Airline industry needs better collaboration to overcome disruptions

Patricia Simillon

Head of Strategic Marketing, Airlines, Amadeus IT Group

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Our report, Shaping the future of Airline Disruption Management (IROPS), concludes that by finding ways to integrate IT solutions, the potential for tackling disruption when it occurs, and mitigating its effects, is much stronger than if airlines maintain systems that only work independently. Here’s how:

Airline industry needs better collaboration to overcome disruptions

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

- This age old saying, commonly attributed to Helen Keller, is pertinent to so many facets of life. It’s especially relevant to the airline industry when it comes to managing flight disruptions.

Preventing the spread of disruption

As disruption management tools improve, and airlines become more proficient at addressing the most difficult problems resulting from disruption, additional capabilities will emerge to address secondary problems. For example, if London operations are disrupted by a fog, this is likely to have an impact on other European airports. A solution that would keep London aircraft flows balanced – through cancellations and flight consolidations – would isolate the problem, keeping it from growing and spreading. Such a solution might be offered to airlines as an add-on to their operations control system.

Sharing passenger information to recover from disruption

With shared application program interfaces (APIs), the reach of the disruption tools could extend to suppliers and travel providers at different stages in the journey cycle – such as hotels, airport managers and ground transport providers. Airlines are privy to useful passenger information that, if aggregated in the right way and passed on to third parties that are also serving the passenger, could provide ample opportunity for reducing the knock-on effects of disruption by giving other providers the chance to recover some of the damage. The passenger needs to “opt in” for data sharing that enhances their travel experience, and the process must work within a framework that respects data security and privacy.

Maintaining end-to-end luxury travel

This is particularly relevant for the luxury travel industry, where the expectations of high-spend travellers are much higher, and therefore, disruption is more detrimental. As mentioned previously, it will never be possible to guarantee that passengers will avoid disruption, whatever they spend. What could make the difference in maintaining the trust and custom of these valuable customers, is for airlines to work with third parties to offer a service that compensates for disruption in an appropriate way.

Download our report, Shaping the future of Airline Disruption Management, for more insights.