitigate the impact of flight delays and cancelations.

Almost the same number said they would introduce self-service technologies to improve passenger services during periods of disruption.

The results of the study were unveiled to delegates at Sita annual airline IT summit in Brussels.

New technology will focus on four main areas; improved communications between airlines, employees and passengers; passenger recovery or re-bookings, and staff awareness and prevention. 

Sita chief executive Francesco Violante said: “The survey results show three quarters of airlines are increasing investment in new technology initiatives to manage their business.

“Innovation is absolutely vital in any business. In the past decade, airlines have achieved great success using technology to improve the passenger experience, and this year’s survey shows a new focus in the area of disruption management.”

Sita said informing passengers of disruptions in real-time via mobile was offered by just over half of the airlines surveyed, and that 92% planned to introduce the service by 2017.

More than one third of airlines currently use social media to keep passengers informed, with 80% planning to do so by 2017.

The Airline IT Trends Survey is an independent poll of senior IT personnel working within the top 200 passenger carriers.

The respondents together carry more than 50% of the world passenger traffic. Low cost carriers made up 13% of the survey, while 29% were airlines that carry more than 20 million passengers. 

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