What does the Fourth Industrial Revolution mean for airlines?

Patricia Simillon

Head of Strategic Marketing, Airlines, Amadeus IT Group

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Digital tools, automated services and data-driven decisions – these are the theoretical building blocks of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The gap between businesses that are embracing the changes this era will bring and those that are failing to innovate will soon become apparent. It means businesses need to speed up, put data in the driving seat and find new ways to become even more connected to customers.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution means investing in digital solutions and infrastructure, and encouraging a cultural makeover for companies, and even industries. But this seismic, technology-driven shift also augments the potential for more empathetic relationships between brands and consumers. Companies have never had such access to the brains and feelings of their customers.

The rewards are there to be reaped by those who are willing to embrace the challenge, make brave changes to how they engage with their customers, and have faith in the power of technology to augment our potential as human beings.

From an airline’s perspective, as well as catering for their customers in the best possible way, and upholding the principles of moment marketing, they also need to factor in the real-time influences on their offering. In order to dynamically shape the offer presented to customers, airlines need to be able to connect the parts.

Christophe Bousquet, Senior Vice President of Airlines R&D at Amadeus IT Group, said: “Amadeus is building the platforms that will allow the streamlining of every travel micro-moment, from inspiration to post-trip, helping airlines to increase revenues, build loyalty and improve retention.”

Technology is the enabler of this process, but it’s worth remembering that airlines are in control. Technology is here to serve the airline’s purpose by collating data about inventory, customer demand and other external influences, and using this to shape the offer presented to customers. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about deploying machine learning to do just this.

As ever, it’s about achieving a balance. It’s about creating a feedback loop that is constantly gathering data – from both the traveller and the airline – constantly learning and constantly refining the process, so that as an industry, we can move forward with everyone’s best interests at heart.

Check out our report, Embracing airline digital transformation: a spotlight on what travellers value for more.