Four Future-Thinking Takeaways from the Aviation Festival

Aviation Festival 2017

Key leaders from airlines around the globe convened today for the first day of the Aviation Festival 2017 in London. The opening session featured an interview session hosted by Bloomberg’s Anna Edwards, and as she inquired into the near future of air travel via three prominent guests, we collected a few takeaways.

Personalization is the secret sauce

Featured first was Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates. He was asked whether, in order to stay competitive in the market, airlines should strip out the frills or invest more in the frills.

“With the digital revolution, we are far mHe said it was not about cutting or increasing features, but rather about offering the right type of personalization.

Data is “the new oil”

Another sentiment from Clark was the idea of data as a company’s most valuable resource. “Our business needs to have [data]. It’s the one chance we’ve got to really engage,” he explained.

One actionable implementation of data he specifically called out was blockchain. While it will be a large effort to transition a company and its partners to the solution, prices will conceivably lower without reducing profit.

Invest in simplicity

JetBlue CIO Eash Sundaram advocated for data-driven decisions that make the travel process less burdensome to the consumer.

“The founding principle of JetBlue is innovation,” he explained. JetBlue is thus looking to new Silicon Valley startups to help them evolve the high-ranking customer service that is at the core of their brand.

The innovation needs to be digital

A regulated industry limits the physical experience, but possibilities in digital have much more room to grow. Quantas CEO Gareth Evans said, “We can’t make beds any flatter but we can do much more with mobile.” By utilizing data, airlines can make decisions that disrupt their industry and put them out in front.

IBM will be on the Aviation Festival floor from now until Friday. For more information on our involvement in the airline industry, explore

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