Airlines and airports identify ‘brand damage’ and ‘increased costs’ as the primary consequences of ongoing disruptions, urging the need for improved integrated systems and collaborative platform technology for a more effective response.
Recent data from industry provider Infare reveals that flight disruption, marked by schedule changes, remains at a staggering 300% above historical norms. This persistent challenge stems from the aviation industry contending with a shortage of skilled personnel and the resurgence of global air travel demand.
In light of this scenario, Amadeus, a leading travel technology company, has initiated a comprehensive study titled ‘Better together: Rethinking how to manage disruption in aviation.’ The study engages senior executives from airlines and airports to comprehend the extent of the challenge and explore strategies to minimise disruption’s impact on passengers.
Survey results indicate that a majority of airline and airport executives (52%) report experiencing more disruption than in 2019, while a third report experiencing less disruption. Given the anticipation of sustained disruption levels, industry leaders are prioritising actions to mitigate these impacts.
Harry Grewal, Director of Infrastructure and Customer Experience at IATA, noted, “In 2022, airlines grappled with supply and staffing issues. However, in 2023, airlines and their partners are confronting an unprecedented resurgence in demand. While this is undoubtedly positive, it brings its own set of operational challenges.”
Holger Mattig, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Amadeus Airport & Airline Operations, emphasised the complexity of the disruption challenge, stressing the need for collaborative efforts among airlines, airports, ground handlers, and other stakeholders. He acknowledged the existence of information silos in aviation, hindering a cohesive response and affecting passengers. Mattig expressed optimism about the industry’s determination to overcome historical commercial tensions and adopt a more unified, traveler-centric approach to disruption, enabled by shared technology. Amadeus, he noted, is committed to contributing to this collaborative ecosystem, fostering efficiency in airport operations and enhancing the end-to-end passenger experience.
The study in question delves into technical, organisational, and commercial barriers to effective disruption management, highlighting passenger experience, cost reduction, and reputational risk as driving forces for change. Through interviews with leaders from organisations such as Air France, SAS, Western Sydney International Airport, and Queen Alia International Airport, the report showcases several significant new initiatives. Aviation executives outline projects aimed at improving passenger re-accommodation, enhancing the planning of non-air aspects of trips, and facilitating a more cohesive operational response involving airlines, airports, and ground handlers.