Good news for airline tech providers looking at the Indian market – every carrier asked by SITA for its dedicated India report said IT budgets will increase next year, and by more than the global average.
The projected lift in spend is hardly a surprise when SITA itself says that India will become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020.
In volume terms that is 370 million passengers in 2020 – double the current levels – and it goes without saying mobile is going to be a big part of how these 370 million passengers search, book and manage their trip.
But despite a clear mobile bias among Indian travellers – 92% of whom have a smartphone – there are some areas where India lags behind the global average when it comes to provision of services including mobile check-in.
“Half of the airlines in India have already implemented check-in via mobile, while three quarters of airlines globally have it in place,” SITA says.
But even though fewer Indian airlines offer mobile check-in, the “conversion” is higher – 14% of Indian travellers used mobile check-in against an average of 12%.
OTAs, airline dotcoms and metas with a presence in India will take heart from the fact that 27% of Indians booked their last flight via an app compared with a global average of 16%.
Mobile’s growth trajectory in India is widely known, but device ownership is another area where India has a global advantage, suggesting their might still be some mileage in being multichannel.
But perhaps the main beneficiaries of a growing mobile-dominated multidevice passenger base are the in-flight connectivity providers – businesses such as Panasonic and Inmarsat which wire up planes so that passengers can get online at 30,000 feet. SITA found that currently there are no airlines in India which operate “connected aircraft”. But within the next three years this will change dramatically.
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