Five priority areas have been identified as critical to rebuilding air travel post-COVID
Your Runway to Success, published by SITA, sets out five critical areas for the air transport industry’s rebuild in the next 18 months and highlights SITA’s remodeled solutions to tackle the major challenges facing air travel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past 12 months, COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the aviation industry financially and operationally. IATA estimates a net loss for the airline industry of $47.7 billion in 2021. IATA research also reveals that average passenger processing and waiting times have doubled from what they were pre-crisis during peak time – reaching three hours despite travel volumes hovering at around 30% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
With revenues dropping, growing passenger volumes, and new health requirements impacting operations, it is forcing airline and airport executives to refocus their IT spending priorities to address these challenges, as reflected in SITA’s 2020 Air Transport IT Insights. In response, SITA has quickly pivoted its portfolio by modifying or launching new products and solutions to meet increased air transport industry demands for a healthy, safe, and frictionless passenger experience, along with requirements for agility, resilience, and cost-efficiency.
David Lavorel, CEO of SITA AT AIRPORTS AND BORDERS, said: “As a key partner for the industry, and with over 1,000 airports, more than 18,000 aircraft, and over 60 governments around the world using our technology, it was important for us to provide solutions that are aligned to the industry’s priorities maximizing return on investment and managing volatility.”
Outlined in a new document called ‘Your Runway to Success,’ SITA highlights several solutions to address the five priority areas for IT investment in response to the changing demands of the industry following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The solutions recommended by SITA start first by addressing the new health requirements at the border through digitalization and then to the automation of the passenger journey to make it touchless and mobile-enabled. Around the operation of aircraft and airports, SITA technology is focused on driving greater efficiencies at a time when cost-efficiency is fundamental to recovery.
Sebastien Fabre, CEO of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, said: “Investing in the right technologies now will deliver short, medium, and long term benefits for our industry. Digitalization is a necessity. For example, for airlines, it allows them more flexibility to deal with changing demands, achieves greater operational and cost efficiencies, and ensures long-term sustainability.”
The five key areas identified by SITA where technology will have a major impact:
1. Digitalizing the new health requirements at the border
Avoiding long waiting times and lines in the airport as passenger traffic recovers will be one of the key indicators of success in managing health documentation. In response, SITA has automated the process – from submission to validation and verification – mitigating forged paper certificates and inefficiencies with manual document checking.
2. Automating the passenger journey with mobile and biometric solutions
SITA advocates a touchless airport experience, enabled by mobile and biometric technologies, to help reassure passengers, put them in control, make them feel safe, and create a hassle-free journey before, during, and on arrival, and beyond.
3. Delivering a touchless, mobile experience onboard with the next generation of inflight connectivity and digital applications
SITA’s Passenger IT Insights 2020 shows that more than two-thirds of all passengers opt to use their own device onboard to stay connected or access entertainment. With the touchless, mobile travel experience onboard the aircraft fast becoming the new industry standard, SITA recommends deploying its fast, uninterrupted connectivity onboard to deliver on this growing trend.
4. Driving more collaboration and cost-efficiency across airport operations
With a critical need for cost containment and greater agility in operations at the airport as demand fluctuates and increases, SITA advocates its cloud technologies and systems to help manage and optimize operations and enhance collaboration among the various stakeholders.
5. Driving greater efficiency and sustainability in aircraft operations
According to SITA, an area accelerated by COVID-19 is the digital transformation of the aircraft. SITA’s connected aircraft technology is delivering safer, more efficient, and more sustainable aircraft operations.