Digital tech allows airports to create greater value for airlines and passengers

Digital technologies can help airports boost their business by improving operational efficiency as well as the passenger experience, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.

Strengthening the Airport Value Proposition, commissioned by travel technology specialist Amadeus, looks at how airports can balance the interests of different customers and stakeholders by focusing on the passenger. This enables airports and airlines to identify shared value and incentives for greater collaboration and co-operation.

At the same time, the digital transformation of processes, well executed data analytics and insight sharing can help airports differentiate their offer to airline customers.

With passenger volumes continuing to rise worldwide, airports are set to compete more intensely with each other for airline service. This means that they can no longer afford to rely solely on financial incentives to attract and retain air service. 

But by making the best use of IT, airports can differentiate their offer to airline customers with reduced operational costs, innovative revenue-generation opportunities, and a better travel experience for passengers thanks to smoother passenger processing and enhanced baggage reconciliation.

Frost & Sullivan interviewed senior executives from airports and airlines for the report, as well as industry experts, and engaged with 50 airports through its recent multi-client study to inform the research. 

The report recommends that airports use technology to enable new revenue streams and process innovation, to improve operational efficiency, and to drive value for airlines in key areas such as passenger experience. And it calls for a focus on the needs of the passenger to identify areas for improvement for all stakeholders.

John Jarrell, head of Airport IT at Amadeus, said: “Without a doubt, route economics is fundamental to airlines when selecting airports. By incorporating IT into its value proposition, an airport can strengthen its positioning and points of differentiation in both the passenger experience and operational efficiency. Cost savings for customers may emerge as well as enhanced business models, which will strengthen the relationship between airports, airlines, other tenants and passengers.

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