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What are the biggest challenges currently facing the aviation and corporate travel industry? One of the key questions, it could be argued, is how the aviation industry can meet the current and future needs of its customers whilst continuing to grow slim operating profits.
Industry professionals have been addressing this question and a variety of other challenges at the 2015 CAPA World Aviation summit and the CAPA World Corporate Travel Innovation day, celebrated in Helsinki.
The Aviation summit kicked off with an insightful panel that explored how the airline industry might operate under a Free Trade framework, with the WTO panellist Hamid Mamdouh highlighting how lessons could be learned from the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.
Later on in the day Amadeus IT Group’s VP Industry Affairs, Svend Leirvaag, participated in a lively debate on the travel distribution landscape, together with IATA’s David Rutnam and Ian Heywood from Travelport. The panellists discussed the advances that have been made in terms of merchandising to make differentiated airline content available through the indirect channels.
The final discussion of the day, moderated by Alex de Gunten from HEICO, brought a variety of industry players together to discuss the traveller experience. There was a strong emphasis on the customer and particularly on the importance of the airport as part of the traveller journey. Dr Yiannis Paraschis, CEO at Athens Airport, highlighted that in his view, the three key topics for the future of the airport journey are three C’s: customisation, the consumer, and collaborative decision-making.
This topic fitted well with the video on the airport common use technology that has been employed at Heathrow Terminal 2 by Amadeus together with Star Alliance and ASIG, which was shown at the start of the panel. Decius Valmorbida, VP Distribution & Marketing at Amadeus, discussed the importance of reaching the customer with the right offer at the right time, referring to the research carried out earlier this year by Frost & Sullivan on people’s future motivations when planning a trip, in order to better segment the offer towards relevant travel groups or “tribes”.
In this video, Amadeus’ panellists at the event, Decius and Svend, provide some further insight into their panel discussions and the key points discussed.