Airlines leverage automation to protect revenue


As industry trends change and digital transformation alters the status quo, airlines are needing to rethink their digital capabilities — streamlining the travel experience and better aligning technology with their business processes — in order to stay competitive and protect against lost revenue.

To understand where the opportunities lie for digitalization in the airline industry, DXC recently surveyed a set of carriers to discover the most pressing issues they are facing and are trying to address. More specifically, we wanted to know the areas of their business in which workloads and processes are being handled manually that could instead be automated.

Our airline partners gave us a clear picture of their priorities: decrease cost while increasing revenue, productivity, and customer service scores. They also told us that their current passenger services solutions (PSS) and revenue management systems were inadequate to solve their problems and that the highly-paid manual labor used to run them left the systems vulnerable to human error and abuse.

As a result, we looked at how DXC could help carriers to protect themselves from revenue leakage, the reduced revenue actually accounted for from being booked. We discovered that, apart from stale inventory caused by caching, leakage could be caused by fraudulent activity (double booking, delayed ticketing, etc.) or even from legitimate in-house actions such as movable curtains (as part of the airlines’ distribution strategy) or schedule changes. Most of these processes are still manual, actioned by costly manpower in IT and distribution.

So, what did we conclude from our survey? That there are numerous opportunities for digital transformation in the airline industry. With the right technology such as robotics, airlines – particularly those which operate complex codeshare and distribution environments – could automate certain processes and activities and avoid costly financial losses inherent in manual processes such as unticketing and the resulting passive bookings, incorrect fares and block bookings. When leading experts estimate potential losses to be in the millions, both from lost revenue as well as compensation payments to passengers, the shift to digital becomes an urgent necessity, rather than an optional ‘nice to have’.

We all work in a highly digitalized environment, but it is easy to see that even today there are still manual processes in use that keep our businesses functioning. By transforming digitally, we could increase efficiencies, revenues and customer services scores.

Julia Reichel was Global Market Development, Travel and Transportation, Consumer Travel & Airline at DXC. She left DXC in April 2018. A dedicated Airline professional with nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, Julia has, since early 2017, worked in Market intelligence and Development with focus on interlocking with the global sales community and key clients. The core aspects of this role are market intelligence & strategy specific to Passenger Solutions, key client development, sales support for major net new label opportunities. Julia holds IATA ‘Airline Professional’ Certification with focus on Airline Marketing and Revenue Management as well as a private pilot’s license and IMC rating.


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