The data revolution requires a new mind-set for airlines

Pascal Clement

Head of Travel Intelligence, Amadeus IT Group

This content is only available in this language.

As shared at the IATA Aviation Data Symposium with some of the world’s leading airlines and travel experts, moving from a process-driven to a data-driven approach involves a profound transformation -- and there is no transformation without revolution.



“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” - Sherlock Holmes. I’m a big proponent of this mindset, especially when it comes to airlines. Data is the key to unlocking so much opportunity. But it requires a new mind-set.

Airlines are facing new and diverse challenges: from traditional competitors to emergent rivals. This means that there is an ever-greater need and opportunity for them to employ sophisticated personalizationtechniques and intelligent merchandizing to optimize their operations and reduce costs. Airlines who will succeed in this environment will be those who harness data and analytics for operational and customer experience transformation. One of the success factors in becoming data-driven is creating a company culture that places data at the heart of the organisation: 

5 steps to a more data-driven approach for airlines

And it all starts with focusing on value. A great example of this is with schedule recovery, a recommendation engine that uses computational capabilities to automate a certain number of actions, making decisions faster and better. Meaningful data-driven and analytics solutions can help airlines predict outcomes so they can quickly and effectivity recover disrupted schedules. With a data-driven mind-set, airlinescan replace ad hoc processes with ones that pinpoint conflicts. The result is smoother and quicker coordination between all players.

The biggest value will come for airlines that manage to combine multiple data sources such as mapping passenger shopping behavior against the highest spenders to define where you sit them to maximize revenue. Or personalizing offers for people shopping for travel. Or even refining the passenger experience based on social media sentiment analysis.

Our vision is to help airlines harness the power of data. We're doing this by providing a platform model that frees them to build what they need quickly. To do this, we co-innovate with airlines using data and analytics, crafting new ways of creating value for passengers.


Didier Mamma, our Global Head of Commercial for Travel Intelligence, joined a lively panel on this topic where he delivered a strong message that reflects our mindset: ”The future of technology doesn’t lie in invention, butinnovation.  The technologies that will change the future are not new but they exploit the fundamental laws that are converting our world from analogical to digital and creating the foundation from which extraordinary kinds of innovation can emerge.“

Predicting the future is difficult as it is an experimentation journey, but with our insight, technology and experience, we can help airlines through this transformation and succeed together.


Traveler Experience, Big Data