GENEVA – Faced with increasing disruptions, luggage backlogs and staff shortages, airports and airlines are investing more in technology to digitize operations and speed up the passenger journey by offering more self-service options.
SITA’s 2022 Air Transport IT Insights Report, released today, reveals that IT solutions are seen as central to their success as CIOs look to ensure operations are efficient while remaining agile and resilient as they recover from the pandemic. This has spurred an acceleration in digitization, with airlines and airports seeking key technology solutions to enhance their operations to prevent disruption, while automating the passenger experience.
IT spending in the industry is expected to continue its steady year-over-year growth trend since 2020 to support this digitization, with 96% of airlines and 93% of airports expecting their IT spending to remain the same or increase in 2023 compared to 2022. IT spending by airlines and airports is estimated to have risen to $37 billion and $6.8 billion, respectively, last year.
David Lavorel, SITA CEO, said: “Air travel has recovered from the pandemic faster than anyone in the industry initially expected, particularly in Europe and the US. While the recovery is welcome, airports and airlines are finding themselves Disadvantaged by a shortage of staff and resources. This puts pressure on operations, leading to an increased risk of congestion, delays, cancellations and mishandled baggage. Digitization is seen as key to addressing these challenges, offering greater scalability and flexibility.”
Operate digitally to achieve more with less
Airlines place great emphasis on IT tools to manage disrupted operations and provide the best possible passenger experience even with staff shortages. Over the next three years, 90 percent or more of airlines will invest in IT service management enhancements and disruption warning systems, as well as business intelligence initiatives for aircraft turnover management, passenger handling and baggage handling.
Business intelligence solutions are also at the forefront of airport IT investment priorities, with 93 percent or more of airports planning to implement business intelligence initiatives for asset management and flight operations by 2025. The emphasis on agility, adaptability to disruptions, and timely communication with customers and stakeholders is evident; by 2025, half of airports are looking to implement automated predictive Expand operations.
Simplify the Passenger Journey with Smart Technology
Airlines and airports alike are investing in key technologies to provide a smooth passenger experience at every step of the journey, helping to contain bottlenecks and, in turn, allowing key staff resources to be reallocated to focus on more complex tasks. Biometrics and self-service technologies are gaining traction.
Airlines have identified self-service technology as key to helping manage irregular operations, and this remains their top investment priority for 2022, followed by contactless solutions and biometric ID management.
To support effective baggage management and empower passengers after a period of severe disruption, most airlines plan to provide real-time baggage tracking information to passengers by 2025.
Airports are also prioritizing self-service initiatives, with a particular emphasis on self-service check-in and self-bag drop, with plans to implement 86% by 2025. Airports implementing secure single biometric tokens across all touchpoints have surged from just 3% in 2018. From 2021 to 2022, it will reach 39%, and more than half of the plans will be implemented in the next three years. This marks a strong commitment to the next generation of travel experiences, with passengers using their face as a boarding pass to easily navigate through the airport.
SITA is an IT provider to the air transport industry, providing solutions to airlines, airports, aircraft and governments. Our technologies enable more seamless, safe and sustainable air travel.
With approximately 2,500 customers, SITA’s solutions improve operational efficiency at more than 1,000 airports while delivering on the promise of the connected aircraft to customers with 17,000 aircraft worldwide. SITA also provides technology solutions to help more than 70 governments strike the balance between secure borders and seamless travel. Our communications network connects every corner of the globe and bridges 45% of the air transport world’s data exchanges.
In 2021, SITA becomes a CarbonNeutral® Company compliant with the CarbonNeutral Protocol, the world’s leading standard for carbon neutral schemes. We are reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all of our operations through the United Nations-endorsed Planet+ programme, while also developing solutions to help the aviation industry meet its carbon reduction goals, including reducing fuel burn and improving operational efficiency. In 2022, we announced our commitment to develop science-based emissions reduction targets to meet the Science-Based Reduction Initiative Net Zero standard.
SITA is 100% owned by the industry and driven by its needs. It is one of the most diverse companies internationally, providing services in more than 200 countries.
For more information, visit www.sita.aero