Tech role in flight disruption breakthrough
Airlines are on the verge of a technological breakthrough in the quest to reduce flight disruptions, estimated to cost as much as $60 billion annually according to a new report commissioned by Amadeus. The study, Shaping the Future of Airline Disruption Management, was prepared by airline IT consultancy T2RL and says the disruption caused by bad weather, natural disasters and strike action costs the travel industry up to 8% of its global revenues. Compounding the problem, the report says disruptions “spread virally throughout the travel ecosystem” as the knock-on effect of late planes and crews creates further cancellations and delays, often from a relatively minor initial problem. The report’s author, T2RL principal consultant Ira Gershkoff, said airlines were heading for a breakthrough thanks to technological developments and increased investment in tackling disruption management. “There is every reason to believe the historic challenge of re-routing planes, crew and passengers during disruption will finally be addressed over the next several years,” Gershkoff said. “After a period of limited investment, the will has once again returned across airline boardrooms, driven in large part by the need to deliver reliably on ancillary product sales,” he said. “What’s important is that service providers across the entire industry are collaborating to mitigate the impact on the traveller.” The report says IT companies are actively developing solution prototypes and attempting to place them with airlines interested in being launch customers. Others are improving the productivity of airline flight controllers and field managers. “During the research of this paper, everyone we talked to expressed some degree of excitement that this longstanding problem for airlines and travellers is finally being addressed,” Gershkoff said.