Abu Dhabi – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the positive response to the Simplifying the Business (StB) White Paper (WP) by delegates that attended the World Passenger Symposium in Abu Dhabi.
The WP was produced by the StB Think Tank which included stakeholders from across the travel value chain. The WP is the foundation for a new StB program focused on adding value to the whole passenger experience while improving efficiency, increasing revenue opportunities and managing costs for the industry.
“Now is the time to move to the next generation of StB projects. Key enablers from previous StB projects such as e-ticketing, self-service kiosks and bar coded boarding passes have become part of the fabric of modern travel—proving that innovation on a global scale is possible. Our next generation focus is on projects that add value to the whole passenger experience while improving efficiency, increasing revenue opportunities and better managing costs across the industry,” said Alex Popovich, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Industry Distribution and Financial Services.
The StB WP was developed by the StB Think Tank which includes participants from airlines, travel agents, technology providers and global distribution systems. Over the last year, the StB Think Tank took ideas presented at the 2011 World Passenger Symposium and consulted broadly across industry stakeholders to arrive at five goals for new StB projects and initiatives:
Airline products. The goal is for customers to benefit from personalized and dynamically packaged travel offers, and for airlines to be able to offer these regardless of distribution channel. This will be achieved through a New Distribution Capability (NDC) platform, based on open XML standards that will facilitate innovation. Competition and the needs of travelers will determine how airlines, travel agents, system providers and new entrants use the new capability.
Passenger data. The goal is to enable passengers to clear border control and security verification in advance of arriving at the airport through integrating passenger data between airlines and government.
Real-time interaction. The goal is to improve the passenger travel experience with real-time interaction during the travel process between the airline and the passenger. Ensuring the availability of accurate mobile contact information and access to Wi-Fi are two key enablers and will be the focus of two programs of work in this area.
Hassle free. The goal is to create for the passenger a fast and comfortable airport experience from curb-to-airside. Among the initiatives associated with this goal are Fast Travel (self-service options for check-in, document scanning, baggage tagging, boarding, re-booking and baggage tracing), Checkpoint of the Future (for more efficient and effective security), and developing a single token to facilitate all aspects of the travel process.
Seamless journey. The goal is to smooth out the passenger journey beyond the airport by facilitating information exchange with partners throughout the journey (ground transport, hotels, tour companies, cruise ship operators etc).
“The five goals of the WP are about adding value to the passenger experience. Combined, they form a vision for a new way of traveling that will give passengers greater choice, control and a better end-to-end experience. And creating more value for customers will create innovation opportunities for businesses across the value chain. Building these based on global standards will be critical. And turning this vision into reality will need a team effort. I invite all businesses with a stake in driving the efficiency and quality of the aviation sector to work with us to create an industry fit for the passenger of tomorrow,” concluded Popovich.