Current Trends in Air Services Distribution Channel Strategy: Evolution Through Digital Transformation
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Digitalization has penetrated air transport industry conquering airlines and airports as well. Air services are now accessible easily and conveniently through user friendly online distribution channels that carriers are continuously developing. Customer oriented digitalization has been promoted to meet the new patterns in consumption, as well as the demand generated by the profile customization in products and services provided by the airlines. This paper aims to highlight the benefits from the digitalization of air services, focusing on airline distribution channels. Literature review and some business oriented perspective are developed to define the context of the digital transformation process and the potentials that arise for the company itself, for its passengers and its partners, in order to depict the evolution in air services distribution channel strategy, through the rapid digital transformation (DX) that airlines experience during the last decade. Digital transformation maturity concept is developed as a practice to define the level of a company’s digital completion and integration, emphasizing its application in the airline environment. Additionally, the paper underlines in detail the potentials for the airlines upon digital transformation distribution channels evolution, when it comes to revenue maximization, cost reduction, additional revenue opportunities, branding and loyalty issues. These multiplier benefits appear in the context of an integrated organizational environment of a company with concrete commercial strategy and financial planning, focusing on consumer oriented digital tools to offer its customized products.
KeywordsDistribution channels Airline digitalization Customer orientation Online booking GDS Digital transformation maturity concept
JEL ClassificationL93 M15 Z30
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