[Interview] The Digital Airline of the Future and its Implications for Travel

Editor’s Note: To kick-start 2015, we are publishing a five-part weekly series on the Future of Air Travel. For this exclusive series, SimpliFlying consultants have been interacting with leading thinkers and futurists and tapping their valuable insights.

SimpliFlying’s CEO, Shashank Nigam met SITA Lab’s Director, Renaud Irminger, at their Geneva based headquarters. SITA Lab is part of the SITA Group, the leading ICT provider for air transport industry. They do extensive R&D on how new technologies will impact industry at large, providing benefits to airlines, passengers and all other stakeholders, by reducing pain points, costs and creating new opportunities.

In this brief, yet exciting, conversation Renaud discusses how the digital airline of the future will offer location-based services via beacon technology, and will revolutionise air travel. SITA Labs also predicts biometric devices, which even can be embedded in the future traveler’s body, and upcoming smart devices like the Apple Watch can succeed in finding a single travel token for the passenger, eliminating the need of boarding passes, passports and other documentation. SimpliFlying’s State of Airline Marketing report recently also mentioned “Cool Tech” among the 7 key trends in airline marketing today.

All this is not a decade or more away. In fact, SITA Labs revealed to us that trials are happening this year for all these technologies with a leading airline.

  • Biggest innovations in the airline industry [0:56]
  • Three technologies that will impact passenger experience in the future [1:30]
  • Will the boarding pass get replaced with a smarter technology? [2:58]
  • When will smarter technology enter the travel experience? [3:11]

As Renaud mentions, the biggest and most important push will come on making the day and time of travel easier and more convenient, making missed flights a thing of the past. Here’s a similar biometric device to what Renaud mentioned — if this is the future, we are all in!

What is the future of air travel according to you? Tell us in the comments below.

Vishal Mehra

Vishal Mehra

Vishal Mehra is leading Social and Digital marketing efforts at SimpliFlying. A self-confessed commercial aviation geek, Vishal has led digital marketing campaigns at leading global agencies for 9 years, before finding his dream job at the intersection of aviation and digital marketing. His interests include Travelling, Technology, Podcasts (long before Serial arrived) and Beer.
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