Africa is a dynamic continent and the aviation industry there is no different. Discussions at the 47th AFRAA General Assembly in Brazzaville further reinforced this notion as some of Africa’s aviation industry leaders gathered to talk about how technology can help airlines and airports meet the needs of travellers in the future.
I was fortunate enough to moderate a panel exploring the aviation industry in Africa and some of the key themes included:
- Current state of Africa: There’s optimism about the collaboration going on between travel players to develop custom solutions that could be used elsewhere in the future.
- Improving customer touchpoints: Mobile technology was cited as one of the keys to reaching travellers and pushing messages – but Africa needs to catch up with the rest of the world in this space.
- Personalisation: Travellers in Africa have simple needs – but travel players need the basic cornerstones correct to offer better personalisation. Though it may seem far off in Africa – the impact it can have on bottom lines can’t be ignored.
- Improving airport – airline experience: With each airline controlling at least one major airport there is room for more collaboration and technology can enables this.
- Key future innovation: Mobile was cited as the key innovation with an emphasis on taking simple elements and optimising them for mobile.
Overall, I was quite encouraged by the lively discussions as they further underlined that there is great potential in the region, though cooperation is needed to get the basics right.