More than 90% of airlines and airports to increase IT spending in 2023, SITA reports

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SITA has released its 2022 Air Transport IT Insights report, which revealed that 96% of airlines and 93% of airports are expecting their IT spending to stay the same or increase in 2023 compared to 2022. In 2022, airline and airport IT spending rose to an estimated US$37bn and US$6.8bn respectively.

The report projects that the industry’s IT spending will continue its steady year-on-year growth trend since 2020 to support this push for digitalization. The researchers found that this accelerated digitalization was intended to help airlines and airports recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and meet rising passenger demand, increased disruptions, baggage mountains and staff shortages. The researchers also found that, over the next three years, 90% or more of airlines are investing in IT service management enhancement and disruption warning systems, as well as business intelligence initiatives for aircraft turnaround management, passenger processing and baggage processing.

Business intelligence solutions were found to be at the forefront of airport IT investment priorities too, with 93% or more planning business intelligence initiatives for asset management and flight operations by 2025. Additionally, by 2025 half of the airports worldwide are seeking to implement automated predictive alerts prior to flight disruption events as well as business intelligence initiatives to enable scaling of operations based on demand.

Both airlines and airports reported that they were investing in technologies to improve the passenger experience, curb bottlenecks and in turn allow the redistribution of key staff resources to focus on more complex tasks. Consequently, biometrics and self-service technologies became a major emphasis in the observed companies. Surveyed airlines identified self-service technologies as key to helping manage irregular operations, and this remained their top investment priority in 2022, with touchless solutions and biometric ID management following closely. To support effective baggage management and empower passengers following a period of significant disruption, a majority of airlines reported that they plan to provide real-time baggage tracking information to passengers by 2025.

Similarly, airports were found to be prioritizing self-service initiatives, placing a strong emphasis on self check-in and self bag drop, with 86% planning implementation by 2025. The researchers noted that airports’ implementation of a secure single biometric token across all touchpoints surged from 3% in 2021 to 39% in 2022 and that over half of the airports reviewed were planning implementation over the next three years.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, said, “Air travel has recovered faster from the Covid-19 pandemic than anyone in the industry had initially expected, particularly in Europe and the US. While the recovery is welcome, airports and airlines have found themselves on the back foot with staff and resource shortages. This has put a strain on operations, resulting in an increased risk of congestion, delays, cancellations and mishandled baggage. Digitalization is seen as key to addressing these challenges, providing more scalability and flexibility.”

SITA will be exhibiting at booth 1250 at Passenger Terminal Expo in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on March 14-16, 2023. To learn more about SITA’s solutions, click here to register for your free entry pass.

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