The New Battlefield for Airlines

Research a flight, book a ticket, board a plane, try and fail to sleep and land; the basic aspects of flying for most people have not changed since the advent of aviation. However, in 2020 a revolution in innovation for airlines is awaiting. Key joint ventures and strategic alliances of capital groups are focused on the evolution of the airline industry.


For instance, Air France and KLM with its Big Blank project; a studio that will explore the industry to identify tech-centric growth opportunities for a network of five airlines in Europe. Furthermore, IAG, the parent organisation of BA, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus is sponsoring Hangar 51, a 10-week global travel accelerator where disruptors and innovators will join the team of experts at these airlines to run a technology concept and showcase it in real world operational environments. The areas being tackled are Airport Operations and Logistics, Future of Customer Interaction, Disruption Management, Future of Cargo Logistics among others.

Your face recognition instead of your boarding pass worldwide


BA was the first UK airline to use biometric technology in 2010 for domestic flights. However, BA is currently expanding its trials of biometric facial gates across more airports internationally to speed up boarding and arrivals processes. Results are staggering in the USA with 240 passengers being boarded in less than 10 minutes on their daily BA2036 to London Gatwick from Orlando.


Knowing your flight will be delayed even before it appears on the airport screens

JetBlue technology ventures wants passengers to know via “Lumo” if a flight is likely to be delayed based on statistics such as density of aircraft in the airspace, and previously made decisions on certain weather conditions by aviation authorities like FAA.


Pay by the flown hour and/or in bulk

Whether or not these business approaches are feasible and profitable from a business perspective is still questionable and yet to be proven. However, risks must be taken to analyse new ways of creating the right balance financially for airlines and passengers. Therefore, implementations such as “Skyhour” will allow travellers to redeem gift cards for flights - $60 per hour of flight time redeemable with more than 350 carriers. Also, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Canada, Swiss and Eurowings are implementing and evaluating flight pass schemes to allow travellers to buy in bulk for instance 10 unrestricted one-way tickets for a flat fee of USD570.


Enhanced Airline Mobile Apps


The battle of airlines for market share continues in the skies, however, more and more airlines are failing to survive financially. Hence, this competition is taking a new level on the digital and mobile experience for passengers, being treated as important as the inflight experience. Good examples are Iberia with its new voice service to check-in using Amazon Alexa. American Airlines’ app allows passengers to scan their passports and accelerate the process of details verification. Finally, Turkish Airlines has introduced a Companion Entertainment app that can be paired with the inflight entertainment platform, allowing passengers to use their mobile as a second screen to increase the experience and to organise in advance their music, films and games to enjoy during the flight.


At Brookfield we are committed to a digital revolution in 2020 to increase our clients’ and contractors’ memorable experience with our services. We will continue working closely with our airline clients and aviation personnel to provide ongoing commercial and industrial feedback to improve operations, hence, if you want to be part of this digital revolution, write to us and let us know what features you would like to enjoy in an airline app.


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