The most transformative change enablers within the industry in Asia-Pacific were recognised at the Future Travel Experience Airline/Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 awards ceremony. The winners were announced on 9 November during FTE APEX Asia Expo 2022 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore.
19 leading figures from airlines and airports across the region were nominated for truly embracing innovation and bold new approaches in order to recover and thrive following the impacts of the pandemic. Six of the nominees were presented with ‘Highly Commended’ certificates and a further six took home an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ trophy.
FTE Airline Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 ‘Outstanding Achievement’
Colin Currie, President (Commercial), Capital A
Colin Currie, President (Commercial), Capital A, was recognised for his key role in developing a consumer-centric strategy using data to optimise growth and meet financial objectives across AirAsia’s airlines and digital units. AirAsia used the downtime created by the pandemic to fast-track its digital transformation with the mission of pivoting from being primarily an airline into an all-in-one digital company with close to 20 travel and lifestyle products and services creating the “airasia way of life”. In line with this vision, the airline has introduced a number of initiatives, including several new products that provide more choice to customers and new revenue streams such as the AirAsia super app, logistics, e-commerce, fintech, as well as new procedures and innovations like biometric facial recognition which will not only create a more contactless travel experience, but will also uniquely support commerce ambitions going forward.
George Wang, Senior Vice President Information Technology, Singapore Airlines
George Wang, Senior Vice President Information Technology, Singapore Airlines (SIA), was awarded for his role in driving SIA’s open innovation strategy. This starts with encouraging co-innovation among employees, as well as looking outside SIA to solve business challenges, including start-ups, technology companies and research institutes. Solutions to enable a seamless travel experience include a Travel Advisory Widget allowing travellers to check entry requirements into different countries, and the Healthcert Service Layer to integrate digital health certificate verification and entry rule checks into its digital platforms, allowing customers to still use self-service check-in. SIA has incorporated automation and deployed AI to optimise operations and processes. Beyond flight, SIA developed the blockchain-enabled loyalty wallet to expand the use of KrisFlyer miles to different lifestyle products. SIA also digitised the inflight shopping catalogue to launch KrisShop.com, allowing customers to shop anytime, anywhere.
Kenneth Chang, Executive Vice President, CMO (Marketing & IT Division), Korean Air
Kenneth Chang, Executive Vice President, CMO (Marketing & IT Division), was recognised as the main force behind Korean Air’s digital transformation. Most notably, Korean Air completed the largest IT modernisation project in its 52-year history, becoming the first major carrier to completely switch to the Amazon Web Services cloud. The IT system migration has enabled Korean Air to respond actively and flexibly to the changing market, including strict quarantine measures and increasing demand for contactless services during travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Korean Air upgraded its entire system to incorporate the required cloud technology and data to increase operational efficiency and innovate customer service. Korean Air is also working towards introducing a machine learning management service, which will allow the airline to create, train and apply machine learning models to improve customer service by forecasting passenger and cargo demand more accurately.
FTE Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 ‘Outstanding Achievement’
Jonathan Good, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, Auckland Airport
Jonathan Good, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, Auckland Airport, was recognised for his role in key projects across technology, transport and terminals that are ensuring seamless customer journeys. This airport’s innovation covers three areas: total airport management, passenger experience, and a digital focus to its masterplan, featuring AI models and machine learning, unlocking digital ecommerce channels, and evolving digital experiences and baggage transformation. As borders gradually reopened, Auckland Airport triggered a suite of capital expenditure projects across technology, transport and terminals that will transform the airport into a world-class travel experience with seamless customer journeys. These include the development of a world-class transport centre to be built at the front doorstep of the international terminal. Work on the Auckland Airport Transport Hub – a $300 million-plus development – began in June 2022 and aims to transform how travellers arrive and depart from the main airport terminal.
Rama Iyer, Head – Innovation, GMR Group
Rama Iyer, Head – Innovation, GMR Group, is focused on building the entire innovation culture and charter for GMR Airports, while driving the airport of the future vision through innovative products/solutions, and partnering with startups. GMR Group is driving several initiatives to enhance business prospects in terms of superior customer experiences, revenue enhancement and cost-reduction opportunities, as well as agile and efficient internal processes. GMR Innovex, the innovation vertical of GMR, was established to foster an innovation culture that enables the free flow of ideas and resources between GMR and external ecosystem partners. It interacts, engages, and collaborates with startups, academia, ecosystem players and other companies in developing both digital and non-digital next-generation solutions such as e-boarding, image-based passenger processing and full body scanners.
Hideharu Miyamoto, Senior Executive Officer / Deputy Executive Divisional Director of Corporate Planning Division, Narita International Airport Corporation
Hideharu Miyamoto, Senior Executive Officer / Deputy Executive Divisional Director of Corporate Planning Division, Narita International Airport Corporation, was awarded for initiatives such as the ‘AIR Narita’ system innovation project. This was launched to rebuild multiple systems into an integrated format as a means of overcoming the labour shortage and promoting workstyle reforms. In this project, the airport builds the foundations for continuous business optimisation by integrating all services and systems into one across all departments, with the main aim to contribute to the sustainable growth of the airport. Narita International Airport is proactively incorporating robotics, artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge information and communications technologies to promote business efficiency and enhanced productivity. Meanwhile, the airport is also moving forward with the use of artificial intelligence with the aim to improve customer satisfaction by using and analysing AI trained on real customer feedback.
FTE Airline Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 ‘Highly Commended’
- Lawrence Fong, Director Digital and IT, Cathay Pacific
- Vinod Bhat, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Vistara
- Neetan Chopra, Chief Digital and Information Officer, IndiGo
FTE Airport Transformation Power List Asia-Pacific 2022 ‘Highly Commended’
- Vijaykumar Dayinde, General Manager IT Delivery & Covering CIO, Malaysia Airports
- Kittipoj Venunantana, Senior Executive Vice President (Digital and Communications Technology), Airports of Thailand
- Véronique Austruy, CIO, Kansai Airports
FTE APEX Asia Expo 2023 dates announced!
Mark your diary for 8-9 November 2023, Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Singapore