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Amadeus today unveils a major new study, 'Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem', identifying consumer frustrations with today's airport experience and mapping how airports will re-invent themselves up to 2025, with new operating models, driving revenues beyond traditional aviation income.
’Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem’ reveals how airports could adopt Mini-city, Walkway, Bus Station and Shopping Mall operating models to meet consumer demands and drive non-aviation revenue
New study follows ‘Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow’ which was launched in 2011 and explains how travellers would like the airport experience to evolve and how the airport ecosystem will be re-invented through partnership
Madrid, Spain, 24th May 2012: Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry today unveils a major new study, ‘Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem’, identifying consumer frustrations with today’s airport experience and mapping how airports will re-invent themselves up to 2025, with new operating models, driving revenues beyond traditional aviation income.
New models highlighted in the report include:
- Mini-city: A self-sufficient entity offering unique retail, entertainment, dining, work spaces and accommodation. It may even grow its own food and generate its energy needs onsite
- City extension: Tightly integrated into the local city the airport will reflect the best of local culture, history and cuisine
- The shopping mall: Airport shopping, leisure and entertainment facilities on par and even beyond those found in destinations and available to non-flying customers; 15% of travellers surveyed thought this model would be predominant by 2025
- The walkway concept: In this scenario, many of the current airport processes are performed remotely by the passenger, at home or in a separate virtual terminal
- Bus station concept: At the low-cost end of the spectrum lies the 'bus station' model, a no-frills atmosphere where speed and efficiency are key
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the most advanced developments at airports today with 11 airport case studies including Incheon, Singapore Changi, London Gatwick, Berlin Tegel and New York JFK.
It also looks ahead to travel 20 years from now to paint a realistic picture of how emerging technologies and social trends will lead to new operating models that will re-invent the traveller experience.
Julia Sattel, Senior VP Airline IT, Amadeus commented: “A range of macro-trends including increasing traveller demands, new technologies and the immediate requirement for the industry to create new revenue streams are driving the need for a fundamental rethink of the airport ecosystem.” She continued: “Imagine an airport where the retail experience is so impressive you choose to shop there without even flying; or using an in-flight app to make purchases you can pick up once you’ve landed. It’s an exciting future but airports, airlines and the whole eco-system need to make co-operative decisions to unlock this potential.”
Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research, and the report’s co-author observed: “Based on the research in this report we can expect the airport eco-system to change dramatically over the next 20 years as players accelerate their pursuit of new sources of revenue - such as retail, dining, leisure and real estate.” He continued: “What’s also clear is that whichever model an airport adopts; new technology means we’re heading towards an intelligent, data-intensive, knowledge-rich, adaptive and responsive airport environment that will greatly benefit travellers.”
John Jarrell, VP and Head of Airport IT, Amadeus commented: "This study underlines how rapidly this critical part of the travel chain is evolving. At Amadeus we are passionate about supporting the development of airports, and are totally committed to bridging the IT gap that has historically existed between airports and airlines. Indeed, it is only through closer collaboration that this new airport ecosystem can truly become a reality. I hope this report provokes both discussion and debate within the industry and offers at the same time a glimpse of how the overall traveller experience will be improved to 2025 and beyond".
Traveller perspectives on the future
The research identified ‘a stress-free airport experience’ as the number one priority for travellers, with a clear 72% of global respondents saying they thought the core passenger journey from check-in to boarding was currently inefficient. 69% of travellers are seeking improved security processes. Passengers also expect airports to give a sense of place which reflects local culture and makes the airport destination and flight, part of their total trip experience (81%).
Travellers view technology as increasingly important to their airport experience. Many want to control their entire airport journey through the use of mobile phones to navigate through key touch points (63%), use frequent flyer cards as permanent boarding passes (59%), benefit from permanent electronic bag tags (57%), and to automate the full range of airport processes including baggage drop (48%).
Social media is also seen as a vital tool for the real-time exchange of ideas, information and feedback with travellers while at the airport. Consumers want their improvement ideas to be heard (69%), to receive important information (66%), to provide real-time feedback (53%) and to be rewarded as frequent travellers/shoppers (51%).
Designed to stimulate discussion and provide insight into the future of the airport sector, ‘Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem’ has been developed through primary field research and supplemented with over 70 qualitative interviews with industry experts from airports, airlines and suppliers including technology providers and airport designers. These interviews were subsequently tested using a global passenger survey of 838 respondents from a range of markets around the globe including across Europe, North America and Asia.
To download a copy of the ‘Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem’ report, please visit: