The rise in the cost of fuel, and other economic factors, have fundamentally altered the business philosophies of airlines: market share, for instance, is no longer as important as profitability; and the growth of the internet has put a premium on flexibility.
These foundational changes necessitate information, and the tools to access it quickly, and from anywhere.
The relationship between aviation market intelligence and airlines is clearly a crucial one – and it is expanding along with the evolution and proliferation of flight tracking data systems throughout the airline industry, and among the traveling public.
Airline management is continually pressured to review long-standing practices – specifically because of this instantaneous spreading of data, and the great increase in the number of people who are able to access the information.
But clearly, airlines are not only challenged by the tech revolution – they are benefitting from these changes, too: In one of the most significant innovations of recent times, aviation market intelligence has reached beyond airline route planners, schedulers, market managers, and sales managers – to involve travellers in a more crucial way than ever before.
The reach of information, and the ready participation of the end user through easily obtained software, have revolutionized the industry in many ways – enabling travellers to re-schedule as necessary, for instance, to choose optimum routes, or even to compare fares, or get information about airport facilities.
All of this can be done on the go, or on short notice, and has made it possible for everyone to participate in the flight tracking process, and to structure important travel schedules – both for personnel and shipments – based on the very latest information.
And because travellers are now such a pro-active component of the airline marketplace, it is not surprising to find them exerting an ever greater pressure – for vital changes promoting industry-wide flexibility.
Many groups have specifically evolved to coordinate the efforts of aviation market specialists and airlines. They identify significant trends, like the exponential growth of low cost carriers, and analyze the fundamental changes brought on by Internet marketing.
And the marketing community’s efforts also help detect potential red flags – such as sudden economic changes, currency valuations that might affect revenues, and new regulatory legislation.
Market intelligence plays an important role in tracking the effects of certain ancillary innovations, as well – such as fees for check-in luggage – that have become necessary as a result of the last several years’ economic stresses.
Three and a half decades after deregulation, the airline industry is still not entirely secure. But what can’t be denied is that aviation marketing intelligence and research – coupled with a clear understanding of who accesses the resulting information – are emerging as the most vital factors in keeping airlines on a sound footing.