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Aravind Ramachandran

Aviation in Africa: Need for local partnerships and an economic challenge

​The continent of Africa has a total of 54 independent countries, but international trade to and from the region is dominated by just five countries. Growth is steady on the whole (around 1.5% in 2016 and 2.6% in 2017) standing just behind Asia as a continent, and expected to strengthen in the coming years. But some countries in the region stand out - Ethiopia has been growing at 10% by IATA estimates while Kenya shows a 6% growth rate according to World Bank estimates. This distribution of trade across the expanse of the continent calls for a good connectivity network as can be provided only ...
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Aravind Ramachandran

Smart bags and tags: Are they smart enough?

Anyone who has lost a bag on a flight will tell you it starts off as a terrible inconvenience and often ends up as a costly experience. Airline companies typically apply the same scale of compensation for a bag irrespective of the nature and monetary or sentimental value of its contents. Claims are made based on the weight of what was lost, and comes with a large number of conditions attached to decide eligibility. In other words, it doesn't really make a difference to an airline company what was in the lost baggage, just like it doesn't matter to a passenger how exactly his/her bag was lost. ...
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Aravind Ramachandran

Trading data for convenience and other inclinations of today’s airline passenger

​ "We know, because we asked" - IATA For the past half a decade, IATA (for whom IBS is a strategic partner) has been exploring what's on the mind of airline passengers around the world, in a bid to find out what they love, what they hate and what they want in the future. Yours truly did his bit this year, spending a quarter of an hour answering questions and even speculating a little bit – you can do so too at www.iata.org/paxsurvey until next month. But my main objective today is not promoting the survey; instead it is to use their results to quickly examine how passengers are at present, inc...
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Aravind Ramachandran

Desperate to fly? Start bidding on your airfare

Typically, airline ticket prices are determined by a very complex algorithm . In addition to the costs incurred by the airline on account of the flight, this takes into account a lot of factors like the airports being connected by the flight, the date of the journey, date of booking, time of flight, availability of options/competition etc. These help determine the current demand and hence maximize profits based on what a customer may be willing to pay. A key part of the algorithm boils down to this: To a customer who is currently looking for flight tickets, a seat on a flight tomorrow is much ...
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Aravind Ramachandran

Desire to destination: Why social networks aren’t competition, but valuable partners for OTAs

 " Travel sites are not just competing with other travel sites. They are in attention competition with every Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat account and need to have an imagery plan in place " - A popular website covering the travel industry published an article which presented such a view. When interpreting how the travel business works, there are two sides to this coin! Social networks don't challenge the travel distribution chain, they strengthen it and provide the capability to refine the content with great levels of customization. It hardly matters where a potential customer gets tha...
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