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Aviation CIOs Boost Digital Tech Spending to Keep Up with Fast Recovery Needs


According to SITA’s 2022 Air Transport IT Insights report, Airports and airlines are ramping up investment in technology to digitize their operations and make the passenger journey smoother. With post-pandemic recovery, CIOs want to ensure their operations are agile, resilient, and efficient, and they see IT solutions as essential to their success.

This has driven an acceleration of digitalization, with airlines and airports relying on technology to fortify their operations and automate the passenger experience. The industry’s IT spending is projected to grow in 2023, with 96% of airlines and 93% of airports expecting their IT spending to stay the same or increase.

David Lavorel, CEO, SITA, said, “Air travel has recovered faster from the pandemic than anyone in the industry had initially expected, particularly in Europe and the US. While the recovery is welcome, airports and airlines have found themselves on the back foot with staff and resource shortages. This has put a strain on operations, resulting in an increased risk of congestion, delays, cancellations, and mishandled baggage. Digitalization is seen as key to addressing these challenges, providing more scalability and flexibility.”

Airlines are focusing on IT tools to manage disruptions and provide the best passenger experience possible, even with staff shortages. They plan to invest in IT service management, disruption warning systems, and business intelligence initiatives for aircraft turnaround, passenger processing, and baggage processing.

Airports are also prioritizing business intelligence initiatives, with 93% planning such initiatives for asset management and flight operations by 2025. They aim to implement automated predictive alerts before flight disruptions and business intelligence to scale operations based on demand.

Airlines and airports are investing in technologies to streamline the passenger journey, with self-service technologies and biometrics being a major emphasis. Airlines plan to provide real-time baggage tracking information to passengers by 2025, and airports are prioritizing self-check-in and self-bag drop, with 86% planning to implement it by 2025. Airports are also implementing secure single biometric tokens across all touchpoints, which has surged from just 3% in 2021 to 39% in 2022. This has been done for a seamless travel experience.

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