The majority of aviation and airline leaders expect flight disruption to remain at high levels, according to a detailed new survey and report by travel technology giant Amadeus.
According to the survey, conducted by industry data provider Infare, flight disruption – as indicated by schedule changes – remains 300% above historical norms due to the ongoing skills shortage in the airline industry and the continually rising demand for air travel.
More than 50% of aviation executives – airport and airline bosses – said they are seeing more disruption than before Covid and are expecting the trend to continue.
“In 2022 airlines struggled with supply and staffing issues, but during 2023, airlines and their partners are simply facing an unprecedented return of demand. Of course, that’s very welcome, but it brings its own operational challenges,” said Harry Grewal, Director of Infrastructure and Customer Experience, IATA.
Key insights from the study include:
· 64% of airlines are investing in new technology to improve their response to disruption
· The top reason for airline investment was to ‘improve our public image’ at 70%, well ahead of ‘to reduce costs’ at 34%
· Airlines point to the need for ‘closer integration of our own operational systems to gain a holistic view disruption’ as the top capability to improve their response
· Airport leaders reported a ‘lack of common technology that brings stakeholders together’ as their top challenge when responding to disruption (50%)
· A third of airport leaders pointed to ‘last minute provision of information from airlines’ as a persistent challenge.
· All airports surveyed confirmed they are planning to invest in technology at their Operational Control Centers to better manage disruption. A quarter plan to do so in the next 12 months.
Holger Mattig, SVP Product Management, Amadeus Airport & Airline Operations, said: “Disruption is a hugely complex problem that requires airlines, airports, ground handlers and others to work collaboratively. Unfortunately, we still have too many information silos in aviation, which impacts the overall response and ultimately passengers. However, I do sense a real determination across the industry to put historic commercial tensions to one side and deliver a better, more joined-up and traveler-centric approach to disruption that’s empowered by shared technology.
“At Amadeus, we are happy to contribute to this stronger ecosystem collaboration across people and technology, allowing for more efficient airport operations and a smoother end-to-end passenger experience.”