• February 9, 2017

Hello, Airline Industry: It’s the Cloud Calling

How the cloud could improve air travel.

The airline industry is facing a number of challenges. Whether it’s relentless competition driving down fares, ongoing consolidation, or seemingly never-ending security threats, now is not an easy time to thrive as an airline. Further compounding these problems is an array of technical issues. Consolidation has led to the cobbling together of legacy IT systems, resulting in glitches, outages, and breakdowns in service.

To get ahead, today’s airlines are faced with the difficult task of simultaneously cutting costs and improving customer service. The key to meeting this monumental undertaking head-on is not only upgrading their outdated technology, but also turning their attention to the cloud.

A Smooth Flight to the Cloud

On the whole, the airline industry is a latecomer to the cloud. Yet the reasons for moving there are plentiful, not least of which is the huge amount of data that airlines require to operate effectively. That data is necessary for everything from managing baggage to boosting loyalty and personalizing offers. Importantly, much of the data, such as information about weather and ground conditions, is also mission-critical for safety and needs to be accessible on demand around the clock.

By moving their most important systems into the cloud, airlines can reap benefits, including reducing costs, increasing scalability and productivity, and better engaging with customers.

Let’s look at just a couple of practical examples of how moving to the cloud can help airlines:

  • Automated maintenance. Aircraft maintenance is a major concern for every airline and one that requires significant resources. By putting aircraft maintenance records in the cloud, airlines can have an easier time maintaining their fleet by having all of the data in one place, while also staying on top of new technology, safety guidelines, and other important considerations.
  • Better self-service. Imagine going to the airport and being able to board a flight without all of the hassle we’re used to today. By moving to the cloud and integrating data from various booking and reservation systems, as well as visa and security clearance details, airlines will be able to create self-boarding gates, eliminating the need for staff and dramatically improving customer experiences in the process.

More Than Just Pie in the Sky

Embracing the right technologies will go a long way toward helping airlines overcome operational hurdles. The adoption of cloud computing is on the uptake in the industry, but once it’s more widespread, we can expect to see much more efficient and effective airlines competing for our business. And that’s something that we can all be happy about.

Like this story? Read about how Big Data shapes your vacations and Enterprise Service’s Connected Traveler.