Digital transformation is great! It introduces businesses to all sorts of exciting and powerful technologies, enabling new ways to innovate, compete and scale. One of these technologies, known as APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, has shown huge benefits in a wide range of industries, including aviation.
Sure, APIs have been around for quite some time. But thanks to the massive growth in cloud computing, they have become a notable force to be reckoned with.
APIs offer one of the best ways to modernise and improve the interaction and exchange of information. Coming to benefit passengers, crew, staff, as well as airline applications.
They improve business agility and interconnectivity and are a great tool to improve customer/passenger experiences and even internal operations.
Heck, Uber has a heavy reliance on 3rd party APIs and wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for those creative pieces of code.
So what are APIs and do they have any real benefit for airlines?
APIs Are All About Information Availability
An API is simply a way of making specific data or information readily available to your customers, crew, staff, partners and collaborators in the quickest and most accurate way possible.
Airlines have a dynamic and complex database of flights, bookings, terminals, procedures and many other areas.
With much of the information readily available on a website, or through a 3rd party provider, APIs allow users to access particular data from various sources on one simple platform.
APIs essentially allow new ways for passengers to interact with real-time information on your products and services.
For example, if a passenger or potential customer gets a recommendation on affordable holidays through an application and that app uses your API, it can offer suggestions that would be beneficial to your airline.
It could indicate any specials you’re currently running, how many tickets you have available, any unique offers or personalised discounts. And all without making a negative impact on the user’s mobile experience.
3 Big Benefits of APIs
APIs have a long list of benefits for virtually any business. Especially in the customer space. Where pretty much every customer expects a seamless experience in a marketplace that remains increasingly competitive and data-driven.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of integrating APIs into your airline:
APIs are built for the most instant and frictionless distribution of information in real time. Which means a more convenient and enjoyable experience for both passengers and crew.
From security to ground operations; APIs allow airlines to be more efficient, saving time, making the most of various resources and even increasing capacity. Which all bring the added benefit of cost savings.
According to Factset:
“One of the primary reasons APIs have become so popular is that it allows people (and firms) to access data that is neither on premise in their data centers nor in their cloud storage”.
“Instead, firms can leverage the data management capabilities of the partner they are requesting the API from, which saves them (1) money for the added infrastructure and (2) engineering resources to maintain the data”.
Instant, Seamless Access
APIs make everything so much easier. Passengers and crew can have comfortable access to booking, boarding, ticket, and other 3rd party information on the go. At any place and at any time.
By collecting and aggregating data from a variety of sources, APIs give you the opportunity to have a broader view of your entire airline and its many operations. Giving you the ability to access information from a variety of sources with ease and efficiency.
Frantically getting to the boarding gate to find that there’s a delay has already become a thing of the past. With the help of APIs, you’re notified of the information as soon as it’s received by the airport.
With real-time information coming in from various points like take-off and landing, boarding, luggage and check-in, airlines can react quicker to insights that could either lead to innovation or problem prevention.
Improved Customer Relationships
With all of the data pouring in from an airline’s various touchpoints – booking to check-in, all the way to boarding and baggage claim – you’re able to create powerful journeys or make significant behavioural changes through the information that you gather.
With the right partnerships in place, the overall experience that you offer your passengers can be improved tremendously. Airlines can look at the area, country or even hotel passengers are going to be staying at, their reason for visiting and how long their stay is, offering deals and opportunities at every step.
Want APIs In Your Airline?
You can either be one of the many successful businesses that make effective use of APIs, or you can lag behind and regret not investing in them further down the line.
The benefits of APIs in airlines are plentiful.