Bain & Company experts discuss trends impacting airports

13 May 2024 2 min. read
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Airports are being impacted by a range of trends worldwide, with the shift towards sustainability, technological innovation, and enhanced passenger experience the dominant themes in the Middle East, according Bain & Company.

“The region’s airports are increasingly focusing on sustainability initiatives,” said Akram Alami, head of the Utilities, Aviation and Sustainability & Responsibility practices at Bain & Company.

“They aim to reduce their environmental impact through efforts like achieving carbon-neutral certification, designing eco-friendly infrastructure, and adopting renewable energy. These initiatives are part of a broader strategy to address climate change and meet passenger expectations for more sustainable travel options.”

Bain & Company experts discuss trends impacting airports

Airports face several obstacles in implementing these sustainable practices. “Key challenges include high initial costs for green technologies, regulatory constraints, and the need for stakeholder alignment. Technological limitations and the need to integrate sustainability into existing infrastructure without disrupting operations also pose significant challenges,” said Ilya Yamshchikov, Associate Partner at Bain & Company.

Overcoming these challenges requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders involved, including airports, airlines, ground handling operators, regulatory bodies, and the local communities.

Evolving passenger expectations now demand more seamless, personalized travel experiences. In response, airports are investing in digital solutions offering real-time communication, personalized services, and integrated mobility platforms. The goal is to create a more efficient and enjoyable travel experience from door to door.

In relation to technological advancements in the terminal, digital biometric screening and contactless services are streamlining security and boarding processes. This not only improves operational efficiency but also boosts passenger loyalty by reducing wait times and enhancing the overall travel experience, said Bain & Company’s experts.

Airports are also leveraging technologies like computed tomography baggage scanners and body scanners to expedite security checks without compromising safety.

Mauro Anastasi, partner and a member of the Aviation practice at Bain & Company, explained, “These trends are expected to continue shaping the development of airports, leading to more efficient and passenger-centric facilities. They will significantly transform airline operations and the overall travel experience, making air travel more accessible, enjoyable and sustainable for future generations.”

Looking ahead, the experts said that the trends outlined are not only transforming airport operations but also setting new standards for the future of air travel. “Middle Eastern airports are poised to lead by example, demonstrating how innovative, sustainable solutions can reshape the future of air travel in alignment with global environmental goals and consumer expectations.”