Operating in a volatile environment, airlines today are influenced by a variety of external factors that impact their business – either on the ground or in the air.
Extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, mechanical problems, labour issues, air traffic congestion, security alerts and other disruptions can not only damage an airline’s brand value but also generate unexpected costs, not to mention the fact that it puts tremendous pressure on the airports and the ground staff to accommodate passengers on next flights.
To deal with such delays, airlines as well as to an extent airports need the agility to restore normal services swiftly and cost-efficiently.
Airports, both large and small, are noisy, crowded and stressful. As global air traffic continues to grow—the International Air Traffic Association estimates the current volume will double by 2035—and airports everywhere will be feeling the impact.
Crowded terminals and runways, longer queues and wait times and increased number of frustrated passengers seems like an impending doom for the travel business.
Airport operators who cannot expand their infrastructures due to environmental issues, space restrictions or a lack of capital must find new approaches to be more efficient and responsive to passenger needs.
Technology and access to accurate data can greatly improve an airport’s operational efficiency to improve passenger experience, which is the need of the hour with millions of travellers taking to air.
International hubs such as Dubai, Changi and Helsinki are concentrating on how to deliver high quality experience to travellers using their services.
Massive airport expansions and an emphasis on creating Zen-like atmospheres, or designing more open spaces and adding facilities is fine but to deliver the best possible passenger experience involves synchronizing with multiple operators by getting ahead of issues, before they become disruptions.
A Total Airport Management approach is needed by using real-time data to detect, and even predict, passenger needs hours in advance, and deal with emerging situations before they become problems.
A holistic view of the passenger, that begins even before they leave their homes. Weather, road and rail conditions can impact their arrival times at the airport, while flight delays can change the departure times and could impact their onward journey. Knowing these factors beforehand and understanding passenger volume and activity helps airports optimize wait times and better coordinate the passenger experience.
Retail partners better anticipate foot traffic and revenues.
Using data on meteorological conditions, flight prioritization, runway traffic loads, aircraft turn-around times, and baggage and passenger operations mean reduced delays, unnecessary fuel burn, and cost savings for airlines.
Outside data sources, such as weather and traffic information, can be pulled in to support decision making (e.g. by anticipating flight delays due to rain, fog or likely storms airports can call in more staff to handle the unforeseen delays).
What passengers want from air travel is to get to their destinations on time with minimal inconvenience and stress.
To provide this experience for growing volumes of passengers, airports must forecast capacity demand years, seasons, months, weeks, days in advance, to be as prepared as possible.
Information regarding estimated wait times for security screenings, customs processing and baggage arrival should be used on airport displays to provide airport maps and show passengers how to get to where they need to go without unnecessary delay.
As air travel increases, airports that lack the funding and/or space to expand their facilities must find ways to minimize disruptions and deliver exceptional service to passengers and airlines alike by adopting technology-driven capabilities that provide greater end-to-end visibility and planning across landside and airside operations.
When your customers only travel every now and then, their airport experience is a big deal. Your infrequent air travellers are often vacationers, and their experience forms an integral part of their overall vacation experience, setting the mood for the entire trip.