Airline passengers in China are heavy users of technology both in their everyday lives and throughout their travel journeys. Nearly one quarter perceive themselves as ‘hyper-connected’ – they value efficiency and use self-service technology more frequently. Airlines are meeting their needs with 80 per cent adopting connected aircraft and 100 per cent investing in mobile-based services and the Internet of Things.
In the 2016, SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, conducted across China and representing almost 60 per cent of the country’s passenger traffic, IT provider SITA analysed the behaviour of four different types of passengers. The Careful Planner, Pampered, Hyper-Connected and Open-Minded Adventurer profiles each uses technology in different ways. China has the highest proportion of ‘hyper-connected’ passengers worldwide with 24 per cent compared to the global average of 14 per cent. These passengers tend to use technology, such as mobile devices to book, check-in and manage their trip, more frequently than the other profiles.
Airline passengers across the globe are so comfortable with technology today that they are choosing to use it rather than interacting with people. This is particularly evident in China where SITA reports 98 per cent of passengers carry at least one mobile device and 49 per cent carry a tablet. They also score very highly on an index of online and mobile service usage in their everyday lives at 7.1 out of 10 and increasingly are using mobile services for travel. Today nearly 17 per cent of these passengers check-in using a mobile app and airlines are predicting a jump in adoption over the next three years.
Having the ability to make the passenger experience a fully-connected one with connectivity on the ground and in the air is vital. Today, Chinese airlines are leading the adoption of connected aircraft because of their comparatively modern fleets. In fact, 80 per cent of Chinese airlines already fly or are just taking delivery of connected aircraft versus a 45 per cent global average.
SITA’s survey shows that 40 per cent of Chinese airlines believe that the key benefit of connected aircraft will be improving the passenger experience.
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