The pace of change in travel is accelerating and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for airlines to keep up with the rapidly evolving habits of both corporate and leisure travellers. Eric Venter, CEO of Comair and kulula, says there are four major trends that are causing a revolution in the aviation industry:
- Personalised service through big data analytics: There is increasing pressure for airlines and airports to use the volume of data at their fingertips to make air travel more seamless and hassle-free for the customer. This will take the form of completely automated self-check in and boarding.
- Beacon technology: Making use of devices that travellers carry around with them, such as smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, airports and airlines can make use of beacon technology to locate passengers. This is particularly useful in cases where passengers are in danger of missing their flight, where beacon technology will be able to identify whether the passenger is in the airport, and whether they have made it through check in and security.
- Big players entering the travel space: Companies like Google and Amazon already have vast amounts of information on people – data that will be most useful should they decide to enter the travel space. Should this materialise, various players in the travel industry will face challenges, so the pressure is on airlines to create an environment that holds onto the customer so that they are not tempted to rather use new major entrants.
- Hybridisation of airlines: Increased pressure to keep costs down has meant a blurring of the lines between full service and low cost carriers. The split between premium and budget players is far less noticeable than it was in previous years.