At the recent 2019 World Aviation Festival in London, the use of digital technology to spur personalisation was a hot topic amongst presenters and attendees alike. The e-retail arena has long embraced the importance of utilising big data to target offers to consumers and have reaped the rewards. The airline and travel industries are beginning to adopt these same practices to their pricing intelligence and harnessing the power of big data to increase profitability. More than ever airlines get hungrier for data.

As part of a panel on the use of digital technology by low-cost carriers (LCCs) at the World Aviation Festival, it became clear that the use of e-retailing techniques will be key to driving the future of the industry. Harald Eisenaecher, CCO of Infare, joined a group of industry experts to discuss how LCCs are applying the methods used by digital giants like Amazon and Netflix to stay competitive in today’s market.
 
Harald Eisenaecher at World Aviation Festival airlines get hungrier for data

Photos courtesy of the World Aviation Festival

With the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more common, savvy consumers now expect to be recognised when browsing and making purchases online. By combining these tools with pricing intelligence data, airlines can quickly target offers for customers. It was noted by the panel that while airlines have traditionally been segmenting their customers since the 1970s, we are now seeing an increase in big data usage to shift from fixed prices to more dynamic, personalised pricing. “For us at Infare, the significant role of data is self-evident. It is how this data is utilised that will play a crucial part in how successful personalised pricing will be,” said Eisenaecher.
 
By looking at pricing intelligence in a new and innovative way, LCCs are especially increasing revenues and staying ahead of the competition. The wide-spread use of technology has changed the way airlines interact with consumers, allowing each customer to control how, when and what way they make travel plans. LCCs have been quick to embrace this change, and already starting to see measurable results. According to Eisenaecher, the use of big data by LCCs is growing three times as fast as network carriers, giving them a distinct advantage. “This increased use of data will pave the way for LCCs to be much more agile in creating and updating personalised offers for their customers,” he explained.
 
Currently, LCCs collect an abundance of transactional data about their customers through their digital interactions. This information, fused with comprehensive and trusted airfare data, allow LCCs to develop strategic, personalised packages and pricing for their customers. Following in the footsteps of other successful e-retailers, this dynamic customisation will result in increased profitability and loyalty, especially among LCCs.

 

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