AIX2016: SITAONAIR has sights set on connected apps

Francois Rodriguez, SITAONAIR's Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer
Francois Rodriguez, SITAONAIR’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer

SITAONAIR is demonstrating how connected apps can deliver better interactions between passengers, cabin crew and pilots by pushing relevant contextualised information to their mobile devices.

The company says it has tuned its applications to identify what information they all need, and at what time, during the flight.

Francois Rodriguez, SITAONAIR’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, said: “This will help the travel sector more quickly adopt the best practices that have been used successfully by the hospitality industry.

“This industry learned that by leveraging new technologies and digital transformation to understand more about their returning guests they could create an even better, tailored customer experience that is more enjoyable. This is exactly what is about to happen for the airline industry too.”

It says its SITAONAIR e-Aircraft app can help cabin crew identify when something is needed by passengers and drive ancillary revenue sales via social media and “turn an occasional customer into a loyal brand advocate”.

It can also help the pilot communicate with the cabin crew to improve flight safety and passenger comfort. Or connect passengers with on-ground support staff to get relevant flight information or change a booking.

Rodriguez adds: “Putting this in context, this week sees the Champions’ League Quarter Finals and five of the eight teams are sponsored by airlines.

“This means fans watching and Tweeting about the matches from a flight could be engaged with and kept up to date with special loyalty-programme deals.”

SITAONAIR Connectivity

SITAONAIR is demonstrating how airlines can improve the passenger experience, streamline processes and increase ancillary revenues by embracing digital transformation of their onboard passengers’ interactions and by implementing connectivity on their fleets.

Rodriguez, continued: “Improving the customer experience through connectivity isn’t just about offering ever faster Wi-Fi. Its this contextualisation, this understanding of what will be relevant to a specific passenger at a specific time, that will ultimately deliver a more relaxing, enjoyable experience during the flight and build brand loyalty.”

As the digital revolution gains extra pace, airlines are also increasingly digitizing their crew. SITA’s 2015 IT Trends survey showed that 69% of airlines will provide tablets to cabin crew in the next three years.

It says, once connected, the next phase for airlines is to develop innovative apps and communication channels that allow cabin crew with tablets to differentiate the passenger experience.

It plans to roll-out its cabin application app on Singapore Airlines when it adopts Inmarsat’s GX inflight connectivity later this year. SITAONAIR said that it is currently surveying the aircraft and testing the Honeywell MCS-8200 antenna at its labs. It hopes to start installations in Q4 2016.

The company is also working on e-Enablement applications that can download QAR (Quick Access Recorder) and other aircraft data, either via a 3G connection at the gate or via a satcom link.

It hopes to make a major customer or partner announcement about its e-Enablement solutions shortly.

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