Pascal Clement, Head of Travel Intelligence at Amadeus, talks about the Air Traffic solution, the emergence of new technologies and holidays in the future.
What is the significance of travel intelligence for a company like Amadeus?
Business intelligence is all about three factors: 1) data 2) high technical analysis capabilities and 3) industry knowledge. Amadeus has all three and we are very good at all of them, so we are well placed to provide support to our customers in this area. The “classic” business intelligence tools were struggling to bring the speed and relevance needed. But the emergence of new technologies and the abundance of digital data are now giving us the possibility of being much more relevant to help our customers understand their business in real time. The travel industry can be very fragmented, so this type of intelligence which gives a holistic view is a critical asset.
Can you give an example?
Let’s say that I’m an airline and I have a plane leaving in 4 days which still has 3 seats available. Data analysis on that route tells me that I never get late bookings for that particular itinerary around those dates. So, for instance, I may want to offer those seats at very competitive prices to some regular or platinum customers who fly regularly on that route or who I know are interested in that particular destination. This can help to drive both customer loyalty, as well as revenue increases.
What benefits can a tool such as Amadeus Air Traffic generate and for whom?
This solution calculates the most accurate air passenger volume for any Origin and Destination worldwide, including those dominated by low-cost carriers and direct airline sales. This means that airlines can plan and develop networks that respond to true passenger traffic demands and meet a clear need in the market based on complete Origin and Destination data.
In addition, airlines are major contributors to economic development because of the amount of business they bring to a certain place. If an airline allows you to go cheaply and easily from point A to B, this brings value to your capability of growing business in point B. Beyond the airline sector, many industries can benefit from these insights on air traffic flows between two particular points.
The travel industry seems to be moving away from a push supplier model to a pull model – the traveller is at the driver seat and becoming the centre of interest. Is there something for the traveller in travel intelligence tools?
Definitely. The number of travellers worldwide is growing – the expectation is that it will double in the next 10 years – and they want to have a better understanding of the travel industry and the trends, because of how travel impacts their lives. I can easily think of a tomorrow where I, as a traveller, will not have to look for my holidays – my holidays will be proposed to me by any provider who has the capabilities. For example, if I am someone who likes playing golf in Spring, I could be offered very targeted holidays based on that data, at the appropriate time and in the appropriate geographies. We will need more proactivity on the part of the travel players, and travellers will like it. The deployment of data and intelligence – increasingly referred to as Big Data – has the potential to improve the traveller experience in many ways, such as being more inspired by travel providers about different travel choices, easier and more seamless booking right through to better management of disruption if it occurs while travelling.
Which trends in travel intelligence do you see taking off in the future?
Geolocalisation and mobile technology will play a big role. Imagine, I’m stuck in a traffic jam 50 kilometres from the airport and, through geolocalisation, the airline knows that I will not be able to make it to the flight. They can reallocate my seat to another traveller and rebook me on the next available flight. Conversely, if I’m driving close to the airport and the airline knows where I am and that I will arrive on time to get on the plane, then they could automatically check me in for the flight.
As an example of the wealth of data available from Amadeus’ Air Traffic intelligence solution, take a look at the infographic below, which identifies trends in air traffic volume and areas of industry growth. For more information see the full press release 300 world ‘super routes’ attract 20% of all air travel.