How is Technology Impacting Jobs in the Aviation Industry


The aviation industry is one of the most technological-dependent industries out there. Aircrafts, for example, represent one of the best pieces of modern engineering and technology. Besides, manufacturers keep updating them constantly with the latest developments in tech, safety, and aerodynamics.

But, as much as airlines have been working hard to increase the safety of air travel, the recent happenings, like the Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 crash is poised to bring a new focus on passenger safety.

Addressing the new plane’s flawed software and design will call for additional skilled labor technicians to be available to perform these critical changes at a time where there is already a shortage of skilled technicians. As a result, it will not only impact Boeing as the manufacturer of the Max 8 but also other manufacturers as well.

That means the industry has to embrace the new changes. It has to get used to the disruptive jaws of the ever-evolving technology and increased pace of innovations. Almost everything will have to change to align with the new work environment.

The emerging technology is likely to have a major impact on both passengers and cargo today and in the future. But, that is not all. Not only is tech bringing in a new way of doing things, but the burgeoning technology makes it easier for airlines to provide both traditional services and new ancillary services.

But here is the big question: How is technology impacting jobs in the aviation industry?

Empowers employees and crews to improve efficiency

Today, both the passengers and the crew are in a race for who has the most ‘happening-in-the-moment’ knowledge. If you are a frequent traveler, you might have noticed most of the time that the airline’s apps have time and again changed faster than they normally display at the airports. Sometimes, it happens much faster than the crew members can notice and most of them are often caught unawares.

All these bells and whistles of technology impact the overall experience for customers. As a result, the top airliners are noticing the trend. That is why the top airlines in North America, Europe, and Asia are implementing technologies like Mobile First for iOS for the crew. Such technologies help experience improve whether on the ground or above 30,000 feet.

Impacting the service game

One of the biggest pain points for airline passengers is long lines. But the good thing is, technology is revolutionizing the way their customers check in and print their boarding pass. Today, airlines are quickly embracing biometrics that can help scan passengers as they enter an airport. They no longer need human security officers doing all the checks.

Besides, thanks to augmented reality, passengers can also get to understand various critical areas in the airport virtually. So they know where they can get a cup of hot coffee they need before boarding their morning flight. As these technologies start to penetrate airport infrastructure, the number of personnel performing those particular assignments will continue to shrink.

But that doesn’t mean that it is their deathbed. According to Brendan Noonan, Qatar Airways Group’s vice president of talent development, “the new technology is not going to render customer service obsolete.” Well, check-in agents might disappear, but you will still need someone to help or even guide the customer and offer advice where things get thick. There cannot be a non-human substitute for that.

Noonan advises that airlines will need to “find those specific areas where technology will complement customer service, making it quick and more enjoyable.

The social engineering tight rope

Today, there are many social media platforms and forums where customers vent their experiences with airlines. The rise of these platforms have been a blessing and also a burden to different airlines around the world. As a result, it has led to the creation of positions to monitor customer conversations.

Technology is going to open up more channels for customer service. Today, inquiries are increasingly migrating from the in-airport desks to mobile, email and social media communications. Nobody predicted a decade ago that platforms like Facebook and Twitter would emerge and would amp airline customer relationships.

In a nutshell, technology is good for increasing the efficiency of different operations. But it cannot substitute the need for human agents in the industry.

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