4 minutes

Digital transformation in the aviation industry

As the global community enters a post COVID 19 pandemic reality, defining a clear recovery strategy along with utilizing all available resources will be imperative to achieving the best “new normal”.

The aviation industry is no exception to this imperative need, as it involves a broad scope of businesses, including Airports, Airlines, Equipment Manufacturers and Service Providers. Innovation is everywhere around us. From a starting point the strategy is straightforward; improve the efficiency of processes and embrace the latest technologies.

One common denominator to both is digital transformation. Using technology in our everyday life has become indispensable and has influenced the digital transformation of many industries, especially aviation. It is a growing trend to hear business terms such as « smart airports », « connected traveller » or « self-service airport ».

Digital transformation is at the core of every decision being made by airliners, airports or even service providers, with data-driven business models continuing to spread out to the entire supply chain. Integrating software to streamline processes is now one of the most urgent topics that aviation professionals need to tackle.


Digitalization means Process Optimisation

Most airports and airlines around the world are offering digital services to travellers, and all of them can be « connected » once they enter the departure lobby. Progress made in this area has been achieved at high speed and the emergence of AI (artificial intelligence) will continue to grow this trend. Nevertheless, behind the scenes, using technology and software to manage ground handling operations is not as common as those used for the traveller experience, and the use of pen and paper is still the common practice of doing things among aviation professionals’ practices.

Disruption and change are often adopted without any real enthusiasm, and implementing new things such as software into processes takes time because it impacts a lot of people, from the ground handler to the airport manager, but also the service providers. The Aviation industry has been slow to adopt technology compared to other industries, however, digitalization can lead to major benefits at different levels.

By digitalizing their processes, airliners and airports can enhance the efficiency of their operations management by improving employee productivity, reduce costs by saving time and money both on and off the ground and therefore improve the customer experience.


Every minute costs

Some of you would raise this question: how can you improve customer experience by digitalizing ground operations processes? Well, that’s quite simple. Let’s take deicing operations as an example. Deicing is the process of removing snow, ice or frost from the wing surface. Anti-icing is understood to be the application of chemicals that not only de-ice but also help keep ice from forming on the wings and vital parts of the aircraft.

Deicing operations management represents a crucial moment during winter period for airlines and airports. Underestimating the importance of this process can lead to delayed flights and safety issues which can have a direct impact on the customers experience. Every minute the aircraft spends on the ground is a minute of additional costs and potential customer dissatisfaction.


Take the lead of your digital transformation

Using digital solutions specialized in deicing management allows airliners, airports and ground service providers to streamline their deicing process by centralizing all data into a single platform. Eliminating the reliance on pen and paper, human errors, and delays in receiving crucial data from agents on the ground. All information is added instantly through the platform and shared with every agent involved in the deicing process. Thus, efficiency is increased, leading to a better productivity of employees and less time on the ground. The less time you spend on the ground, and the more efficient operations get, the better the customer experience becomes and the better airlines, airports, and ground handlers are able to safely conduct their operations in a cost effective manner.

Digital transformation of processes in the aviation industry is not a nice-to-have, it became a requirement. Companies that aren’t adopting technology can’t be left behind in the growing and rapidly evolving industry. Being equipped with the right deicing management software that meets your requirements in terms of efficiency, flexibility, mobility and security can lead your company to the next level.




Aviation Insights, Cameron Mann – Digitisation of airport processes, January, 2018.

PhocusWire – A review of 2018, a preview for what’s next: Artificial intelligence in travel, December 2018.

About the author