Mobile technology and services are increasingly important to enable CityJet develop and grow its business. The airline is constantly looking to enhance the effectiveness of its organisation, and improve services for its customers. David Cadenhead, CIO of CityJet, discusses the significant investments and strategic planning for its mobile focused systems, which are an increasingly important part of the company’s overall business development and expansion.
Mobile technology enables growth and greater flexibility
One of these transformative mobile systems, launched in CityJet in 2015 is our “Electronic Flight Bag” which is used by our pilots for every flight. The term Electronic Flight Bag gets its name from a traditional heavy oversize flight bag which you can often see pilots carrying through an airport. They typically contain documents and manuals which by regulation must be carried on the aircraft flight deck.
The project has been ongoing for two years from planning through to regulatory approvals and implementation. We selected the iPad as our mobile device, giving each of our Pilots the portability required along with the processing capabilities to run all our key applications. The software applications for the most part are Aviation specific, and some are customised for CityJet requirements. An important aspect to enable this development was working with key business partners including eir who helped us plan and roll out the mobile platform.
For CityJet the functionality of the Electronic Fight Bag extends far beyond document management. The platform gives us much improved capabilities for use of navigation charts, for processing Flight Plans, weather reference, Journey Logs, and several other important functions to be rolled-out in future.
The benefits for our pilots and Flight Operations department are many and varied, including major improvements with production and distribution of essential documents and manuals. The mobile platform that they now use gives much greater flexibility, improved communications, and more effective use of their time.
For our business overall, these mobile based technology systems enable real business growth and better delivery of our services to our customers. For example, the flexibility of this mobile platform is helping the CityJet business expansion into Scandinavia with operating flights to over 40 destinations for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
We benefit from the increased flexibility for our pilots to operate scheduled and charter flights to more destinations. The ability for the platform to be used while mobile shortens our timelines for opening new flight bases, and gives our pilots the flexibility to access their systems wherever they are.
Enhancing the CityJet customer experience
CityJet customers want timely information and expect easy access to it. It is essential for us to continuously improve access to our services, making sure our mobile platforms are available where and when our customers need them.
With over half of smartphone owners accessing travel-related products, services, and related content from their phones – delivering actionable information through mobile channels is a must for CityJet. We already see a very substantial move from desktop internet users to mobile device internet users. US based eMarketer research estimates that 2016 will see 51.8% of travellers who book trips via digital means will do so using a mobile device and this trend is increasing rapidly.
The essential elements of travel planning and management need to be available to our customers on mobile devices. From a simpler and easier method to research and book their trips right on their devices, through to mobile check-in, which gives passengers more convenience. During their travel we need to keep passengers informed with flight status and boarding notifications based on their location. Mobile platforms also help us assist our customers, in areas such as lost baggage, transfer and in times of disruption
A new phase for CityJet is to develop apps that allow cabin crew with mobile devices to provide customer-personalised communications on board. With mobile, passengers get a level of personalisation that is unavailable from other platforms. Apps allow passengers to save data, customise preferences and avoid having to wait for customer service.
Mobile strategies are innovating the ways airlines interact with customers and generate additional revenue. By supporting their customers with technology – airlines are not only opening the door for higher margins, but creating a reason for customers to stay loyal.