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  • #SAP Hybris

SAP Solutions for the Airline Industry: Our Experience

19 mins read 487 views
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Key takeaways

  • Trends and challenges in the airline industry in 2022-2024.

  • Know why the application of SAP for airlines attracts the post-pandemic traveling world in 2022-2024.

  • Find out what Hybris brings to e-Commerce and retail, improving operating costs.

  • What factors you should pay attention to when choosing a software vendor, and what value Aimprosoft can bring to your business with SAP solutions.

It has passed a hundred years since the Wright brothers took off the heavier-than-air aircraft for the first time in human history. They aimed to make a point-to-point transit with a vehicle-controlled high in the air. It’s gone a long way from that great day when civil flights became ordinary, and there is a competitive market of air transport providers. Today’s traveler expects from airlines far more than moving passengers from one place to another.

At present, people often associate the aerospace industry with civil or military vehicles. Multiple service providers are hidden from their eyes. Some suppose there are certain systems or applications used in the airline industry for managing daily operations as well as activities concerning the maintenance of airports, fleets, booking, and selling tickets. But in fact, airline companies draw upon the work of leading software providers which develop solutions for the general use of retailers. The collection of air travel tailored tools is SAP airline solutions.

We do not develop SAP aircraft maintenance software that benefits. Still, in this article, we would like to talk about exactly fascinated innovations and best practices that sprung up to transform the traveling experience of every single client in the aviation industry and how to gain favor with the most demanding clients by simple things. We will clarify and precise the concept of “digital traveler” and related profitability and how entities can benefit from SAP Hybris Commerce solutions for airlines. Let’s go on board.

Air travel has not experienced the best period in 2019-2021. The pandemic has had a magnitude on financial losses in both the civilian and cargo industries.

€18.5 billion net losses for airlines a COVID pandemic caused for European airlines only

With intra-European traffic down by 43% and Europe-Rest of the World down by 48% in 2021, we noticed a partial but sustained traffic recovery in Europe and the world, according to Eurocontrol.

Airline industry financial performance by IATA expects total industry losses in 2020-2022 of $201 billion despite the partial recovery of the industry.

2022 is a year the aviation industry hopes to get back on its feet. People forced to be isolated at home can finally travel. In this regard, with the removal of restrictions on movement, the demand for air transportation services will increase in 2022-2024.

 IATA predictions about air travel industry growth

As the world has changed, shifts in services are inevitable as well. Let’s check the brightest ones.

RETURNING INDUSTRY GROWTH

Following the worst period on record for the aviation industry, North America, European and Asian regions are expected to turn to profitability in 2022-2024. Returning will be gradual, and one shouldn’t count on the fast recovery as of 2019. However, there are two traveling features driving the growth and influencing revenue:

  • desire to escape on vacation outside the home territory;
  • the trend for workation as remote mode allows taking work with in traveling

CONTACTLESS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

For 82% of customers, contactless experiences in 2021 and beyond are a must-have, as GetApp stated.

Enhancing passenger safety and sanitization while enabling airports and airlines to increase their productivity and better manage cargo operations is possible by integrating digital procedures to reduce physical encounters between customers and airline employees.

Contactless customer experience
Source: GetApp

Here are some strategies airports and airlines can use to provide a more complete touchless experience and smart decisions:

  • Automated check-ins;
  • Biometrics at e-gates and as digital ID;
  • Biometric facial recognition;
  • More smartphone-centric airport operations;
  • Digitized bag-tracking;
  • Motion and sensor-based technologies;
  • Electronic boarding information.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Following contactless, self-driving vehicles take pride of place in customer-to-device and customer-to-staff relationships. The driverless technology use cases are as follows:

  • baggage handling tractors and carts;
  • electric, smart and self-driving shuttles for aircraft taxiing;
  • de-icing and snow clearing;
  • self-driving jet bridges;
  • driverless employee buses and passenger shuttles;
  • maintenance vehicles (MRO);
  • inventory vehicles.

CROSS-INDUSTRY DATA MANAGEMENT

The aviation industry is faced with an urgent need to increase efficiency. More airports and airlines will use artificial intelligence and high-tech data management solutions. Namely, we are talking about better reporting of possible disruptions and changes in flight schedules:

  • predicting future disruptions by integrating the entire data with one holistic solution;
  • bettering the value chain and data quality of flight paths with real-time forecasts and analytics systems;
  • improving operational efficiency based on flight operation patterns.

RISE OF CUSTOMER-CENTRIC APPS

Global changes lead to evolving customer requirements. Disruption in the airline industry is related to apps for customer engagement also. They let customers communicate and do business more effectively, which improves client retention, revenue, and happiness. Customer-facing functionality-rich apps that help service providers be hyper-relevant are:

  • self-service customer portals;
  • agent/broker portals;
  • claims management applications;
  • order management applications;
  • chatbots and virtual assistants;
  • etc.

Moving into the future for enterprises is impossible without technology. Let’s see how SAP Hybris can be handy for B2B and B2C scenarios.

Want to develop a customer-centric website or mobile application?

Let’s discuss the opportunities with Aimprosoft.

Contact us

Why using Hybris for airlines is a good idea

Customer journey of a modern traveller

DIGITAL TRAVELER

Up to Accenture study, travelers agree to share biometrics while traveling abroad, 62% mark they are ready to facilitate security changes with biometric data sharing. It suggests that people can’t imagine their life without digital technologies anymore.

62% of travelers are ready to facilitate security changes with biometric data sharing

SAP aviation is directed to change passenger travel and leisure industry applications. Digital travelers expect a particular relevance to their personas with personalized advice, offers, and care in any form or via a channel convenient for them. Global trends conclude young travelers are more fastidious in customer experience and prefer to spend less time searching for good deals. They rely on recommendations of their friends (79%) shared on social networks more than professional consultants and don’t take reviews posted on websites at face value.

Read Also: Travel Agency Website Development. How to Go to Market?

DIGITAL ECONOMY

Digital economy lies in the connection between those who want to get something and those who provide it through information technologies. Contemporary organizations embrace the ideas being in the number of first adopters and use them to their advantage successfully.

There are five cornerstones of the digital economy concept relevant to airlines pretending to remain top of mind with travelers:

  • Personal touch. Travelers are versed, and as a result, personalized engagement will be welcomed warmly. A long-term, ad hoc approach results in a considerable rise in the consumer’s loyalty and database.
  • Merchandise like retailers. Leading airlines follow retailers’ merchandising principles to hold their ground in the travel chain.
  • Real-time actions. A traveler is kept under constant review by airlines. Artificial intelligence algorithms help predict disruptions and contingencies and soften passengers’ inconveniences by bringing valuable insight into customers’ behavior. Thus, AI technology helps accelerate and make precise business decisions.
  • Artificial intelligence has become a part of modern human daily life. Know how to gain from it for your business.

    Read more
  • Proactiveness. The safety of travelers depends on the prevention the breakdowns with digital sensors and in-time maintenance of vehicles.
  • Finance scores. A customer journey with flights, booking, sales, transactions, and ancillaries is open to analysis.

Besides those pillars, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) defines standards for travel agencies, acting as an intermediary between travel agencies and airlines, a regulatory body to monitor the revenue flow and growth. Its compliance solutions stand for safety, sustainability and efficiency in operations, and harmonization across the aviation industry.

Also, IATA has a Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) to process sales reports between an airline business and an agency. However, the software that streamlines selling, reporting, and transferring operations are available for IATA-accredited agents only.

Find out how explosive business scores with SAP Hybris Commerce.

OMNICHANNEL CAPABILITIES

It’s only a start after the journey is ended. SAP Hybris omnichannel solutions blur the lines between channels of communication with their clients. Modern digital travelers like to be pleased as nobody else before. SAP knows it. That’s why engineers came off rather well to anticipate the upcoming travels of people. SAP Commerce Cloud, full of innovations, aims at streamlining e-commerce processes.

When a yesterday air travel tourist returns home, the fairytale of his journey is still enveloped him. This sweet aftertaste is expected to last as long as possible. It’s an excellent occasion to cheer up clients and offer personalized routes and travel care offers (connecting flights, available accommodation en route, perks for loyal clients, lounge zones, etc.) for the next fascinating trips.

Up to American Express, 85% of surveyed respondents preferred customized itineraries over general, mass-market offerings. Traveling people prefer to be accompanied by travel services after the trip is finished. It is well-founded by human nature: we are all fond of anticipation. We cannot fail to recall Forrester’s finding that customers expect easy engagement with them by companies in fostering their audience at every turn. And here will help the digital transformation of business processes and business decisions.

Collected data and deep analysis based on habits and preferences, previous experience, travel history and more allow using comprehensive approaches to turn single-channel customers into omnichannel ones. As a result, a Customer Journey Map (CJM) will be more completed with touch points in the brand-customer communication and form the basis of an experience map. Solutions from SAP for the airline industry are designed to solve these challenges and improve quality service.

Want to transform your business applications with SAP solutions?

Let’s see how we can help with new capabilities.

Contact us

SAP Airline retailing solutions. Directions and opportunities

TRAVEL ACCELERATOR FOR AIRLINE INDUSTRY

The SAP Hybris Commerce platform was enriched with a travel accelerator in 2016. Airlines joined in an improvement which can take under control distribution of their products. Until then, it was arduous to find out which products (basic or ancillary) are on-demand, to whom they should be offered, and at what cost.

The Travel Accelerator is a boilerplate template — some framework with functionality that you can adjust to your needs instead of developing from scratch. It will save you enormous time and deliver from unexpected bugs.

Get more about B2B and B2C accelerators and their benefits.

A suite of business services is aimed to provide a fully comprehensive customer experience for a B2B2C entrepreneurial model. A default storefront of travel accelerator took the best from the B2C retail model to suffice the B2B clients. Its UI design complies with all regulations and rules of responsiveness to guarantee appropriate website content to all devices automatically. One more but not least feature is connectors which can be developed for third-party providers and systems within the industry.

Learn more about SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) opportunities for B2C eCommerce.

I’m curious

Let’s consider a number of exceptional features available with SAP solutions thoroughly.

FEATURES

Storefront

It consists of a landing page that can be customized to match the brand. A specific type of search called travel search makes travel accelerator special. Its peculiarity is the in-flight connection option largely. Hybris is linked to flight searching systems that enable customers to immediately find and book convenient flight connections without being constrained by one airline company. Also, the main page of Hybris B2B website storefront places a trip finder to stimulate ticket sales via offers with complex trips.

Fare selection

A fare selection page is designed to show search results and has a dynamically updating itinerary basket to keep pace with changes.

Ancillaries are shown on a separate page which is a sales stimulator of flight and non-flight related services across the travel booking flow as well. Preparing for the journey, a traveler is complemented with discrete upgrades to be added to the itinerary. They can be a lounge room at the airport, a special flight menu, a seat selection option, extra legroom, etc.

Passenger profile

Passenger profiles with preferences can be created by B2B and B2C accounts. B2B accounts are allowed to manage booking, passenger details, and payment details, whereas B2C users are enough to control customer log-in/registration and check flight and payment status. Also, customer profiles allow making well-thought-out traveling with personal care.

Assisted Service Module

Assisted Service Module (ASM) is made to rapidly connect third-party integrations to solve business issues with a customer (business or end client). Product support and transactions directly from baskets are achieved with the help of ASM.

Backoffice cockpits

Backoffice cockpits are displayed in a number of managing interfaces for products, schedules, special offers, etc.

Administration Cockpit

Administration Cockpit is another type of advantage used to manage data validation constraints and instances.

OPPORTUNITIES

Bookings

As part of the SAP aviation combo set, the travel accelerator collects content from partners. Ready-made models of further actions make up individual offers for every single customer. For instance, to complement airline booking, additional information about available hotels at the destination, transfer services like car rentals, car-sharing or public transport opportunities, insurance, guide support, business events related to traveler’s concerns, and leisure activities are used to support a client who tends to make on-the-spot decisions fully.

Management

With the help of a travel accelerator (SAP in aviation), price management is reaching a new level for airlines. Algorithms tailored to the travel industry automatically perform a formerly tedious task of customer segmentation based on purchase behavior. It allows keeping under control all engaged distribution channels (offline and online) in real-time as well as composing packaged offers.

Integrations

The backoffice of the travel accelerator connects seamlessly with existing accounting, CRM, and loyalty systems. Order history available out of the box is at the core of the loyalty system with discounts, coupons, special offers, etc. Analytical systems for loyalty systems are tailored-made.

TYPES OF SALES IN AIRLINE INDUSTRY WHERE HYBRIS IS IN HIGH DEMAND

SAP Commerce Cloud solutions for airlines

Here it comes to additional profits arising directly from the B2B sales strategy. Significantly increasing turnovers require higher requirements for the reliability and security of the systems. Hybris airline solutions provide exactly the inherent e-Commerce possibilities.

  • Services (selling food on board, VIP services in airports, etc.).
  • Tickets (direct and indirect selling, etc.).
  • Spare parts (spare parts suppliers for airports and aircraft fleets, etc.).

Check the cost of a website with SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) for B2B.

Find out more

Today business intelligence unleashes infinite possibilities for the aviation industry, not only in traditional service and ticket selling. How SAP aviation solutions are used in e-Commerce issues are described below.

Know-how 4 points on how to build a successful customer-centric omnichannel strategy with SAP Hybris solutions.

CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY WHERE HYBRIS IS IN HIGH DEMAND

New strides in technology bring about new ways of distribution. SAP aviation software is onboard. After the International Air Transport Association (IATA) standardized One Order to accelerate product delivery, it instantly blew up the airline industry. A single simplified standard along with an omnichannel Hybris solution in the airline order management process will catalyze a big shift towards airline distribution.

One Order is nothing but the omnichannel approach to sales when a connection with the traveler is carried out on every step of his journey seizing up on all the data details associated with a traveler’s purchase. It is fully implemented in SAP airline solutions with the Hybris Commerce platform. Below, the top channels of products and services distribution of airlines are itemized:

  • Airlines websites;
  • Aeroports websites;
  • Flight tickets aggregators;
  • OTAs (Online travel agencies);
  • Airport ticket offices;
  • Tour operators;
  • Mobile apps for online sales channels, etc.

Know how to develop a travel website to join the industry growth of $820 bln in 2023.

I’m curious

This is a list of the most substantial distribution channels through which airline companies make a profit. Time never stands still — and continuous change is a fact. Frankly speaking, we’d like to be engaged in a cutting-edge project to implement some incredible concepts and help our clients to discover new ways of selling with Hybris.

Benefits of SAP ERP integration with Hybris

One by one, aviation companies decide to adopt SAP solutions. Emirates Airlines is a good case in point. SAP for aviation is a set of multiple tools for powering operations across systems connecting continents and people. As a leader in its segment, SAP ERP allows for managing flight operations, fleet management, route planning, accounting, sales, and other activities to gain benefit. Paired with Hybris, responsible for a sales channel, SAP ERP processes orders being the heart of the airline management system.

SAP has released to the market services for the effective and comprehensive management of airline activities such as:

  • Strategic management;
  • Engineering, maintenance, and operations asset management;
  • Contextual marketing and customer service;
  • Digitization of commerce and sales;
  • SAP S/4HANA (ERP suite for in-memory computing);
  • Advanced analytics with SAP HANA;
  • SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud.

Choosing ERP and commerce platforms from different software suppliers requires extra effort to integrate them into one working mechanism. SAP acquired Hybris to unite management software for enterprise-level and commercial opportunities to avoid resource-consuming downtime.

Seamless integration of two core in-performance systems (ERP and commerce) is provided by Data Hub, which is a management solution for agile data operations across the enterprise. Data Hub is nothing but a go-between bridge for scalable data integration from Hybris to SAP ERP that deservedly entered an SAP aviation package.

As usual, ERP includes some of the same features as enterprise asset management regarding asset management, financial planning, and much-appreciated finance departments.

On top of that, by adopting SAP solutions, airlines can pay fewer costs, such as ticket brokers. SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) paired with SAP S/4HANA allows selling tickets directly to customers on your own website and apps.

Read more about Data Hub in our blog post here.

Take me there

How Aimprosoft can help you with SAP for airlines

Aimprosoft stands for but is not limited to SAP Hybris solutions for aircraft. You can count on us in the development of:

  • Data Hub integration
  • Integration to SAP ERP of existing airline management solutions
  • B2B/B2C retailing Hybris-based platforms
  • Automation of manual operations
  • Customer-centric applications (portals, platforms, mobile)
  • Data management solutions
  • Customer loyalty programs automation
  • Third-party integrations (finance, marketing, sales)
Aimprosoft has certified Hybris developers and is an SAP Silver Partner

Recognition by clients as a trusted provider is neither gratuitous. By partnering with Aimprosoft, you access a pool of experienced and certified SAP Hybris developers.

Aimprosoft can help you with SAP for airlines

Read also how to set up a dedicated development team in Ukraine.

Learn more

Conclusion

At present days, commercial air travel has become an ordinary thing for a considerable amount of people. Anyone can cross borders in the air due to the affordability, which is greater than ever. Much of the credit for this achievement goes to technologies and digitization. As we have figured out, software used in the airline industry is not distinguished by particular complexity when it comes to sales and management. It is ranked as a full-fledged enterprise-level solution that is synced and operates in synergy. Are you ready for takeoff? Welcome aboard with the SAP aviation suite for airlines.

FAQ

Why SAP Hybris?

The SAP Hybris platform supports the most complicated process of the customer journey based on an omnichannel approach. You can manage all touch points with customers during direct and supportive sales and get data collected into SAP ERP seamlessly. Effective sales management is achieved due to the unique solutions of Data Hub and B2B/B2C Accelerator.

What SAP extensions might be handy?

There are a lot of handy extensions placed on the SAP marketplace and third-party integrations that can supplement your online sales channel with payment, analytics, marketing, reporting, and other solutions. For example, SAP in the aviation industry has a Passenger Loyalty Management Solution for improving passenger loyalty and increasing airline profitability.

What is SAP Commerce Cloud for Aviation?

SAP has certified its Commerce Cloud solution according to IATA regulations for the aviation industry. It has an adapted travel accelerator for SAP Commerce Cloud designed to provide personalized digital experiences for inflight eCommerce and other steps of the customer journey.

How can SAP Hybris help aviation businesses adapt to the new reality?

SAP Hybris supports B2C and B2C models. In times when plane ticket sales don’t bring revenue, aircraft companies can earn from aircraft leasing to some operators. In this case, a business can leverage the B2B perks of Hybris to continue running the business in the new reality.

What are the channels of distribution that SAP Hybris can support?

As usual, airlines get revenue due to ancillary sales such as in-flight connectivity, inflight advertising, and e-commerce. People travel using their smartphones which can also be leveraged by airline operators as a means of reaching the customer with personal offers. SAP airline solutions (Hybris) integrate data from all channels and provide an omnichannel sales experience.

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