Ninety-three per cent of airlines have mobile services for passengers as a top investment priority over the next three years, with 58 per cent investing in major programmes, a report said.
Airlines are focusing IT investment in the key areas of improving passenger service, reducing the cost of business operations and revenue generation, said the 14th annual SITA/Airline Business IT Trends Survey, which represents the views of more than half of the world’s top 100 carriers.
Passenger service is the top priority and mobile services for passengers tops the list with 58 per cent of airlines planning major programs in the next three years. An additional 35 per cent 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 per cent of the airlines plan to do so.
But the real transformation is not just in the area of sales, this year’s survey shows that airlines are using mobile apps right across the business.
By 2015, almost nine out of ten airlines plan to have the following core services available via mobile: flight search, check-in, boarding passes, ticket purchase, flight status notification, ancillary services, with customer complaint handling and missing baggage management following closely.
Half of the airlines 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.
Francesco Violante CEO SITA, said: “This year’s survey shows how airlines are committed to mobile across the whole business. 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.”
Nine out of ten airlines are investing in social media over the next three years. Some 57 per cent of airlines believe social media can play a significant role in promoting sales with 39 per cent stressing its value in customer service.
Four out of ten promote flights via social media already, and almost 90 per cent plan to do so by 2015. Both social media and mobile open the door for a more personalized service, and 78 per cent of airlines in this year’s survey already have, or plan to, personalize sales offerings via their direct channels.
Over the last number of years, the SITA/Airline Business annual survey has shown the migration to mobile but the results this year show an absolute commitment from the airlines to a mobile future.