Flight comparison site Skyscanner has analyzed and identified the top trends that are predicted to dominate the industry next year.
A detailed study looks at how will airlines need to adapt with increasing passenger numbers and what opportunities the rise will bring to the industry.
The publication comes against a backdrop of passenger numbers set to double over the next 20 years, predicted to reach 8.2 billion by 2037, according to Iata.
Key trends identified for 2019 include:
* The pace of change is being driven by changing consumer technology habits, with a greater number of consumers around the world showing a growing preference for mobile platforms.
* New alternative payment methods emerging to make transactions more seamless and instantaneous to accommodate digitally reliant and mobile-first travellers.
* How brands will continue to enhance engagement and retention, not just revenue.
The report highlights progress in Iata New Distribution Capability (NDC) take up by carriers and Skyscanner’s involvement as the first global search site to join the new NDC Exchange.
Airlines including British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and Scoot are seeing the benefits of NDC Direct Booking on Skyscanner, capitalizing on the access of more than 80 million monthly website visitors, according to the study.
Skyscanner delivered revenue growth in its direct booking programme of about 600% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018.
Airlines are converting browsing to booking with an average 20% conversion uplift – 50% in mobile conversions – in addition to a doubling in ancillary revenue.
Airlines including BA, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, and the Latam Group, have also joined the NDC Exchange with Air Canada the first in August.
The adoption of NDC by airlines will continue to accelerate next year with the effective use of NDC standards to introduce new products and offers to travelers gaining traction, the study suggests.
The report projects faster payments across multiple platforms with airlines already making the shift to accept alternative payments like WeChat Pay, Alipay and Apple Pay.
Accompanying a shift to mobile is a greater reliance on voice assistants.
“There are still a number of questions on whether voice search might become a significant opportunity for search and booking or simply a tool for travel management, but Air Canada’s user-case hints at promising possibilities.
“Over the next 20 years, delivering seamless travel to 8.2 billion travellers will rely increasingly on the open exchange of information, simplified bookings, easier payments, and smart applications that encourage passengers to manage their own travel.”
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