IATA is urging aviation stakeholders to develop and use information technology (IT) to drive improvements in the passenger experience.
Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of IATA, said: “We must always remember that we fly people and cargo, not planes. So our mindset has to be oriented to view things from the perspective of the customer in all that we do — including how we design, integrate and implement IT systems.”
Tyler, who was speaking at the recent Air Transport IT Summit, identified three areas where through working together and guided by global standards, opportunities exist to use IT to provide a better passenger experience. These included airline distribution; the airport environment; and data standards for information exchange.
“In doing so, we will deliver greater value in commercial aviation’s second century,” said Tyler, before pointing out that: “Everything begins with the shopping experience. The most successful brands — whether they are fast food chains or five star hotel groups — aim to deliver a predictable and consistently pleasant shopping experience. In the case of air travel, the simple truth is we can’t always do that yet.”
He continued: “It is no secret that airlines, travel agents and travellers face limitations owing to the pre-internet language standard powering most travel agent and online travel agency displays. As a result, beyond price and schedule, travel agents are not able to offer product differentiation among airlines, except on a limited and airline-specific basis.”
And to address the growing gap between the rich content and additional products available on airline websites and more commoditized travel options available through travel agents, IATA is working with its partners in the travel value chain on the New Distribution Capability (NDC). NDC will update the standard for electronic communications between airlines and travel agents from the pre-Internet standard to XML, and ensure consumers have the ability to access and compare all of an airline’s products and services wherever they shop.
For more on Tyler’s presentation, go to http://www.iata.org .