Aviation industry spends $50 billion on improving travel experience

Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2019

To improve the travel experience of passengers, airlines and airports spent a record $50 billion in 2018 on IT. Now they are beginning to enjoy the benefit of that investment. Data published by SITA for the first time show that this investment has resulted in a significant improvement in both the satisfaction levels for passengers and average processing time.


The SITA 2019 Air Transport IT Insights published today, show that 60% of airline CIOs recorded up to a 20 per cent year-on-year improvement in passenger satisfaction. During the same period, 45 per cent of them recorded up to 20 per cent improvement in the rate of passengers processed. These strong returns on investment in technology were also seen at airports where 63 per cent of CIOs reported a year-on-year improvement of up to 20 per cent in passenger satisfaction levels while 44 per cent recorded quicker passenger processing times. Both airlines and airports also recorded an improvement in their business performance.


This year’s report shows that the industry continues to increase its IT spend, reaching $50bn in 2018. This was driven in part by a sharp increase in airline IT investment after several years of virtually flat growth. Total IT spend for airlines as a percentage of revenue rose to 4.84 per cent while airport IT spend grew to 6.06 per cent of revenue in 2018. Projections for 2019 show investments will continue to grow.


From an operational point of view, airlines and airports are increasingly investing in intelligence to provide real-time and historic views of their operations, allowing them to proactively manage everything from baggage and passenger flows, to aircraft turnaround and the allocation of key assets, such as parking stands and gates.

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