Passengers are reaping the benefits of the air travel industry’s record spending on IT. At least, that’s the conclusion SITA has drawn from its 2019 Air Transit IT Insights report, which found that airlines and airports spent $50 billion on IT in 2018.
Much of that money went towards technology to streamline the passenger experience, including biometric screening tech that automates passenger processing and reduces wait times at security checkpoints. That, in turn, has made air travel less stressful for the people moving through the airport.
“The industry is focused on improvements to its operations to make it more efficient,” said SITA Air Travel Solutions President Matthys Serfontein. “This is having a profoundly positive impact on the service they are able to provide to passengers.”
According to SITA’s report, more than 60 percent of airline and airport CIOs recorded a 20 percent increase in passenger satisfaction, with roughly 45 percent of those CIOs recording a similar improvement in processing time. Better IT has also boosted overall performance for air transit businesses as they gain insight into traffic flows and other aspects of their operations.
The results are in keeping with SITA’s previous Passenger IT Insights report, which was released earlier this year. That report indicated that passengers are happier when using biometric screening technology because it makes air travel more convenient.
“The industry is providing a faster, more pleasant airport experience,” continued Serfontein. “We expect passenger numbers to double over the next 20 years, with physical airport infrastructure struggling to keep pace. Technology is key to alleviating the industry’s capacity crunch and avoiding negative impacts on passengers.”
Airline IT spending went up 4.84 percent in 2018, while airport spending went up 6.06 percent. That trend is expected to continue through 2019.
2018 was also a banner year for SITA, which brought in a record $1.7 billion in revenue.
November 7, 2019 – by Eric Weiss