Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2017 Contents 8 AsianAviation | October 2017
Airlines and airports
spending big on IT
Travel technology provider SITA said that
around the globe airlines and airports will
spend nearly US$33 billion on various forms
of information technology (IT) this year. The
company's newest Air Transport IT Trends
Insights report said the spending will be fo-
cused on investments in cyber security and
cloud services as well as investments in pas-
senger self-service, a specialty area for SITA.
SITA said in its report that airlines' spend
as a percentage of revenue will rise to an
estimated 3.30 percent, or US$24.3 billion,
in 2017. For airports, the rise is to an expected 5.05 percent for this
year, or US$8.43 billion. Looking ahead to 2018, over 70 percent of
airlines and 88 percent of airports are expecting IT spend to increase
or remain at the same levels as today.
Cyber security tops the list of concerns for both airports and air-
lines, according to SITA. "Nearly all of them --- 95 percent of airlines
and 96 percent of airports --- plan to invest in major programmes
or R&D on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. This
shows alignment across the industry on the importance of investing
in this area," SITA said.
Ilya Gutlin, SITA's president for Air Travel Solutions said: "The
air transport industry is going through digital transformation and
focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers,
making it more e icient, and improving the passenger experience.
Cyber attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air
transport industry so building solid defences is essential. Cloud
services provide important e iciencies, which play a key role in
keeping costs down. Investments in self-service improve passenger
satisfaction as they welcome the independence and e iciencies it
delivers." --- MATT DRISKILL
AAPA AIRLINE CHAIR STEERING NEW AGENDA ON POLLUTION, LAPTOP ISSUE
China Airlines, as chair of the Association
of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) this year, will
steer an agenda to help the industry meet
a 2020 goal for cuts in aircraft pollution
and manage use of consumer electronics
in-flight, both despite an ominous lack of
Mainland Chinese participation, executives
from the Taiwanese company said.
AAPA will pursue these issues at its an-
nual Assembly of Presidents when more
than 200 people will gather in Taipei on 24-
25 October, China Airlines president Hsieh
Su-chien told Asian Aviation in an interview.
Anti-terrorism and security check standards
may also make the October agenda.
"We used to talk about business and
whether it was good or not," the airline's
senior vice president, Steve Chang, said.
"Now our influence on policy is quite large."
The association impresses on Asian air-
lines their obligation to follow policy estab-
lished by the UN International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) and the International
Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA, an
industry group with 230 members, pledged
eight years ago that by 2020 commercial
aviation would reach a "global cap" on
carbon emissions from aircraft, meaning
that emissions would not grow despite an
increase in demand.
Rules for consumer electronics came into
focus earlier this year when the United King-
dom and the United States announced bans
on laptops and tablet computers in the cab-
ins of flights from Middle Eastern and North
African countries over security fears. The US
government lifted its ban in July.
The bans were "affecting demand on
routes from the Middle East to North Amer-
ica," IATA said in a statement in June, urging
that governments consider "alternative se-
Although all airlines in the 16-member
group of full-service carriers fly to Main-
land China, the region's largest market, no
Mainland Chinese carriers have joined the
association over its 51-year history. Other
members include Japan Airlines, Cathay
Dragon of Hong Kong and Taiwan's EVA
Still, the association communicates with
the Chinese government's civil aviation
authority, Hsieh said. China faces issues
like flight route congestion and on-time
takeoffs, both of which are concerns for for-
eign airlines, he said. But "China's aviation
market over the past few years has devel-
oped smoothly and due to the population,
its airlines will be bigger than those of the
United States," he said.
"You can't overlook (China) and no airline
can be absent from that market," Chang
said. --- RALPH JENNINGS
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