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According to SITA’s 2022 Air Transport IT Insights study, with the post-Covid recovery, airports and airlines are eager to increase their investment in technology to digitalize their operations and speed up the passenger trip by providing more self-service alternatives.

To support this push for digitalization, the industry’s IT spend is anticipated to maintain its steady year-over-year growth trend, with a whopping 96% of airlines and 93% of airports anticipating that their IT spending will remain the same or rise in 2023 compared to 2022.

Spending on airport and airline IT increased to an estimated US$6.8 billion and US$37 billion, respectively, last year. “Air travel has rebounded from the pandemic faster than anyone in the industry had previously expected, notably in Europe and the US,” said David Lavorel, CEO of SITA.

“While the recovery is anticipated, staff and resource shortages have put airports and airlines at a disadvantage. Operations have been strained as a result, increasing the likelihood of traffic jams, delays, cancellations, and misplaced baggage. Given that it offers greater scalability and flexibility, digitalization is viewed as essential to tackling these issues.

In spite of staff shortages, airlines place a high priority on IT solutions to manage unpredictable operations and deliver the greatest passenger experience possible. 90% or more of airlines will spend in business intelligence projects for managing aircraft turnaround, processing passengers, and handling bags during the next three years, in addition to IT service management upgrade and disruption warning systems.
Business intelligence efforts for asset management and flight operations are at the top of airport IT investment goals as well, with 93% or more planning them by 2025.

In order to enhance the passenger experience at every stage of the journey, to prevent bottlenecks, and to redistribute critical staff resources so they can concentrate on more difficult duties, both airports and airlines are investing in key technology. Self-service technology and biometrics are receiving a lot of attention.

Airlines have identified self-service technology as essential to managing erratic operations, and this remained their top investment goal in 2022, closely followed by touchless solutions and biometric ID management.

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