AFRAA Secretary General, Mr Abdérahmane Berthé, made a keynote speech at the African Aviation & Travel Innovation Summit in Cape Town on 18th October 2023.
The African Aviation Innovation Summit which is now in its second edition was staged by Kenya Airways in collaboration by AFRAA under the theme: theme “Customer Obsession in Aviation”
In his remarks, Mr Berthé highlighted the importance of innovation to transform and revolutionize the aviation industry. “Air Traffic will double by 2040, and digitization will facilitate handling this growth to keep and improve customers’ experience.” He stated.
Mr Berthé articulated on some of the innovative features that drive the progress of passengers’ experience, including:
- Passengers’ facilitation: Processing at airports is the most challenging part of passengers’ experience. Improving passengers’ identification, check-in, security check, easy gate access, and internet availability is essential to customer satisfaction.
- Biometrics: Biometrics is a game changer in aviation: fingerprints, iris recognition, and facial recognition. Using unique physical characteristics to identify passengers is revolutionizing processes: ticketing, baggage dropping, security checks, and boarding.
- Baggage handling: New solutions are being developed in view to facilitate baggage tracing.
- Artificial Intelligence: AI can transform the aviation industry. AI applications in aviation include Customer Service. Distribution, Analytics, Safety Enhancement, Predictive Maintenance, Flight Planning and Optimization, Air Traffic Management, Crew Resource Management, and Security.
- Connectivity: In-flight connectivity and entertainment have come a long way over the past few years and are used for various systems, including: internet access, aircraft position tracking, aircraft performance status and streaming movies and TV.
Noting that digitalization and Innovation are opportunities for airlines, Mr Berthé called upon airlines to transform and embrace these opportunities, rethink their strategies to capture the new opportunities relevant to operations and customers, integrate the new tools into the existing business and organization to measure and monitor customer satisfaction.
“At AFRAA, the sustainability of our member airlines is a priority. In this regard, in collaboration with AFRAA partners, we bring practical, innovative solutions to our members. Collaboration is essential to improve passengers’ experience. All Aviation stakeholders, including service providers, should work hand in hand to make the transformation effective for customers. For example, the One-Stop-Security concept can only be implemented by collaborating with regulators, airports, and airlines.” He concluded.
He further participated in a panel discussion on the theme: “Tailwinds of Transformation: Creating an Enabling Environment for End-to-End Customer-Centric Aviation”. The panel comprised of the following executives:
- Allan Kilavuka, CEO & GMD – Kenya Airways
- Abderahmane Berthe, Secretary General – AFRAA
- Patrick Roux, Chief Executive Officer – SkyTeam
- Mr. Shaheed Regal, Ag. General Manager – Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA)