Flight Plan

Aviation industry shifts focus to digital

Chaitanya Pandit | Updated on: Apr 04, 2022
Automation is a key focus area for aviation

Automation is a key focus area for aviation

The pandemic has helped usher in automated touchpoints for tech-savvy flight passengers

The aviation sector has witnessed immense innovation and far-reaching technological advancements over the past few years, and this momentum has increased post the pandemic.

The pandemic has changed how passengers check in, board, and disembark from the aircraft during their flight. Digital touchpoints are being added throughout the passenger journey, right from booking an airline ticket to gathering feedback after the flight. Airlines have evolved during these difficult times and have integrated digital technology for a smooth and seamless experience.

Chatbots have become popular as these virtual assistants efficiently and instantly solve varied customer queries related to bookings, modifications, and cancellations. This has resulted in significant reductions in call volume across call centres. Self-bag drop is a contactless innovation that guests have been using at metro airports for the last few years, and this facility has been increasingly opted for in light of the pandemic.

Expanding services

We have been working towards adding this service across other airports that we operate in. The traditional counters for check-in that used to open two hours before departure have now been replaced by our all-time-available web check-in facility, following a health declaration by passengers.

Over 90 per cent of airline guests use this facility to check-in effortlessly. They can select priority check-in, baggage and boarding services, meals, excess baggage, a choice of their seat and much more before checking in for the flight and paying.

The key focus has been on automating several manual tasks to improve operational efficiency for airlines. Airlines are earning about 90 per cent of their total revenue through the digital Application Programming Interface (API) widely used in the airline distribution sector.

Cloud technology is mainly being adopted as it offers a cost-efficient server hosting option, high availability of services coupled with a dual-zone feature and disaster.

Many airlines are working on migrating their critical business applications to the cloud. Chatbots will shift to voice bots, providing a digital human touch.

The Digi Yatra program initiated by the regulatory authority of India will soon be implemented in the Indian aviation sector across all airports. This program is designed to empower an automated identification system of passengers during each touchpoint of the passenger journey throughout the airport. The aim is to reduce queues at each touchpoint, thereby improving turnaround time.

The writer is Head of IT Systems - Commercial, AirAsia India.

Published on April 03, 2022
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