4 June 2018

East Africa: Digital Transformation Key for Customer Growth to Ensure Seamless Travel Experience

Star Alliance has undertaken a strategic focus from membership growth to improving the seamless travel experience and digital transformation has taken centre stage.

In the just concluded 74th IATA (International Air Transport Association) Annual General Meeting in Sydney, the company focused on the latest developments at the Alliance.

"At yesterday's Chief Executive Board Meeting the member carrier CEO's re-affirmed the shift in strategy and endorsed the Alliance's plan to enable more interconnectivity between the digital services of the member airlines to elevate the customers' Alliance travel experience", commented Goh.

The company says their customers are their central focus and customers want to have control over their journey at their fingertips hence harnessing digital technologies to provide a better and digital travel experience lies at the heart of this strategic repositioning.

In order to achieve this, the Alliance has set out to develop digital capabilities centrally, which can then be used by its member carriers to enhance their own products, so that they can offer extended care to their regular customers even when they are travelling elsewhere on the network.

The groundwork for this digital transformation was put into place at Star Alliance several years ago, with the creation of an IT hub infrastructure. This has already enabled the better integration of back-end services between the member airlines. Improvements have, for example, been achieved in the reliability of through-check in for multi-carrier itineraries or ensuring faster crediting of accrued frequent flyer miles into the correct customer account.

The next milestone was the launch of the Star Alliance Digital Services Platform (DSP) which officially went live in February this year. Lufthansa uses the DSP to provide baggage tracking information for customers connecting to or from other Star Alliance member airlines. The necessary data is sourced from the average six and a half million baggage messages per day, which are currently processed by the Star Alliance baggage hub.

Meanwhile, United has enabled advanced seat reservations for flights operated by Singapore Airlines, for customers who book these through United's website, app or mobile site. Further Star Alliance member carriers have indicated that they would like to offer this enhancement to their customers and the necessary work on this has already commenced.

enhancements of this type will be introduced over the next few years. Individually, these will offer an incremental improvement. Taken together, they will provide customers a completely new level of information and control of their journey.

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