Outgoing IATA chief: airlines under pressure to keep up with tech
The International Air Transport Association‘s director-general and CEO Tony Tyler says the airline industry will always be up against the ongoing advances in technology.
The International Air Transport Association‘s director-general and CEO says the industry will always be up against the ongoing advances in technology.
Tony Tyler, who retires from the role this month after a five-year term, argues that airlines have to “keep pace with the technology cycle”, although concedes that it is something that they will always find challenging.
Speaking at the IATA annual general meeting in Dublin, Ireland, this week, Tyler says:
“Technology will continue to bring value to the business and efficiency to the customer experience – probably in ways that we have not yet even imagined.”
Part of the challenge facing airlines is also how they meet “the changing expectations of our customers”, he argues, adding:
“Working together is the key ingredient to keeping this foundation stone strong.”
Tyler clearly believes one of the biggest initiatives that the organisation has pushed ahead with in recent years – its New Distribution Capability standard for airlines – will be one way of getting the sector to collaborate.
The “state-of-the-art online marketplace”, launched four years ago and causing a massively polarised set of reactions from carriers and tech providers alike, is now “a reality”, Tyler claims.
Twenty carriers are using the NDC standards to sell tickets, he says, with a certification programme now in place to push the initiative forward.
“This will help airlines, IT suppliers and travel agents to find each other.”
The next significant role for IATA will be to establish its One Order initiative, Tyler says, as it tries to combine and bring forward a new type of Passenger Name Record, e-ticking system and Electronic Miscellaneous Documents.
“The result will be one reference number—simplifying life for passengers and streamlining complex and costly reconciliation processes.”
Alongside BDC, Tyler says IATA and its airline members must face the “growing challenge” of protecting cyber security.
“Our electronically connected world is vulnerable to hackers bent on causing chaos.
“We are all vulnerable and there is no guaranteed way to stay a step ahead. That makes real time collaboration and information exchange with governments and across the industry critical.”
Prior to taking the top job at IATA, Tyler was CEO at Cathay Pacific from 2007 to 2011 as well as IATA’s chairman for 12 months between mid-2009 and 2010.
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