3 takeaways from the Southeast Europe Aviation Summit

Marko Javornik blog

Posted on: 09 Jan 2017

Author: Marko Javonrik, General Manager

It is always exciting to meet new people and get new insights from the industry. One of the last events in 2016 that we have attended was the Southeast Europe Aviation Summit in Belgrade, Serbia, where Air Serbia, Alitalia and Etihad Airways joined others to share their vision of how they view the future of the aviation industry and their business in particular.

The airline industry is a highly competitive market and customers are becoming increasingly demanding. To successfully position themselves in the new market, airlines need to act smart and innovate to provide the best possible user experience for travelers.

After the wrap-up of the SEAS event, we wanted to draw some conclusions and share the major 3 takeaways from the conference:

 

1. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND CONTINUOUS INNOVATION ARE RESHAPING THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY

To keep up with the rapid speed of innovation in the industry, it is crucial for all players to implement digital transformation and technology advancements. Digital transformation is currently disrupting every industry and airlines are no exception. The key components of digital transformation are data-driven systems and an iterative approach to product development. By adapting their company structure and business model to the new market conditions, airlines can gain a tremendous competitive advantage and exceed their past performance.

To prevent falling behind strong competition, airlines should embrace innovation, continuously question the present situation and consider the possible innovations and new best practices. Innovation for airlines can happen in the form of innovation hubs, through the acquisition of start-ups or by cooperating with innovative external partners. It is crucial for them to understand and embrace the complexity of digital technology and keep up with any new opportunities. At the same time, open innovation and cross-industry partnerships offer a great opportunity for innovation and fresh thinking.

Highly innovative companies are constantly in a state of flux and work to adapt and embrace a startup mentality. This non-static environment welcomes innovative ideas and encourages trying things out rather than overthinking them and missing a chance to succeed. This mentality is the best ground for highly innovative and successful companies.

 

2. BIG DATA FOR AIRLINES – NEW SECRET WEAPON

Big data analysis is not merely a buzzword but can drive significant additional value for companies from previously untapped resources. The smart use of Big data could be referred to as the new secret weapon for Airlines, since it opens more opportunities than are visible at first glance. Using the right data sets and good predictive models new revenue sources can be generated and the offering for additional customer service is being extended. It is crucial for airlines to monetize big data and recognize the tremendous revenue potential of Digital data, which can easily exceed the margin of their actual service offering. It might seem obvious that Airlines need to keep in mind that these technologies bear huge potentials for them, but to reap the benefits, the business model needs to be adapted accordingly to drive success in this new market environment.

 

3. USER CENTRICITY AS A KEY SUCCESS FACTOR

However, despite all technical requirements and innovations, airlines should not lose track of their main source of income – the passenger. Therefore, the travel experience should be user-friendly and should make each passenger feel like they are receiving a unique and personal treatment. Speed of services is a key target here, since people have less time and are not prepared to spend a lot of time planning their trips. The speed of service and high degree of personalization are achieved through the utilization of big data. Happy customers who trust an airline will also be willing to disclose more personal data in return for increased service excellence and personalization.