SITA reports that airlines are making heavy investments to satisfy the needs of China’s ‘hyper-connected’ travellers by focusing on connected aircraft, improving their mobile platforms, and launching Internet of Things (IoT) programs.

SITA reports that airlines are making heavy investments to satisfy the needs of China’s ‘hyper-connected’ travellers by focusing on connected aircraft, improving their mobile platforms, and launching Internet of Things (IoT) programs.

According to the technology company’s 2016 SITA Passenger IT Trends survey, China has the highest proportion of ‘hyper-connected’ passengers world-wide. ‘Hyper-Connected’ travellers rely on technology like mobile devices to book, check-in, and manage their trips more frequently than other travellers.

  • 24% of Chinese travellers could be defined as hyper-connected, compared to a global average of 14%
  • 98% of passengers in China carry at least one mobile device
  • 49% carry a tablet.
  • 7.1 out of 10 Chinese passengers use mobile services for travel
  • 17% of passengers check-in using a mobile app, with a jump in adoption expected as the service becomes more readily available over the next three years.

To meet the high demand from these passengers for access to the internet and immediate information sharing, SITA reports that airlines are making significant investments to improve their fleet, IT infrastructure, and available mobile services.

“In today’s connected world of travel passengers prefer to use technology. SITA’s research shows that they expect to be connected and have services delivered to their mobile devices at every step of their journey, including during their flight,” explains May Zhou, Vice President, SITA China.

“Today we see that airlines in China are responding to the needs of these ‘hyper-connected’ passengers by focusing their investments in connected aircraft, mobile-based services, and the Internet of Things. With this strategy they can meet passengers’ growing demands for information and services to their mobile devices,” May Zhou says.

As SITA reports:

  • 40% of Chinese carriers believe the top benefit of connected aircraft is passenger experience improvement
  • 80% of Chinese carriers are adopting connected aircraft
  • 100% of Chinese airlines will invest in wireless in-flight services for passengers over the next three years.
  • 58% of passengers in China already use their mobile devices onboard for in-flight entertainment.
  • 100% of airlines are investing in mobile services.
  • 100% of airlines in China will make investments to establish and/or improve IoT infrastructure.
  • 78% of airlines in China are planning ‘major’ IoT programs.

For now, SITA says, the only IoT initiative already implemented by Chinese airlines is fuel/engine monitoring on connected aircraft, and only 10% of Chinese airlines have done this.

Over the next three years, Chinese airlines will focus on smart bag tags, asset tracking and monitoring of the aircraft cabin environment as their top IoT projects.

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