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Brunei
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
30.2 C
Brunei
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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    COVID-19 boosts digitalisation, efficiency

    Adib Noor

    The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalisation in the aviation industry and airlines have to be more efficient with limited workforce due to cost-cutting.

    This was highlighted in a conference titled ‘Travelling Now and Yesteryears’ held as part of Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2022 (Brunei MYCE 2022).

    The panellists were International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Director of Distribution and Payment (Asia Pacific) Winnifred Yoong and SITA Business Development Director Meng Kiat.

    Industry experts said the digitalisation of air travel started even before the start of the pandemic and it has been pivotal in streamlining the travelling process.

    “The pandemic has increased the rate of digitalisation as travellers are becoming more tech savvy with increased use of online shopping and increasing preference for less face-to-face interaction,” said Yoong.

    International Air Transport Association Regional Director of Distribution and Payment (Asia Pacific) Winnifred Yoong and SITA Business Development Director Meng Kiat at the conference. PHOTO: ADIB NOOR

    She added that travel agents are also becoming increasingly customer-focussed by having websites that offer more packages catering to different types of travellers.

    “We also have web pages where travellers can find different countries’ regulations on COVID tests or vaccine requirements, vaccination certificates and more to prepare for the trip.”

    Low said the pandemic forced airlines to be more efficient with a smaller workforce.

    “Airlines have to be efficient, giving rise to self-service kiosks. Now a staff can handle several self-service kiosks instead of just one counter. This makes it more efficient and shorter waiting time,” said Low.

    He suggested for biometric technology to be introduced in airports where travellers can use their faces for identification, thus reducing the need for face-to-face interactions with staff for a safer travel experience.

    Both panellists agreed that the industry is seeing fast recovery as countries like Singapore is expecting an earlier-than-expected boost in the travels.

    IATA predicts the overall travel numbers to reach four billion in 2024, which exceeds pre-COVID levels.

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