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On the agenda: Customer service

Airport profile: Airports of Mauritius

Special Report: Air Transport IT trends

Plus: Amsterdam Schiphol, Rail links & Going green

Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the global benefits of the aviation industry and the customer service.

Boeing’s recent projection that it expects the world’s airlines to invest $6.1 trillion on 41,300 new jet aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years provides another timely reminder of just how dynamic and ever evolving the aviation industry is globally.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to lead the way in the commercial aircraft buying game, accounting for over 16,050 aircraft, followed by North America (8,640), Europe (7,530), Latin America (3,010), the CIS states (1,230) and Africa (1,220).

Boeing is, of course, not alone in projecting a positive outlook for aviation or in recognising the benefits that the air transport industry brings globally on a daily basis.

Indeed, the ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2016-2040 predicts that global passenger numbers will double to 14.6 billion per annum by 2029 and soar to 23.6 billion by 2040.

The upturn is based on an annual global traffic growth of 5.2% to 2040 with the upturn driven by rising demand for international traffic, which ACI predicts will outstrip domestic passenger numbers from 2028.

While the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reminds us that one in ten jobs is linked to tourism, which accounts for 10% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the latest Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) figures reveal that the air transport industry directly generates close to 10 million jobs worldwide.

Finally, another newly released industry-backed report, Aviation Benefits, states that by spurring tourism and trade as it continues to grow, aviation contributes to increasing consumer benefits and choices, creating jobs and generating numerous socio-spin-offs.

It says: “The increased connectivity that it delivers leads to further re-investment in aviation, creating a healthy cycle of aviation development and economic prosperity in those countries and regions which set out suitable planning and investment commitments.

“This very healthy dynamic of investment and economic development has helped aviation to become a truly global economic force. If it were a country, its GDP would be similar to that of Switzerland’s at around $660 billion (with the total economic impact of $2.7 trillion), and the 62.7 million jobs it supports directly and indirectly is comparable to the United Kingdom’s current population.

“The availability of reliable air transport services provides people with access to what they need: decent livelihoods, food, healthcare, education, safe communities and spaces, etc.”

In this ‘customer service’ themed issue of Airport World we discover that there is now a strong business case for airports to be customer focused and committed to going that extra mile for passengers. And many are being increasingly innovative in how they are going about delivering in these areas.

The themed section contains features about the importance of making emotional connections with passengers; social media excellence; ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme; building passenger loyalty; creating the right ambiance; and transforming the passenger experience with next generation analytics.

The airport in the spotlight is Mauritius’ Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, and we also have features about Amsterdam Schiphol; airport IT; rail links; and the environment. Enjoy!

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