first_imgAirlines are set to become retail powerhouses, according to the 12th annual SITA/Airline Business IT Trends Survey.The airlines which carry the bulk of the world’s air traffic are set to sell the majority of airline tickets direct to passengers by 2013. The 129 airlines who responded to the 2010 survey carry over one billion passengers and are currently selling 40.8% of tickets directly to the public. This can be further broken down to 25.8% over the internet, 10.7% through call centres and 4.3% interlining. These 129 airlines intend to increase direct sales up to 55.1% by 2013. Sales through airline call centres and interlining are expected to remain static, while direct channel sales through websites are expected to increase by 37.9%.Francesco Violante, SITA CEO, said: “This year’s survey tells us there is a climate of increasing business confidence. “Airlines are investing in IT to provide richer functionality to their online customers and creating additional channels to market in order to increase the level of direct sales now that online distribution is almost universal.”Airlines are prioritizing the implementation of new functionality on their web sites in an effort to boost online sales. They are achieving this in the following ways: online shopping tools (61% have already implemented this); change/cancel/rebook (52%); and frequent flyer redemption functionality (51%).This fits in with the overall airline strategy to help passengers switch to self-service, with airlines planning to reduce the number of passengers processed via agent check-in from 50.7% to 28.9% by 2013. Kiosk check-in is expected to remain at just below 20% while web check-in options will grow to 35.5% in 2013, and mobile check-in will advance from 28% today to 70% by 2013.The survey shows the key role kiosks play in a multi-channel environment with 47% of airlines set to increase the number of new kiosks as they add new functionality for flight transfers and disruption management. The survey also found that 80% of the largest airlines plan to use kiosks as sales points.By 2013, the mobile phone will become an integral tool for airline travel with 86% of airlines planning to offer flight notifications; 80%, online check-in; 76%, send electronic boarding passes to mobiles; and 68% using mobiles to advertise travel offers. Airlines are becoming more skilled at upselling, using fare families and marketing types; unbundling fares, by charging for services (i.e meals and baggage management); and selling non-air services (i.e hotels, car hire and insurance). A large portion of this revenue generation takes place direct on line: 63%, upsell; 41% unbundle; and 51% sell non-air services. In 2013, 91% of survey respondents will have implemented at least one of these ancillary revenue strategies via their own direct web channels.129 airlines responded to this year’s survey, including 14% classified as low cost carriers; 81% full service carriers; 5% charter carriers.The SITA/Airline IT Trends Survey is an independent poll of senior IT personnel working within the top 200 passenger carriers. <a href=”” alt=”last_img” />

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