Financial management a major challenge in the airline industry: Report

By: | Published: September 16, 2015 5:17 PM

The airline industry faces a number of challenges when it comes to financial management, including revenue leakage, complex income streams, and tax reporting and compliance across multiple markets

The airline industry faces a number of challenges when it comes to financial management, including revenue leakage, complex income streams, and tax reporting and compliance across multiple markets. A new report published, written by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by Amadeus, highlights a ‘window of opportunity’ for airlines to boost their top and bottom-line by integrating financial processes, increasing automation and exploiting predictive analytics.

Alexander Michael, director, Digital Transformation, Frost & Sullivan said, “In certain circumstances, airlines today may not even be able to know the exact revenue numbers for a specific flight. It is imperative that airlines now focus on integrating and streamlining financial processes, not only to eliminate revenue leakage and other inefficiencies, but also so they can benefit from predictive analysis, becoming truly customer-centric and improving the top and bottom lines.”

Key findings from the report include:

– Airline CFOs today face a number of challenges, such as revenue leakage, which can cost airlines as much as three per cent of revenue;

– Greater integration of financial processes could boost revenues by up to US$1.5 million per annum for a medium-sized airline;

– Adapting to new payment methods such as Bitcoin will be a competitive imperative. More fundamentally, Blockchain technology could have a revolutionary impact on accounting by offering a single, secure, transparent global ledger;

– Interline settlement improvements could save the industry US$500m annually, if airlines embrace tools and standards; and

– Better financial management will ultimately prove an enabler for the development of the airline product, in turn improving the customer experience and delivering increased customer loyalty.

Patricia Simillon, head of strategic marketing in Airline IT, Amadeus said, “This report reveals a significant opportunity for airlines. Streamlining financial processes will enable airlines to achieve optimisation and efficiency. This is a strategic priority for us at Amadeus and we are committed to working with our airline partners to transform the industry’s approach to financial management.”

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