How Airlines In APAC Are Transforming Digitally To Improve Processes

airport self kiosk
Spread the love

Transforming traditional processes and realising digital benefits to drive future growth potential of global carriers.

Since the world has begun opening its international borders and allowing Vaccinated-Travel-Lanes(VTL), online travel booking sites such as Expedia, Klook and Skyscanner have started sending their latest travel discounts and 2022 travel destinations to book. However, in this new normal of traveling, there are multiple procedures involved, and as a result would find it as a huge deterrence to travel. That being said, there are still some who jump at this opportunity right away and have already begun their post-pandemic travels. So, how would the aviation industry cope with the rise in demand post-pandemic, especially in Asia-Pacific?


Most industry experts see digitalisation as a key enabler to handle the pandemic and the restart and recovery period. Digital services support organisations by providing a better passenger journey throughout the airport to boost passenger confidence through different measures like cleanliness, overall customer experience, and efficiency. Passenger processing has evolved and will continue to do so, requiring adaptation from airports.[1]

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis[2] of the global airline digitalisation market finds that major airlines globally have committed to migrating a majority of their information technology (IT) infrastructure to a cloud infrastructure within the next decade. Increasing touchless passenger experiences, optimising internal processes, improving customer outreach through personalisation, and enhancing ancillary revenues (derived from services such as baggage fees and seat selection) are some of the key drivers of the airline digitalisation market, which is estimated to reach US$35.42 billion by 2030, surpassing the pre-pandemic level by 2025.

Navigating The Pandemic By Optimising Resources For Business Growth

Increased focus on digitalisation, hardware improvements, cost reduction for software services, and as-a-service business models present lucrative growth prospects for airline digitalisation market participants, including:

  • Disruption management and fuel optimisation for improved operational efficiency: Digital solutions can help reduce financial losses due to irregular operations by approximately 50 percent, creating a sizable target market for digital solution providers.
  • Big data platforms for enhanced operations and merchandising: Data platforms integrated into existing infrastructure will enhance airlines’ segmentation methods and marketing strategies.
  • Cybersecurity for robust operational resilience: Blockchain technology can be implemented in several use cases, including secure identity management, secure data tokenisation, smart contracts for airline maintenance, and certification streamlining.
  • Workload migration to cloud for scalability and cost-efficiency: Vendors and system integrators need to build a portfolio of digital services along with core infrastructure and migration services. This will allow airlines to choose solutions as their requirements change.
Video above: Andrew Seow, General Manager for ASEAN and Greater China at Rimini Street, shared his thoughts on key industry insights of digitalisation adoption in this region.

From a regional perspective, the following are some examples of digitalisation in practice.

Philippine Airlines Boosts Digital Transformation

Rimini Street, Inc., a global provider of enterprise software products and services, the leading third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP software products, and a Salesforce partner, announced that Philippine Airlines (PAL), the flagship carrier of the Philippines, has switched to Rimini Street Support for its Oracle E-Business Suite, Fusion Middleware and Database software portfolio.

By turning over complete support of its Oracle footprint, the airline was able to accelerate key digital innovation projects that support the growth of its business, including modernising its cargo system, integrating its mobile and remote capabilities for more efficiencies, and launching its passenger analytics to improve its Know-Your-Customer program.

“We needed a partner to help us optimise our resources – including time, money, and IT personnel – and drive collaboration and efficiency across the company in a more cost-effective manner. Rimini Street was that proven partner of choice. The Company’s responsive, high-quality support as well as the significant support cost savings we realised, enabled us to focus our efforts and resources on our business transformation efforts,” said Wilson Go, chief information officer at Philippine Airlines.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad’s Implementation Of Biometric Digital Identity System

Vision-Box, a global industry leader in biometric recognition, digital identity, and seamless travel management solutions, has been awarded the Single Token project by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad for the implementation of biometric digital identity management system at the KLIA and KLIA2 of KL International Airport (KUL).

Vision-Box’s Orchestra Digital Identity Management Platform is a state-of-the-art touchless and contactless passenger processing technology, providing passenger safety and security at airports, in response to the covid-19 pandemic. Vision-Box’s contactless technology will offer a sophisticated traveller experience, comprising an identification, clearance, and safety monitoring environment. The new infrastructure offers a suite of digital tools that reduces or eliminates passenger contact with touchscreen surfaces, and physical interaction with airport and airline staff, thus providing a safe travel experience. The service platform, Orchestra, which will be introduced at both KLIA and KLIA2, will be part of Malaysia Airports’ Single Token Journey initiative.

Singapore Airlines Uses Tech to Transform Each Step Of The Traveler Journey

Singapore Airlines has been an early adopter of technology and has long embraced its potential to enhance its customers’ journeys. In 2018, the airline launched a digital innovation blueprint, boosting its digital capabilities with the promise of enhancing the very core of the Singapore Airlines experience: its service culture. The following year, Singapore Airlines opened KrisLab, its digital innovation lab, which serves as a collaborative workspace for staff to think outside the box and develop innovative ideas using technology to enhance its offerings.

“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit globally, digital transformation in the customer journey has been a big part of what we do,” said George Wang, the airline’s senior vice president of information technology.

For example, in December 2020, Singapore Airlines was the first airline in the world to trial a digital health verification process based on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass framework. It allows customers to store and present information related to Covid-19 tests to speed up airline check-in and immigration entry processes, while giving travelers control over how their personal health data is shared. IATA’s Travel Pass mobile application was successfully trialed on the first international flight operated by Singapore Airlines to London in mid-March 2021. This reflects Singapore Airlines’ goal of using secure digital solutions to verify health credentials and support a safe and seamless travel experience for customers.

AirAsia Group Berhad Leveraging New Technology

AirAsia Group Berhad (AAGB) President, Aireen Omar, who oversees digital operations, said embracing the digital revolution and driving innovation is a core focus across the entire airasia portfolio of companies. “We’re a group that continues to evolve based on consumer demand. A silver lining of Covid-19  has caused a huge surge in demand for cargo and online shopping deliveries, and this is driving many new business opportunities and revenue streams. As a brand that has always had innovation in its DNA, we see huge potential, not only in our super app and fintech solutions, but also in our logistics, aircraft maintenance and ground services divisions.

“While our AirAsia Super App is already on track to become the platform of choice for everyday travel and lifestyle needs in ASEAN, ADE, is set to revolutionise the airline Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry in Asia, our logistics venture Teleport is experiencing significant growth in line with overwhelming demand for cargo and online deliveries and GTR is preparing for strong regional expansion including with third party airlines as soon as travel restrictions ease, and international borders reopen.

Therefore, despite the volatility in the aviation industry, especially with new Covid-variants emerging worldwide, digitalisation is still the pillar of support for the airlines and the aviation value chain. Wireless connectivity will be rolled out progressively across the fleet in the near future as airlines worldwide move towards delivering fully digital inflight experiences.











Trusted Data To Deliver Significant Benefits To The Asian Energy Industry
PLC vs Embedded Control — Which One Is The Best?