Digital transforming vital for aviation industry

Digitization is currently shaping all areas in a way that is comparable to all other significant events that have a positive impact on the economy. The airline industry, due to its cost structure, safety dependency and competitive intensity, is actively engaging in digital innovation to improve customer experience and financial performance.

Airports around the world welcome around 4.5 billion travelers every year. According to a report by Airports Council International, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the sector very hard, with an estimated 60 percent drop in passenger traffic in 2020. Going forward, the “pre-Covid” numbers are expected to recover, with an annual growth rate of 3.7 percent forecast through 2040. Air freight is also expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 2.3 percent. This in turn will result in a significant increase in flight movements to accommodate this expansion.

“Successful collaboration and collaboration between air navigation service providers, airspace users, airports, regulators, manufacturing industry, and regional and global organizations are of paramount importance for the sound development of air transport,” says IATA (International Air Transport Association). Technologies such as 5G connectivity, AI/ML and the cloud are strengthening collaboration across the aviation ecosystem. It has the potential to disrupt and transform air travel, optimize operating systems and personalize the travel experience.

As the world changes at a rapid pace, the aviation industry must be prepared and ensure environmental, operational and financial sustainability to keep up with such changes. Airports are rethinking the way they operate to become safer, more profitable, more secure and more efficient through the adoption and implementation of new technologies.


One way to achieve this is through the use of connected aircraft solutions. Another approach is the use of technologies such as augmented reality for automated airside operations to maximize capacity and improve on-time performance (OTP) of aircraft. The use of artificial intelligence in the aviation industry and digital twin solutions contribute to collaborative decision-making.

A robust digitization push in the years leading up to the pandemic mitigated the worst of the impact and allowed SIA to turn quickly. The airline, which has historically been ranked among the best airlines in the world, knew that creating a smoother customer experience would be crucial in winning back suspicious passengers.

SIA solutions include contactless options for customers, digitized means for health checks and immunization requirements, and non-health related digital upgrades e.g. B. the ability for travelers to control entertainment screens from their smartphones.

The airline’s digitization efforts have already had a significant impact on the airline, saving an estimated 5,00,000 man-hours.

Additionally, innovations in technology and approaches (e.g. by redefining efficiency in travel) are essential to redefining mobility. Cutting-edge technology such as autonomous devices and ultra-lightweight materials create opportunities to transform the mobility system by enabling new business models and mobility services. There are numerous innovations in aviation, e.g. B. Unmanned Aircraft Innovations; artificial intelligence; Biometrics; Robotics; Blockchain; alternative fuels and electric aircraft. Aviation is therefore ideally placed to support the innovation discourse and its potential impact on new mobility.

The World Economic Forum suggests that the use of these private sector and government innovations to address mobility challenges can contribute to an improved mobility landscape — if deployed in a coordinated and collaborative manner that aims to optimize the entire transportation system. Unfortunately, to date, these efforts can in many cases exacerbate transport problems, primarily by adding congestion and complexity, while also creating inefficiencies between public and private modes of transport.

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Sharing and utilizing technology and best practices from aviation and all modes of transport will help ensure the success and sustainability of the emerging mobility sector, build public trust and become sustainable.

As part of the 2030 Agenda, ICAO has been identified as the custodian of the global indicator of passenger and freight traffic by mode of transport. ICAO monitors and provides data to measure countries’ progress in building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.

The aviation industry is growing fast and will continue to grow. According to the latest estimates, air transport demand will increase by an average of 4.3 percent per year over the next 20 years.

If this growth trajectory is achieved by 2036, the airline industry will then contribute 15.5 million direct jobs and $1.5 trillion of GDP to the global economy. Factoring in the impact of global tourism, those numbers could rise to 97.8 million jobs and $5.7 trillion in GDP.

By the mid-2030s, no fewer than 2,00,000 flights a day are expected to take off and land worldwide.