Chinese airports are embracing AI and automation

Posted: 28 November 2019 | | No comments yet

Investments are being made into automating the journey and expanding mobile services in order to improve the passenger experience.

Chinese airports and airlines to embrace AI and automation

Passenger experience within airports and airlines in China is due to improve significantly as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is to be embraced throughout the region. 

According to a report published by SITA – 2019 China IT insights – airports are using these technologies to improve and expand mobile services and automate the journey to hyper-personalise the self-service experience that passengers are expecting.

Vice President and General Manager of SITA China, May Zhou, said: “China’s airlines and airports have a strong record in embracing technology and automation to drive efficient operations and high levels of passenger services. Now they are moving to the next level where they will harness artificial intelligence to deliver more services, faster, to more people.”

The report revealed that 88 per cent of airports and airlines are intending on planning or researching and developing major AI programmes by 2022, with a focus on virtual agents and chatbots. Further results showed that 64 per cent of passengers would prefer a digital travel concierge, proving that the investments are vital and necessary. 

For passengers travelling within the Chinese aviation industry, self-service has already reached a high level of maturity. However, this is expected to increase further as AI and biometrics are adopted and utilised. SITA reported that 27 per cent of airports already have self-boarding gates using biometrics with travel documents, but this is expected to increase significantly to 66 per cent within just three years. More than half of the airports also have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touchpoints by 2022. 

Zhou continued: “The adoption of self-service by passengers across China has been very encouraging for airports. At SITA, we see many in the industry who are now ready and planning to add biometrics to bring self service to the next level.”

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