Survey shows airports are using IT systems to attract airlines

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Effective and efficient IT infrastructure is increasingly being used by airport terminals as a way to attract new business, according to the latest report by management consultancy Frost and Sullivan and commissioned by IT company Amadeus

The report, Strengthening the Airport Proposition, is made up of 18 interviews from industry executives and a survey of 50 airports. It concludes that competition between airports is set to intensify and that those which offer modern IT systems to airlines and passengers will have a commercial advantage.

Alexander Michael, director of consulting, digital transformation at Frost & Sullivan, said, “The report shows that an IT-centric value proposition exists for airports. Although route economics are still the trump card, there are now positive, tangible outcomes for airlines because of an IT environment.

“Airports have worked on the basis of offering airlines a financial incentive for a long time. They should be investing in IT, although it’s not necessarily what they are doing. Better IT means they can provide a better product to trigger new revenue streams for customers.”

According to the report, the digital transformation of processes and data analytics can enable airports to differentiate their offer to airline customers. For example, by using modern technology to deliver an improved traveller experience through smoother passenger processing and enhanced baggage reconciliation, airports can support airlines to deliver on their commitment to travelers.

John Jarrell, head of Airport IT at Amadeus, said, “It’s good to see that IT can help drive revenue for airlines and airports. There’s huge benefits to be had if they can work together on IT solutions, if they are transparent and if they share key performance indicators.

“Sometimes the investment has to be made by the airport, although the benefit flows to the airlines and the passengers.”

The report also recommends that IT should be made part of an airport’s business strategy.

“Airports are good at running stable IT, but they aren’t as good at using it in a strategic way. In sectors like retail and finance IT is completely embedded in the business and the CIO is the one that understands what improvements can be made. Airports aren’t quite at that point but they are changing,” Jarrell added.

To download a copy of the report, please click here.

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