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World Passenger Symposium 2011

Shaping the future together

The first World Passenger Symposium was hotsted in Singapore gathering 578 delegates including some 90 airlines. This event is a unique opportunity to set the passenger agenda.  Delegates are participating in high impact CEO plenary sessions, panels by subject matter experts, and have access to fist hand intelligence on new technologies and processes.    

Day 4 WPS Concludes

  • The first IATA World Passenger Symposium brought just short of 580 delegates together representing the whole travel value chain.
  • At the conference were representatives from the whole travel value chain: airlines, airports, travel agents, IT providers, and governments as well as decision makers that contributed to dynamic panel discussions. 
  • The week started on topics such as revenue management, distribution and ancillary sales. We then looked at the industry from IATA’s perspective and three StB projects, Baggage, eServices and Passenger Experience.
  • The event concluded with the StB Think Tank working on a roadmap for tomorrow’s passenger. The audience was given the opportunity to contribute their views on areas where the industry needs most support.
  • A common theme throughout the week was customer focus in order to address profitability. Be it ancillary sales, distribution strategy or baggage handling, airlines and the whole travel value chain must create value for the customer to achieve profitability.
  • The WPS enabled the industry as a whole to exchange views on challenges that they face. At the same time side meetings took place where colleagues vote and agree the resolutions and recommended practices that define the standards and infrastructure of tomorrow. It is this mix that makes the WPS unique. It serves as a tool for the industry and IATA to share the vision and work towards accelerating the aviation agenda together.

Day 3 highlights

  • Financial performance of the airline industry remains a primary concern for everybody on the panel. The financial risks airlines take are significantly higher in comparison to other players in the travel value chain. Risks and rewards have to be shared.
  • Further aspects equally important  to the financial situation were discussed: Rob Fyfe, CEO of Air New Zealand, delivering his key note address believes that airport processes remain an important area where airlines can improve.
  • The inconsistency of airport processes world-wide was identified by the panel as a major problem, and the lack of international standards in security processes being the main issue.
  • Fuel costs, taxation, ownership and control of airlines were also identified as factors impacting the aviation industry.
  • Finally, the discussion turned to today’s distribution channels and the industries need to dramatically improve them. The industry faces challenges in making products available through all channels of distribution.
  • The high cost of distribution was also an area of  focus. Other industries that have shown innovation in distribution have changed entire industries- Amazon is a great example of this. 

Day 2 highlights

Focused on merchandizing across the travel value chain.

  • The key questions to ask were: What does the customer want? Where is the unfulfilled demand?  It’s not what you want to sell but what the customer wants to buy.
  • Identify and understand the desire of the customer to successfully cater to their needs.
  • Let the customer find you, delivering the right distribution mix: the panel unanimously agreed that airlines should sell products other than airline seats as long as they are related to the core offering.
  • The panel debated whether social media should be part of each airlines strategy. It was highlighted that there is no uniform approach to social media, it’s essential to understanding what your customer’s value, and not follow your competition blindly.
  • And finally, customers make decisions around simple value propositions.

Day  1 highlights

  • Montie Brewer, former President & CEO Air Canada, key note address: Innovate! To Avoid Becoming Just Another Unprofitable Airline, five reasons why airlines struggle to make profits.
  • Damien Horth, UBS Securities Asia, delivered "Policy Market Risks On The Road to Profitability".
  • Garry Kingshott, Cebu Pacific,  delivered "Ancillary Revenues - Why Bother?" presenting what a full service carrier may learn from the low cost carrier model.  

 

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