In just 100 days….
Travellers to and from the Great White North of Canada are now mandated to cover their mouths and noses, looking forward to an Air Canada sealed bottle of water on North American routes and on overseas jaunts, a hermetically sealed tray of slop when the face mask is not in place. J class or behind the curtain – there isn’t a difference in the level of service, although the content might of course vary with an extra olive or two.
No industry has been so dramatically affected as travel and aviation. Global demand fell off a cliff in the blink of an eye and the world’s second largest aviation market – China – was hustled into suspended animation as the severity of this pandemic became clearer and clearer.
Our industry is one that’s completely dependent on the mass movement of people. It’s also one with razor thin margins which the travelling public seem not to appreciate – and the decimation of COVID is not just in health terms – it’s in lingering economic terms – with IATA’s forecast suggesting up to 20% of its members will no longer be here this time next year.
The immediate future – from dizzying operational ramp down to a gradual and controlled ramp-up is not going to be a bed of roses – but in better news, a widespread, global extinction is not on the cards either. There’s the omnipresent need and desire to travel – to loved ones, for recreation and also getting business done some of which can’t be executed on a 14 inch monitor in residential spare rooms across the globe.
Passengers will now demand complete and total reassurance – from ensuring the cabin is sparkling clean to their connections and onward surface transportation being operational and safe. They’ll also demand complete connectivity with loved ones, associates and the travel provider. Now a must have, to matter how you slice and dice it.
In the post-COVID travel world, this is going to reach a completely different level – and expectation – it’ll go beyond the patch of dirty floor the cleaning company missed near your seat, to the sticky cards and mags in the seat pocket – all that and more has to be addressed, which could mean added time on turnarounds and additional costs will have to be shouldered.
Is it the end of open tray meals for all classes of passenger? Is it contactless only on board for whatever survives? Middle seats off the way of the dinosaurs? New boarding routines? Hold bags all wrapped up in cellophane? The service changes and assurances passengers are now likely to require are long and varied.
Behind the scenes, operational changes to enable the visible touch points for passengers are also having to be accelerated – just so it all happens seamlessly. And with that, added costs are likely to be incurred.
This whole changing world in our industry has been embraced by FrontM. Developed with partners recognised as thought leaders in aviation and airport evolution – and it’s a game-changer.
Think of it as digital hand-holding to provide the confidence and reassurance passengers, travellers of all shapes and sizes will need to get them from lounge sofa or office desk to destination and all the way back – all seamlessly and frictionlessly orchestrated on their trusted personal device.
As a direct consequence of blending the physical, emotional and digital with an alchemy that has been tailored and geared to post-Covid travel, we not only get travellers airborne we also drive multiple touchpoints where additional revenue can be generated to off-set the likely additional costs of getting it just right as the industry pivots and sets course once again.
FrontM’s Airline 2.0 isn’t just an meaningless nomenclature marketing bods thought up in the dead of night – it’s a new way of doing business, offsetting operational costs, driving additional revenue streams, engaging passengers seamlessly, frictionlessly – and reassuring them above all else.
What is FrontM’s Airline 2.0?
You might want to call it Aviation 2.0 because it sits, digitally seamlessly over the physical and emotional journeys we all take, heading to an airport, into the skies and down again. It’s there providing bang up-to-date information, experiences, reassurance to those heading into the wild blue yonder – and delivers brand connectivity and revenue opportunities across multiple touchpoints across the passenger-provider relationship.
In the next blog episode, I’ll explore just how FrontM does what it does, how we see the new and emerging airline/airport – passenger relationship and why carriers and airports need this just as much as filling their seats.