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Monday, December 26, 2005

Technology, Internet & Aviation Industry

Airlines, Internet & New Economics is an interesting area to watch. Around the world airlines are trying in different ways to make the internet work for them. Electronic ticketing now accounts for 38 percent of tickets sold worldwide and IATA wants the 265 airlines under its wing to achieve 100 percent paperless ticketing within two years. IATA says that there are roughly 350 million tickets printed annually. By 2007, IATA believes that paper tickets may not be needed any more. The benefit – estimated annual savings of three-billion-dollars for the industry, while wider use of new electronic technologies for self service check-in, luggage handling and freight could offer even more in years to come. The beauty is this is not a revolutionary technology but this promises savings and improved convenience all the way down the line to the passenger.The arrival of the Internet booking engine gave self service centre stage in the travel industry besides rediced fares. From 40 million people users of internet in 1995, last year there were an estimated 870 million Internet users, according to the International Telecommunications Union. About 400 million travellers are expected to book online direct with airlines in 2005 - the Internet has also changed the operating environment for established airlines. Across the world, the adoption is showing huge progress. In countries like India, 25% Of Travel Business get done through the internet. Budget airlines by embracing e-ticket initially scored over mainstream competitors .The Internet has helped drive down airlines' costs but it has also fuelled price competition, damaged yields, and exposed the weakness in legacy computer systems in supporting pricing and increasingly complex distribution channels. The industry is scurrying to secure other types of electronic gadgetry to speed progress - and cut costs - on the ground. After the introduction of electronic check-in kiosks by some airlines, moves are now afoot to establish a common technical standard that will allow airports to install the same self-service equipment for all. The Internet is also allowing the development of check-in from home, which is expected to emerge in 2006. Passengers are promised "flash bag drops", stress-free travel and less queues on their way to their flight, while radio frequency electronic tags - RFID - could cut down on lost luggage. As we noted earlier, the rise of the ATK says far less about ruthless “reductions in force” and more about airlines’ desires to mass-produce just-in-time convenience. The traveler experience is getting more and more attention - While inside airports travellers need not think. Mindlessness is a mantra for every Executive Platinum flier.. Continental Airlines’ mean time for automated check-in is 66 seconds. You only have carry-on bags? Barely 30 seconds.As a promoter of mindlessness, the ticketing kiosk’s superi¬ority to the ATM is obvious. With an ATM, you think about how much money you need and how much you actually have. In contrast, an ATK (airline ticketing kiosk) presents you with choices you either have already made (your itinerary) or don’t need to think about (are you carrying any firearms onto your flight?). In all next the internet’s reach to commoners are best exemplified by its leverage by the aviation industry – but the key thing to watch is – more and more of these are all set to happen.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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