Farelogix was delighted to host over 200 airline industry leaders at FLX-Disrupt 2019 which took place April 2-4 in Miami aboard the Seafair Mega Yacht. In its second year running, FLX-Disrupt is the only event dedicated to innovation in airline revenue management, commerce, and distribution through the application of new generation technologies. Judging by the feedback from over 30 airlines in attendance, the two-day event was valuable in stimulating the advancement of airline commerce.
Airline executives spanning distribution, commercial, revenue management, pricing, merchandising, ancillaries, marketing, strategy, and IT had the opportunity to hear from some of the industry’s most experienced, inspiring and insightful leaders from across the airline commerce ecosystem.
Farelogix CEO, Jim Davidson, set the scene with a blood-pumping exploration of the event theme, ‘accelerating offer transformation’, in which he echoed the words of Mario Andretti, “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough”. Jim maintained that speed is of the essence in the race toward retailing, and it is no wonder as the stakes are high. Ideaworks has predicted that ancillary revenue would reach USD $92 billion in 2018 – USD $65 billion from a la carte ancillaries.
“This race will make the careers of those airline executives who take advantage of industry-shift and new technologies to drive revenue and customer engagement at levels never before seen.”
-- Jim Davidson.
Atmosphere Research’s Henry Harteveldt, who served as conference MC, also delivered an inspirational keynote presentation which challenged airline delegates to “shoot for the moon” when crafting strategy and taking advantage of new-generation technologies. Henry highlighted that changing airline commerce required airline executives to take risks in the face of daunting objectives and low levels of support. Henry drew comparisons with US President John F. Kennedy’s proposal to land on the moon in 1961, which at the time was opposed by 58% of all Americans.
Among the roster of 29 speakers was Sean Menke, CEO of Sabre Corporation who participated in a fireside chat led by Henry Harteveldt.
FLX-Disrupt 2019 also featured an unrivaled lineup of airline speakers representing the world’s most advanced NDC strategists and practitioners including Arber Deva, Lufthansa Group; Tye Radcliffe, United Airlines; Neil Geurin, American Airlines; Bill Cavendish, Emirates; and Anthony Collins, Qantas.
These NDC ‘titans’ shared how they are moving the needle in NDC API adoption and as a consequence, are spurring industry advancement.
Bas t’Hooft from Air France KLM took to the stage to share his airline’s strategy for offer transformation, which includes optimizing many dimensions of the offer as well as a robust NDC program.
McKinsey & Company’s Alex Cosmas’ data-rich presentation explored themes relating to new generation Revenue Management, including a look at NDC’s role in transforming airline commerce; Pricing 2.0 which he characterized as maximizing conversion rates with precise Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) estimates; and Revenue Management 2.0 which focuses on the redefinition of bid prices to reflect customer contribution (e.g. Total Lifetime Value).
Farelogix VP Solutions Strategy and former United Airlines executive, Jeff Matthew, shared a valuable road-map to getting started with offer transformation, with the end goal being the airline in control of omnichannel architecture ; as the single source of truth; optimizing targeted offers; engaging in dynamic pricing; and having a winning data-driven retailing strategy.
IATA’s Yanik Hoyles provided an NDC and ONE Order update, with a focus on the acceleration of NDC across the industry ecosystem, as airlines, travel sellers, technology providers, and GDS companies come together to advance airline retailing.
Paul Tilstone of Festive Road addressed the topic of innovation in corporate booking – or lack thereof - kicking off with the startling statistic that 80% of travel buyers were less satisfied with corporate booking tools compared to the leisure tools available to them in their private lives.
FLX-Disrupt Delegates also had a first-hand look at how new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are contributing to next-generation seat merchandising and enabling airlines to grow revenue significantly. Farelogix previewed new seat merchandising and dynamic pricing capabilities in technology breakouts following the plenary sessions.
If you weren’t able to attend FLX-Disrupt, but would like to discuss how your airline can accelerate its airline commerce transformation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.