By Alchemmy’s Charlotte Callinan
How does the industry maintain its post-pandemic momentum sustainably and rebuild confidence and resilience?
Digital transformation provides opportunities for the aviation industry. In Alchemmy’s recent Intelligent Automation survey, over 54% of leaders across aviation agreed that business strategy and digital strategy go hand-in-hand. But this is not new information. When IATA and ACI launched NEXTT (New Experience in Travel and Technologies) in 2017 they set out their collective vision on the future of aviation recognising the ‘important changes in technology and processes to enhance the customer experience’. There has always been appetite for more intelligent leveraging of data and digital among airports and airlines, but prior to the pandemic there wasn’t the urgency, funding and capability to turn this vision into reality. That is changing rapidly, and airlines/airports will have to move quickly to avoid being left behind.
According to our survey, executives see a current lack of intelligent automation as a significant blocker to efficient operations. We see the consequences of this in consumer complaints about long queuing times and the staffing shortages in airports. The potential benefits of digitalisation to improve passenger experience are enormous. But they can take time to realise, and a poorly implemented transformation programme can do more harm than good. A strong digital strategy is meaningless if it is not accompanied by a strong push for business change to support technological innovation.
Employees in all industries often worry about how digital transformation will impact their ways of working. Digitalisation initiatives that are pushed on employees without securing internal buy-in are doomed to failure. Alchemmy has a long history of working with aviation clients to successfully create a mindset of continuous improvement and adaptive learning. We work to ensure teams are aligned around a common ambition. With our help, your workforce will be mentally prepared for the speed of change required to truly transform your operations by making them smarter, not just newer.
Digital transformation provides boundless opportunities to consolidate services above and below wing, but it is essential that these services work together and do not conflict. At Alchemmy, we consider airports and airlines’ holistic needs across the entire supply chain. This ensures that we work strategically and build genuine partnerships, creating better outcomes for all.
Alchemmy prides itself on delivering digital transformation that is truly sustainable in every sense of the word. Customers are increasingly conscious of the ethical and environmental ramifications of their decisions. Ignoring this would expose the aviation sector to reputational harm and compliance risks. We see the increased need for a responsible approach to aviation as an opportunity to build better, more robust systems that will carry airlines into the future.
And aviation is the future. The last few months have proven that customer demand for flight is as strong as ever, and the challenge is in fact for airports and airlines to keep pace with their needs. Staff shortages, loss of institutional knowledge, and inefficient processes hamper the return to growth. The aviation industry has two choices: either rebuild in the old, familiar image, or seize the opportunity to remake itself. We at Alchemmy are clear that we want to look towards the horizon, rather than the past. We hope you will join us.
At a public event on 6th July, Alchemmy hosted panel discussions on Intelligent Automation and Digital Ethics. A large audience of business and public services representatives were treated to two lively debates, which suggested that while organisations must adopt extensive automation, they should also be acutely sensitive to its pitfalls and dangers.