Innovation

Desperate to fly? Start bidding on your airfare

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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 m...

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

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 "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 that ...

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Automation of airline customer service – the predictability model

Automation of airline customer service – the predictability model

In the last post, I had written about price as the one factor that will drive how people accept automation in the air travel industry. The function of price, in this context, is to help compensate for the absence of one characteristic (human element) of a service which passengers are so used to. If, in some period of time from today, it becomes emotionally acceptable for passengers to travel in an aircraft without the presence of a trained cabin crew for support, we need to have some idea of what that will look like. The enabling keyword is 'predictability' in this context. With current techno...

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Flights staffed by AI: The one driver for customer acceptance

Flights staffed by AI: The one driver for customer acceptance

​​Artificial intelligence and machines are taking over from human knowledge and labor as the platform on which businesses will run in the future. Having said that, it is important to understand that many skilled jobs currently performed by humans will be restructured and made more impactful by technology than be totally replaced by it. The aviation industry's unique positioning makes some parts a little more complex to automate than most other sectors. Already based on a platform of advanced technology, the industry also leans heavily on customer service quality and offerings as a means to dis...

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Distributed, scalable airports: Shorter drives, fewer missed flights

Distributed, scalable airports: Shorter drives, fewer missed flights

 As a city grows – in terms of population as well as the resulting trade volumes – it will lead to more demand for air travel and allied services. In 2015 alone, the world population grew by 86.84 million. The number of registered carrier departures around the world increased by 36% in the 2005-15 decade, which is thrice the rate of population growth as per World Bank estimates. The Centre for Economics and Business Research, a London-based consultancy, estimates the cost of congestion in England, France, Germany and the US to be around $200 billion in 2013 alone. It is predicted that thi...

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