Along with most other industries, airline operations are undergoing a fundamental transformation as mobile apps permeate every link in their value chain and positively impact core aspects of operations. The 14th annual SITA/Airline Business IT Trends Survey shows 93% of airlines have mobile services for passengers as a top investment priority over the next three years, with 58% investing in major programs.
The survey, which represents the views of more than half of the world's top 100 carriers, reports that airlines are focusing IT investment in the key areas of improving passenger service, reducing the cost of business operations and revenue generation. Passenger service is the top priority and mobile services for passengers tops the list with 58% of airlines planning major programs in the next three years. An additional 35% are investing in research and development.
In the area of sales and distribution, mobile has taken hold with more than half of airlines already selling tickets via mobile devices and by 2015, 89% of the airlines plan to do so.
The survey suggests that the real transformation goes beyond streamlining the ticket selling process, showing that airlines are using mobile apps right across the business. By the end of 2015, almost nine out of ten airlines plan to have the following core services available via mobile:
- Flight search
- Boarding passes
- Ticket purchase
- Light status notification
- Ancillary services
- Customer complaint handling
- Missing baggage management
Half of the airlines surveyed have already implemented mobile services for flight search and check-in with close to half also providing boarding passes, ticket purchase and flight status notifications. Mobile apps are being used to improve the passenger experience, reduce operating costs and generate revenue. This is the second year that mobile services for passengers tops the list of investment programs and it is the adoption of mobile apps across sales, customer services and passenger processing that truly shows that airlines are committed to transformation.
Over the past several years, the SITA/Airline Business annual survey has demonstrated the migration to mobile but the results this year show an absolute commitment from the airlines to a mobile future.