Jonny Cowlin

Why airlines have to take to the skies with the latest technology.

By Jonny Cowlin, Director, Energy, Infrastructure and Manufacturing.

Imagine waking up to breakfast in Berlin, lunching in Lisbon or dining in Dubai. Each of these places now lie within easy reach as air travel becomes quicker and cheaper. But what does this mean for the companies that take us around the world?

Consumers are flying high.

In recent years, jetting around the world has become easier for us. We can quickly find cheap flights to a range of destinations, and it means we can enjoy a short break whenever we like.

This all seems ideal from a consumer perspective, but greater access to cheaper flights puts pressure on airlines. Budget operators create heavy competition, which keeps profit margins low. And this means that companies have to find ways of improving their services without placing extra strain on their budgets or passing costs onto their customers.

Why airlines can’t just wing it.

Offering a competitive service presents a major challenge for airlines. They need to operate more efficiently, while focusing on three key areas:

– Customer safety

Travelling by air is still the safest way to get around, but high-profile incidents colour public perceptions — showing how there’s still room for improvement. Airlines have to work together to tackle safety and security concerns as efficiently as they can.

– Customer experience

Customers expect a hassle-free experience every time they fly. And while mobile technology is helping to deliver this, companies have to make the most of the data they collect to make sure their passengers enjoy a stress free journey.

– Sustainability

The aviation industry has committed to some very ambitious emissions targets, starting from 2020. Renewable fuel sources offer a way to reach them, but the sheer quantity needed (and the cost of production) makes meeting regulatory requirements a difficult financial challenge.

Taking off with technology.

With higher customer expectations and tougher competition, airlines find themselves having to deliver more for less. But this is a challenge they can overcome. New technology offers companies the opportunity to operate more efficiently — without sacrificing safety, sustainability or the customer experience.

Smart technology and the Internet of Things are a great place to start. They’re transforming the way people live, work, play — and travel. And joined up systems with smart, internet-enabled devices open up a whole world of insight and opportunity for the airlines.

For example, Big Data analysis (which uses information collected via the IoT) can reduce the costs of aircraft maintenance, helping airlines to compete on price while giving them capital to invest in sustainable fuels. It also opens up the possibility to make every passenger’s journey far more personalised, tailoring the in-flight experience to different people’s needs.

The trick for airlines will be working out how to integrate this new technology into their existing processes. And how they do this could determine their success for the future.

And that’s something that we at BT Assure can help with. We’ve got the experience and expertise that the airlines need to use these new technologies to their best advantage.

A flight plan for the future.

Keep an eye out for our other articles on the aviation industry. We’ll look at the different technologies already changing the way we fly, as well as the innovations set to upgrade us all to a first-class experience in years to come.

Discover more about how airlines can overcome the challenges they face — download our white paper and take a look at our BT Assure page to find out how the aviation industry can learn the Art of Connecting.

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