June 3, 2020
Fast Future, Future Travel Experience (FTE), and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) have launched the second instalment of their Air Transport 2035 survey series.
Entitled the Impacts of COVID-19 on Innovation and Digital Transformation in Air Transport report, the results were unveiled during a two hour industry webinar and come with commentary from a panel of industry experts, including Clyde Hutchinson, head of innovation, Viva Air Labs; Karin Gylin, head of innovation, Swedavia; Satyaki Raghunath, chief strategy & development officer, Bengaluru International Airport; Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future; and Marta Dimitrova, editor & hub community manager, FTE, who also shared their own innovation and digital transformation strategies, priorities and future plans.
Global intelligence research unveiled
May 6, 2020
Airlines, airports and other aviation stakeholders are emphasising total safety and trust building as central to their recovery strategies, with digital transformation, automation, sustainability, innovation, and customer experience at the heart of their investment strategies.
Those are the key conclusions of the COVID-19 Air Transport Near Term Impacts and Scenarios report jointly undertaken by Fast Future, Future Travel Experience (FTE), and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).
A global survey conducted as part of the report found that over the next two years 68.4% of respondents expect investment in digital transformation to increase; 60.3% expect investment in automation and the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to rise; and 54.2% expect spending to increase on sustainability and environmental initiatives. More than half (53.5%) expect investment in innovation to increase during the same period, and 48.5% expect to see an upturn in customer experience and service spending, with less than a quarter (22.9%) expecting investment in this area to fall.
At the other end of the scale, three-quarters (75.5%) of survey respondents expect investment in aircraft orders to decrease over the next two years, while 55.3% expect to see a decrease in terminal design and construction spend.
A live poll of the 900-plus webinar attendees, taken at the launch of the report, found that 44% of respondents expect it to take up to two years for the air transport industry to return to 2019 levels of business, and a further 36% expect it to take three years. Only 6% expect the industry to recover to 2019 levels within 12 months.
A second live poll found that 39% of respondents expect the public to feel comfortable flying again once new procedures are introduced to protect passengers. 32% expect consumer confidence to return once a COVID-19 vaccine is disseminated; 11% expect people will only fly if they have to; and 10% expect World Health Organization (WHO) advice to dictate when people will feel comfortable flying again.
Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future, and lead author of the report said: ”The findings highlight that the industry is experiencing and anticipating devastating impacts on flight volumes, passenger numbers, and revenues. The sector’s recovery is dependent on government policy, health factors, passenger confidence, the nature of the economic recovery, and the extent of collaboration between industry players.
Daniel Coleman, founder & ceo, Future Travel Experience, commented: “Prioritising health and safety efforts is a given, but all stakeholders must also commit to delivering a contactless, queue-less, and fully sanitised end-to-end travel experience that is as automated as possible. Some radical new approaches, and collaboration between all parties, are essential to achieve this vision and support the survival of the air transport industry.”
Joe Leader, ceo, Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA), added: “Over 75% of survey respondents still believe in five key areas where airline and airport spending will grow or remain the same despite the COVID-19 headwinds. The winners during this challenging time include digital transformation, automation, sustainability, innovation, and customer experience and service. That’s positive news for APEX and IFSA member airlines and suppliers.”