Digital, automation & CX key for airlines/airports post-COVID-19, report by’s sister finds

Digital, automation & CX key for airlines/airports post-COVID-19, report by’s sister finds

The COVID-19 Air Transport Near Term Impacts and Scenarios report – jointly undertaken and released by Fast Future, FTE and APEX – can now be downloaded via the Fast Future website.

As they plan the journey out of the COVID-19 crisis, airlines, airports, and other air transport industry stakeholders will prioritise investment in digital transformation, automation, sustainability, innovation, and customer experience. 

This is according to a new report jointly released by Fast Future, Future Travel Experience (FTE), and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).

Safety and building trust are also highlighted as central pillars of the industry’s recovery.

Major report highlights priorities for industry investment

The COVID-19 Air Transport Near Term Impacts and Scenarios report, which is the first part of the four-part Air Transport 2035 series, explores how stakeholders expect the COVID-19 crisis to impact passenger volumes and investment strategies. It also highlights four possible scenarios for how the industry might emerge from the pandemic.

A global survey conducted as part of the report found that over the next two years:

  • 68.4% of respondents expect investment in digital transformation to increase;
  • 60.3% expect investment in automation and the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to rise;
  • 54.2% expect spending to increase on sustainability and environmental initiatives;
  • 53.5% expect investment in innovation to increase; and
  • 48.5% expect to see an upturn in customer experience and service spending, with less than a quarter (22.9%) expecting investment in this area to fall.

At the other end of the scale, 75.5% of survey respondents expect investment in aircraft orders to decrease over the next two years, while 55.3% expect to see a decrease in terminal design and construction spend.

Recovery to take two to three years… 

During a webinar on 23 April, which included the unveiling of the initial survey results, a live poll of the 900-plus attendees found that 44.6% of respondents expect it to take up to two years for the air transport industry to return to 2019 levels of business, and a further 36.8% expect it to take up to three years.

Only 5.8% think the industry will recover to 2019 levels within 12 months.

… so airlines and airports must prepare now for the new reality

Daniel Coleman, Founder & CEO, Future Travel Experience, from the same stable as, commented: “There is no doubt that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for some time to come and it is more important than ever that airports, airlines, and their partners take steps now to prepare for the new reality. Prioritising health and safety is a given but all stakeholders must also commit to delivering a contactless, queueless and fully sanitised end-to-end travel experience that is as automated as possible. Some radical new approaches, and collaboration between all parties, are essential to achieve this vision and support the survival of the air transport industry.”

Download the full report – free for airlines, airports and government agencies

The COVID-19 Air Transport Near Term Impacts and Scenarios report can now be downloaded via the Fast Future website.

As part of the study partners’ commitment to the sector in these difficult times, airlines, airports, and government aviation agencies can access the report for free – email to request your copy. 

It costs just $50 for others, and all four reports can be pre-ordered at a discounted rate. Visit the Fast Future website for full details:


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