This post comes from Kamal Qatato, VP Sabre AirCentre.

As customer expectations across most industries continue to rise, a new benchmark for quality travel experiences has emerged. Airlines, in response, are working to streamline the airport journey, provide more personalized product offers, and deliver memorable in-flight experiences.

Yet, there’s room to improve on the most important part of the airline customer experience – getting passengers to their destination on time.

According to IATA’s 2015 Global Passenger Survey, on-time performance is the top factor that impacts airline brand perception. Travelers rated timely arrival as more important than aircraft interior quality and their personal interactions with the airline!

Internal Factors That Challenge Airline Operations

So, how do airlines further streamline their operational performance – all while contending with weather conditions, growing passenger volumes, complex regulations and more?

Most airline operations functions are co-located in a single control center. Although working alongside each other creates broader awareness of what’s happening on a day-to-day basis, teams still face major challenges.

Limited access to real-time information: Operations departments use multiple technology systems, which are often legacy or siloed in nature. As a result, staff may not have immediate access to flight schedule details, crew assignments, or passenger load information, which makes it difficult to fully monitor or optimize the operation.

Siloed decision making: Due to the dynamic, fast-paced nature of running the daily operation, teams are forced to make the best possible decisions with the information they have at hand. Limited visibility into what’s going on across functions often results in reactive, sub optimal decisions.

Delayed communications: Information sharing across the operations control center and out to pilots, cabin crew, and ground staff is often done through manual channels today. Less than real-time updates limit employees’ efficiency and effectiveness.

Three Guiding Principles for Creating a Connected Airline

To resolve these challenges, airlines must pull their operations functions more tightly together – or create a Connected Airline – with unified technology and business processes. The following are three guiding principles to consider when making this transformation.

SKIFT-Connected Airline Article Graphic

1. SIMPLIFY workflows and access to real-time data: Regardless of department or function, airline operation teams need common, streamlined access to data. They also need user solutions that are efficient and easy to use. Focus on simplified workflows and access to information, so that teams can turn insights into action faster and with confidence.

2. INTEGRATE systems and processes for collaborative decision making: Airline operations must adapt quickly to constant change. They must also respond with decisions that consider what’s best for the airline as a whole – not just a single department. To support collaborative decision making, it’s key to enable integrated systems that allow teams to provide and consume inputs from one another.

3. MOBILE solutions for streamlined communications: An airline’s workforce should receive the latest and most accurate flight and schedule information – no matter which cockpit, terminal, or runway they’re at. As the world’s most mobile workforce, and in many cases, the face of the airline, these individuals have the greatest need for information. Infuse mobile technology into the operation to inform and empower staff to make the travel journey efficient and enjoyable for customers.

Ultimately, the Connected Airline approach enables airlines to drive operational efficiency and deliver on their brand promise – resulting in happier customers and a better bottom line for airlines. To learn more, please download the full Sabre whitepaper The Connected Airline.

This post is brought to you in sponsorship with our partner, Sabre