Big data and the way ahead for airlines

Airlines are preparing for the future by embracing big data to enhance the customer experience. In fact, both Emirates and Qantas are already looking at how they can better serve their customers with information outside of the simple booking process. Emirates believes the key is to partner with well established brands that the customer expects, while Qantas wants to own the customer at every level.

Emirates chief digital and innovation officer Christoph Mueller believes airlines will be acting very differently in the next decade, driven by the need to respond genuinely to the big data kings. The big intermediaries will own the commoditised part of the market. It will be up to the brands to drive the personalised experience.

As an example, Mr Mueller said, “I believe that the end user wants the airline to have access to a Spotify profile or a Netflix profile, so that we can really serve the customer best with a tailored playlist on board of the plane”, he continued saying, “the sharing of big data is the last step in digital maturity of our industry.”

Qantas aims to be its largest distribution source and compete with the likes of Amazon in Australia, by owning the customer. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce believes the carrier’s digital and data analytical capabilities are what set it apart and what will ensure its success in the future. Mr Joyce says, “big data and digitisation is what can disrupt the airlines and if you’re not heavily invested in that and have the culture to take advantage of it, you can get disrupted quite quickly.”