Aviation industry invests 27.5 billion euros in IT

Airlines and airports invest in 2017 an estimated 27.5 billion euros in IT. This is evidenced by the SITA 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights  report published today. For both airlines and airports investment in cyber security and cloud services is high on the agenda. Investments in self-service also allow passengers to further improve passenger satisfaction.

SITA’s global research on airlines and airports shows that IT spending remains high. For airline companies this is estimated to be 3.30 per cent in 2017, or 20.4 billion euros. For airports, spending is expected to rise to 5.05 percent of revenue, which amounts to 7.1 billion euros. Looking forward to 2018, a large majority of airlines (70%) and airports (88%) expect IT spending to remain at the same level as now or even further.

Airlines and airports agree that cyber security has the highest priority in their investments. Almost everyone plans to invest in cybersecurity over the next three years.

“The aviation sector is currently undergoing a digital transformation. Industry and passenger protection is given much attention, just as improving efficiency and passenger experience, “said Ilya Gutlin, President Air Travel Solutions at SITA. “Cyber ​​attacks are a real threat in the highly intertwined aviation industry. Building a strong defense is therefore essential and contributes to a strong global industry. Cloud services play an important role in lowering costs due to significant efficiency improvements. As many as 95 percent of airlines and 85 percent of airports intend to invest in the next three years. Third, investments in self-service for passengers.

Antoine Rostworowski, Director of Airport Customer Experience and Technology, Airports Council International (ACI) states: “SITA’s research, co-funded by ACI, provides valuable insights for our industry. I think it is good to see that airports and airlines align their investment priorities, reflecting the cooperation between ACI and IATA. ACI and IATA have joint initiatives, such as automated border control, end-to-end baggage tracking, data exchange, shared use of IT at airports and Smart Security. Partners such as SITA are involved in these initiatives to make airports more efficient and improve passenger experience. ”

Airlines are increasingly focusing on their range of mobile services. With the vast majority of airlines, passengers can check in on a mobile device (73%), boarding (70%) and flight status reports (68%). By 2020, more than 97 percent of airlines plan to do so. Therefore, 89 percent of airports invest in these processes. At 94 percent, it is even a priority to offer this through a single app, which also integrates customer service. This provides a seamless experience for passengers. Another important area of ​​growth is to provide real-time flight updates via social media. It is expected to increase from 31 percent to 92 percent in the next three years.

Airports also invest heavily in personalization (68%) and finding the most efficient route for passengers (74%). They are now looking for new technologies to support these goals, such as the Internet of Things, Beacons and Sensors. SITA’s insights show that 80 percent invests further in these technologies in the next three years or plans to invest.

SITA’s IT Trends is known as the global benchmarking survey for the air transport sector. Earlier this year senior IT managers from top airlines and airports participated in the investigation. The results for 2017 give a clear insight into the strategies and developments in the field of IT in the aviation industry.

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