PSI has been taking a look at developments and emerging trends in global air travel in recent years and how they are giving rise to exciting new opportunities for advertisers to reach travellers as they move through their journeys.
PSI provides powerful marketing solutions to engage audiences travelling
internationally. We’ve been taking a look at developments and emerging trends
in global air travel in recent years and how they are giving rise to exciting new
opportunities for advertisers to reach travellers as they move through their journeys.
A global growth market
While the UK awaits the expansion of Heathrow Airport,
other parts of the world are taking strides in developing
their airport industries and creating new routes to previously
China has one of the fastest-growing domestic flight markets
in the world, with ambitions to overtake the U.S. as the largest
air traffic market by 2034. We’ve seen huge investment
($11.7bn in 2016) in building, expanding and modernising
the country’s airports, opening new opportunities to target an
increasingly mobile, affluent audience.
China was not the largest growth market for air travel last
year though. India witnessed the largest passenger rise of
any market in 2016, driven predominantly by domestic flights.
The race to capture market share of India’s growing middle
classes has seen many airlines dropping prices, with some
even operating at a loss. This competitiveness, coupled
with huge investment ($120 billion over the next decade)
in airport infrastructure, will see India become one of the
biggest passenger markets over the next five years.
The lifting of sanctions in Tehran last year also opened up
new trade channels and allowed Iran to take a step closer
to becoming a new player in the global travel industry.
With the world’s largest reserve of gas and oil, coupled
with the government’s desire to modernise its air traffic
infrastructure, we also expect it to gain a significant global
footprint by the end of the decade. Iran Air, the country’s
flagship carrier, has recently completed a deal with Boeing for
80 brand new aircraft, worth $16bn.
As increasing numbers take to the skies, the flight experience
has the potential to become more frustrating and inefficient,
but in fact the availability of new technology and data streams
is transforming air travel into a seamless, more personalised
and connected experience – a new golden era for travel.
New Delhi Airport
From an advertising perspective we are already reaping
the benefits of this evolution, as seen by the increasing
prevalence of dynamic advertising campaigns plugging
into real time passenger data feeds. Using dynamic
delivery technology we can already target audiences in a
specific place at a certain time, but with increased access
to passenger, airport and flight data, we can begin to
personalise messaging even further, for example targeting
specific flight arrivals in their native language, with product or
service information tailored specifically to them.
Having escaped much of the hassle of check-in and security
procedures passengers will be more relaxed and willing to
engage with retail, entertainment and advertising experiences
ushering in a more seamless airport experience
From mobile boarding cards to biometric passports,
we are already experiencing a more personalised
flight experience. The success of online check-in has
served as a positive precursor to digitisation, removing
some of the waiting time associated with air travel and
handing more control to the passenger.
Greater technology and use of connected data means
experiences such as passenger security and baggage
handling are becoming far more streamlined.
British Airways has recently launched its “AirPortr
+ Bag Check-In” service. This allows travellers to
get their baggage collected from a pre-determined
location, security scanned and checked straight
into the baggage handling system using AirPortr’s
proprietary app. Using radio frequencies on security
tags, users can then track their luggage online, receive
email or SMS updates, and have the luggage delivered
direct to their hotel room.
New faster security screening technology is also
starting to appear in airports, with 3D scanners
already in use at two European airports and across
the US, automatically identifying possible threats and
illegal substances and reducing the need for staff to
manually check luggage or passengers. A team of
engineers at Northeastern University in Boston are
currently working to create security walkways filled
with high-capacity sensors capable of screening
multiple travellers at any one time, detecting potential
threats, whilst avoiding the need to stop and search.
The rise in these types of technology is opening up
access to further passenger data, both statistical and
behavioural. This data, and the willingness to share
it, is of huge benefit to the aviation industry, providing
further opportunities to personalise and ease the
customer experience, on the ground and on-board.
On-board connectivity has already begun to roll out and
will be commonplace by 2025. A new report released this
January by Routehappy has revealed that more than 70
airlines already offer in-flight Wi-Fi in most regions, with
11 of these new to the scene in the last 12 months alone.
However the report does highlight that quality is still relatively
low, with more than a third of current services only offering
basic browsing capabilities.
While scaled, high quality Wi-Fi provision still has some way
to go, airlines and airports are using technology in other
ways to deliver in-flight entertainment.
For example, Heathrow Airport’s ‘EntertainMe’ screens,
currently on trial at T5, enable passengers to select content
such as EBooks, Movies, Music and download it onto their
iPhone or iPad to enjoy during the in-flight stage of their
journey. Many airlines are also offering Netflix-style
platforms / dashboards where users can access and
stream their own content. Virgin and Jet Blue have already
partnered with Netflix and Amazon Prime respectively.
We also are seeing airlines beginning to leverage the
growing connectivity of devices and everyday objects,
combining technology from a passenger’s seat with data
from their biometric information and personal devices to
truly personalise the inflight experience.
Seat sensors will be able to alert cabin crew to individual
passenger responses to the flight, such as anxiety,
hydration or temperature, for example, and enable staff to
offer specific support or change the cabin environment
to provide more comfort.
In the future, wearable and holographic tech will become
commonplace. Qantas has already introduced an in-flight
virtual reality experience, in partnership with Samsung
Electronics. The VR headset gives passengers an immersive
entertainment experience, and collects and transmits data
about passengers, enabling the airline offer increasingly more
personalised and relevant content on future flights. It’s easy
to see how this could develop further with airlines providing
VR travel guides to destinations, VR ‘try before you buy’
on-board retail experiences, or VR gaming opportunities.
Technology and data are giving rise to new personalised and connected travel experiences, with increasing media and brand
partnership opportunities for marketers to become a relevant and useful presence, seamlessly integrated into passenger
We are excited to be at the forefront of innovation in this space, pushing boundaries and bringing new touchpoint
opportunities to the forefront. We hope you’ll join us on the exciting journey to come.
enabling a more personal
The seamless and personal journey:
the opportunity for advertisers
For more information, please contact - email@example.com
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