It is estimated that airlines and airports will spend approximately 33 billion USD on IT this year, according to new Air Transport IT Trends Insights (SITA) report. The investments will be directed mostly with development of online services, as well as cybersecurity and means of providing better service to passengers.
A survey of representatives of airlines and airports by SITA shows that the level of IT spending remains high. In 2017, airlines’ expenses as a share of their revenues should grow by 3.30% and reach 24.3 billion USD. For airports, the expected costs to raise by 5.05% this year, reaching 8.43 billion USD. Moreover, the representatives of more than 70% of airlines and 88% of airports believe that in 2018 the IT spending will grow or stay at the current level.
In the face of rising costs for IT , the airlines and airports agree that the main priority of their investment activities will be cybersecurity. Almost all of them (95% of airlines and 96% of airports) plan to invest in the next three years in large-scale programs and projects of research and development in the field of cybersecurity. This indicates that there is a consensus in the industry regarding the importance of this topic.
“The air transportation industry is going through a digital transformation stage and is focused on protecting the interests of business and passengers, building up its own efficiency and improving the quality of service. For a sector as complex the cyber attacks are a very real threat, and the organization of reliable protection against them is of great importance. Cloud services provide access to important efficiency mechanisms that play a key role in reducing costs. Passengers also strive for efficiency and independence, so this value is given to self-service facilities that contribute to the growth of passengers’ satisfaction with the quality of the service they offer”, said the president of SITA’s Air Travel Solutions division, Ilya Gutlin. “When it comes to IT investments, airports and airlines agree that their customers need better and more reliable services. The interdependencies existing in systems used by the air transportation industry mean that investments and improvements in all these areas, whether by airlines or airports, will continue to contribute to strengthening the global industry”, added he.
Another priority direction of investment is cloud services: 95% of airlines and 85% of airports plan to invest in them in the next three years, thereby reinforcing the upward trend. The third key area, which is spoken by both airlines and airports, is self-service systems for passengers.
Airlines are focused on providing mobile services. Today, the vast majority of airlines offer registration services for the flight (73%), information on the procedure for landing (70%) and flight status notification (68%) via mobile devices, and by 2020 this more than 97% of airlines plan to do so, the main growth is expected in the real-time information about the status of flights via social networks.