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Airline industry preparing to transform digital retailing environment

GENEVA, Switzerland – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the Airline Industry Retailing Symposium (AIRS) will address transforming legacy distribution and payment processes into a digital retailing environment.

“In the digital world, consumers expect to shop for travel with the same conveniences they enjoy with other online retail experiences. They want relevant, customized offers that are easily accessible on the device of their choice,which is increasingly mobile. But there is a gap in what they experience. And airlines are working hard to close it. Thanks to NDC and ONE Order, airlines are breaking out of the commoditization trap toward becoming true retailers. AIRS brings together travel value chain stakeholders to discuss and debate the roadmap for achieving this vision,” said Aleks Popovich, IATA’s senior vice president, financial and distribution services.

AIRS will take place in Bangkok, 29-31 October, with THAI as the host airline. The carrier’s president, Sumeth Damrongchaitham, will speak at the Symposium. Representatives from more than a dozen airlines, plus aggregators and GDSs, travel management companies, IT providers and others in the travel value chain are featured on the program as well.

Session tracks will cover:

  • The Big Picture
  • Airlines and retailing
  • Creating relevant offers
  • Payment as product
  • Strategies for aggregation
  • What’s happening in business and leisure travel
  • Toward a new world with new architecture
  • Future of interlining
  • Accelerating pace of change
  • Scenarios for tomorrow

This year, AIRS will offer a dedicated exhibit area for tech start-ups and accelerator programs including ventures from leading airline companies, such as IAG, easyJet, El Al and JetBlue. In addition, seven start-ups from the Accelerate@IATA program’s first batch, and the top three start-ups selected from this year’s IATA hackathons, will be present.

Returning this year is the AIR Think Tank, reviewing the leading ideas for future innovation from industry thought leaders.




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