Innovation

This is why airlines are not ready for Bitcoin just yet

This is why airlines are not ready for Bitcoin just yet

Customer: Can I pay you in bitcoin? Ticket counter agent: Mmm, no. I am sorry. Customer: Why not??? It is the currency of the digital age! Ticket counter agent: I'm sorry, we do not accept bitcoin. Cash or card? Customer: But why not? This conversation could be happening right now, at the ticket counter of any major airline, in any of the busy airports around the world. Interestingly, both parties are quite right and perfectly justified in their positions on the topic. So let us look at both sides of the coin and try to explain why. Bitcoin, despite the initial bad press about being used in qu...

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Soul searching for tech innovators: Tell customers WHY not just WHAT

Soul searching for tech innovators

Once upon a time, people would thank technology for letting them do things they never dreamed possible. Those times are gone, and people are harder to please than ever before. Today's users want to get things done faster, easier, more efficiently and at a definite cost advantage over the long term that would ultimately pay for the technology itself. Otherwise, investing in technology just doesn't make sense! HAX, a hardware accelerator which supports multiple start-ups in the robotics space, recently hosted a demonstration of the technologies developed under their incubation. A common consensu...

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

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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 b...

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Smart bags and tags: Are they smart enough?

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

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"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, inclu...

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