This year 100% of the airlines surveyed plan to invest in business intelligence (BI) solutions, which allow them to know more about their customers and have better information for decision making in their operations. This is a huge jump from last year, when one in five airlines had no plans at all. By 2016, 97% also plan investments in mobile passenger services and personalization. Together these will help boost sales via direct channels, from 54% up to 67%, and change how airlines deliver services to passengers.
The need for investment in business intelligence is evident. Only 9% of airlines currently rate data quality as meeting all their requirements, while just 7% have achieved the necessary integration of different data sources from across their company.
Over the last three years, offering mobile services to passengers has topped airlines’ investment list. It retains the number one place with 97% of airlines now investing, or planning to invest, in this area in the coming three years. By 2016, nine out of ten airlines plan to sell tickets via mobile phones. They expect to be rewarded with a leap in mobile sales to more than US$70 billion by 2016, or 10% of total sales, up from just below 3% today. By using this and other channels, airlines aim to reduce their dependence on indirect sales and open up the opportunity to maximize ancillary sales. Mobile phones, kiosks and social media will represent nearly 14% of ticket sales by 2016, while indirect sales through GDSs will reduce from 46 % to just 33% of sales in the same time period.