Digitization and COVID-19: Aviation’s Paradigm Shift
As the global community enters a post COVID 19 pandemic reality, defining a clear recovery strategy along with utilizing all available resources, will be imperative to most businesses achieving success within the “new normal”. And digitization is obviously part of it.
In one of our previous blog post here, we focused on what this means for the Aviation industry, in particular Airlines, Airports, Equipment Manufactures and Service Providers. Based on the current Covid-19 reality, the focus of Aviation should be straightforward; improve the efficiency of processes and embrace the latest technologies. For both, Digitization is the common denominator for many reasons.
Improving efficiency with technology
In the context of process optimization and embracing the latest technologies, what does Digitization mean for Aviation?
An airline digital transformation is not just about modernizing your software or migrating back end systems to the cloud. Instead, it’s about taking a new way at how your airline could integrate the latest hardware and software into its processes to better serve its customers, generate more value and become more efficient. Basically, using technology allows airliners and airports to bring many aspects of their organizations to the next level.
Integrating technology such as ground operations software allows your staff and teams to be more efficient because it affects positively your processes. For instance, transitioning from the pen and paper to digital devices reduce time consumption in terms of data collection, storage and analysis. That way, productivity of ground operations agents is improved to the benefit of the team collaboration on the ground.
Improving efficiency on the ground can also have a positive impact on the customer experience. Increased productivity of your staff means faster operations management. As a result, it reduces delays but also management costs. We all know that time is what is more important for customers, they often are leaving for holidays and they want to be at destination as quickly as possible. Let’s imagine you’re having delays because of ground operations management, their satisfaction towards your airline will be affected. Studies shows that Airlines with a better customer experience grow 5 times faster than the average…
Strengthening security to handle effectively COVID-19
Many concerns have merged from the pandemic situation and many aviation professionals were not prepared to handle it in an effective manner. According to IATA, “COVID-19 spreads by respiratory droplets. These are breathed out particularly when the sick person coughs, sneezes or talks, and then they are either breathed in directly by someone else, or travel via the hands of the sick person to the hands of the well person, who then touches their face and breathes in the particles. Less efficiently, the virus may be passed from hands to hands via recently touched surfaces. Most of the spread has been from close contact with someone unwell at the time. Close contact is typically defined as being within 1-2 meters for 15 minutes.” As a result, minimize staff interaction and implement social distancing have been identified as short-term priorities to tackle in order to ensure security of both employees and customers.
But how to maintain this level of physical security? Airlines, airports and ground service providers have to go digital. It is obvious that no company wants its operational processes to play a role in transmission of the virus. As such, integrating technology to avoid physical contact has been identified as a must-have in order to reduce risk of infection. Moreover, as working remotely is nowadays the new standard, implementing collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams to enhance the efficiency among the different teams has become undisputable.
« Digital Transformation and digitization of processes in the aviation industry are now crucial, it’s not a nice-to-have anymore »
Peter Hansen, Wiseleap
So now what? From a starting point, it must be clear a “status quo” way of conducting operations based on pre Covid-19 assumptions and strategies is no longer a valid recipe to achieving success. It is imperative for all of Aviation to make a fundamental change in its operational approach is to ensure Aviation survival and success. Compared to other industries, digitization can lead to major benefits at all levels. By digitalising their processes, airlines, airport, service providers can enhance the efficiency of their operation management improve employee productivity, reduce costs by saving time and money, therefore improve the customer experience.
However we know from experience disruption and change are often adopted without any real enthusiasm and implementing new things such as software into processes takes time because it impacts the status quo within the entire Aviation community, including Airlines, Airports and also the service providers. As a result, the Aviation industry has been slow to adopt technology. It is imperative for all of Aviation to recognize the urgency of the new reality and make a paradigm shift by embracing Digital Transformation. Integrating software to streamline processes needs to become an urgent topic that aviation professionals collectively need to tackle. This is essential to ensure Aviation’s survival and success.
Martin Schreiber is currently Director of Operations at Wiseleap Solutions. He possesses a comprehensive understanding and extensive experience in the Aviation Industry. Over the last 10 years, he has utilized his expertise focusing on Aircraft Ground Operations.