by Lydia Webb & Peter Plutecki
Not only do airlines need to fulfil the demand for personalization coming from their consumers, 但他们需要比竞争对手做得更快更好, in a more unpredictable, constrained, and complex world. In this post, im体育将探讨Covid-19对行业利润率和竞争格局的影响, 以及技术如何以更敏捷的方式帮助应对新的挑战.
Taking stock: what we left behind
尽管有一些复苏的迹象, 航空业还远未摆脱困境. As Covid cases continue to fluctuate, the slow and vulnerable recovery will continue to negatively impact revenue and inflate the industry’s debt burden which had already increased by over 50% to $651 billion last year. An analysis by IATA shows that the industry is expected to remain cash negative through 2021 with a projected loss of $47.7 billion in revenue. 2020年，已有40多家商业航空公司暂停或停止运营. 毫无疑问，随着参与者的减少，该行业将走出这场危机.
Source: IATA, Outlook for the global industry recovery, April 2021, page 5
随着行业在这个严酷而不确定的现实中前行, cashflow protection will continue to be key to the survival of most airlines throughout the year and to deleverage post crisis. 具有成本效益的措施必须应用到业务的每一个方面. 除了资本支出的削减或削减, airlines must also be strategic in identifying areas of their business where operations can be optimized to reduce costs without damage to their competitive advantage in this recovery period.
Blurred lines: evolving business models
这是个竞争激烈的市场. Further increasing the competitive pressure is the continued hybridization of traditional FSC and LCC business models. 机票价格和收益率的下降促使fsc效仿LCC, 改进他们的模式，限制船上的免费服务, 将票价分开，并越来越多地关注辅助销售. The ancillary revenue potential is huge. 而全球辅助收入占12.1% of the total airline revenue in 2019, 它几乎是一些低成本航空公司和像精灵航空这样的混合动力公司收入的一半, Allegiant, Wizz Air, Viva Aerobus and Frontier1. FSCs will want to catch up quickly to capture the incremental revenue that is now critical to their survival.
Another trait adopted by FSCs to attract the current leisure and VFR demand is point-to-point service. United, 美国航空公司(American Airlines)和汉莎航空(Lufthansa)现已推出从非枢纽地点直飞的服务, 所有这些路线都可以通过现有的枢纽到达哪里. Point-to-point services have allowed them to tap into existing demand as other holiday destinations remained restricted.
Also, the pandemic and the long periods of inactivity have accelerated FSCs fleet standardization and simplification efforts, 哪一个可以提供更大的灵活性和效率. 在某些情况下，这意味着老旧的大型飞机将永远退役. American Airlines, as part of their Project Oasis, 去年进入高速发展阶段，现在经营4个飞机系列，从8个下降到4个. Simplified fleet is more closely associated with LCCs who can operate a fleet of just one or two aircraft types. 以运营所有B-737机队的西南航空公司为例.
On the reverse, some LCCs are also blurring the lines by adopting characteristics more commonly associated with FSCs. To maintain their growth trajectory, 廉航公司正在利用主要机场来打入传统的FSC客户群体, 飞行常客计划和GDS分发.In March 2021, 捷蓝航空宣布计划开通希思罗机场(LHR)航班。, London’s most coveted airport, during summer 2021 featuring an all new Mint business class product. 希思罗机场长期以来一直被廉价航空公司视为“禁区”. 但这是一个新的黎明，一个航空的新时代. Mint product features are also similar to that of FSCs such as cooked dining experience and lie-flat beds.
This undisputedly more competitive landscape drives a need for airlines to anticipate market changes and move faster to gain share.
Finally, alliances, partnerships, and diversification can now be the silver lining that some airlines need to get to the other side of this turbulence.
Traditional alliances have always shielded FSC fares from LCC competition in their predominant markets. 2019年，它们占全球总产能的71%. 随着国内交通的复苏, and higher market consolidation, the alliance landscape is evolving. We are witnessing FSC and LCC partnerships such as codeshare agreements that complement traditional alliances and consolidate domestic/intra-regional traffic towards hubs. 美国航空公司(American Airlines)和捷智航空(JetSMART)最近宣布持有少数股权, loyal program and codeshare in July 2021. According to a 2020 Cirium report, 目前，排名前100的全服务运营商平均每家都有28家代码共享合作伙伴.
im体育也看到了空气以外的伙伴关系和扩张. 例如，Azul已经扩展到物流业务，可以处理门到门的单个包裹. 联合航空公司也与Archer合作, a startup mobility company to provide shuttle services to its customers to and from its hub airports. Allegiant Air的母公司也在夏洛特港开发一个22英亩的度假村, 佛罗里达航空和捷蓝航空正计划进军短期租赁业务.
This new era of airline partnerships increases the operational complexity and drives a need for flexibility for airlines.
Technology is your biggest enabler
Our airline partners are looking to us to help them transform as they are rethinking their economic engine and want to reduce costs, 超越竞争对手，重新评估合作伙伴的方法. Airlines want to accelerate digital transformation not only to deliver on customer demands for personalization, but also to ensure more efficient and flexible operations and data driven decisioning to manage the complexity and move faster, ahead of the competition. They want to become more agile.
For airlines, migration to cloud-based architectures enables the technological capabilities needed to respond efficiently to demand while providing the seamless experience that travelers expect as they venture out again. im体育 is accelerating its multi-year technology transformation with cloud migration and mainframe offload, moving our products, systems and clients to im体育’s new platform running on Google Cloud’s highly available and secure services. Today, 现在，im体育总计算空间的65%在云计算中, 其中包括关键的运营和商业规划解决方案:计划和调度, Revenue Optimizer, Distributed Availability, Digital Experience, Movement Manager, 下一代机组管理解决方案都在云端. This also includes modernizing im体育’s IT infrastructure and creating the Google Cloud (GCP) foundations, 全球云基础设施和新的数据中心来承载im体育的im体育, platform and disaster recovery.
新的重点也放在新的数据来源上, combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technology to increase customer value, 加快上市和电力自动化. im体育与谷歌的10年合作包括im体育 +谷歌创新框架, pairing im体育’s travel industry experience with Google’s advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Google Cloud’s data analytics tools – including their best-in-class AI/ML functionality – will enhance the capabilities of current and future products, 帮助提高运营效率，创造和优化旅行选择. 作为im体育 +谷歌创新框架的一部分， im体育 Travel AI™，使可扩展的、实用的人工智能在旅游行业成为现实. im体育已经讨论了im体育 Travel AI™的潜力 dynamic pricing of air and ancillaries. Another example of this is the upcoming release of Market Intelligence that enhances market demand forecast for 12 months in the future, powering next gen network planning and scheduling. The AI-and ML-based services created as part of im体育 Travel AI ™ have broad applicability across retailing, distribution and fulfillment. Stay tuned!