2016: The Year of Collaboration?

It’s nothing new that airlines and airports are constantly seeking the next best structure and technology for their business. Constantly adapting and working with new investments and developments to meet growth demands is key. But what should we expect to see in 2016?

One company that has airport investment and management at the heart of its business is Vantage Airport Group. Since 1994, Vantage has worked with airports around the world to develop, implement and hone best practices that result in financially stronger, more sustainable, better connected airports for the communities and businesses they serve.

We recently spoke to Lee Lipton, Director of Air Service and Cargo Development, who leads growth of passenger and cargo traffic at eight airports, to discuss the industry and this year’s aviation trends.

"In 2016, I believe that we can expect capacity growth to continue, albeit under pressure related to the strong U.S. dollar in regions such as resource-focused economies that are facing economic headwinds,” said Lipton. “We are seeing growing capacity put pressure on yields, which have been compensated by low fuel prices.”

On the topic of airport infrastructure, Lipton notes another trend around the changing model of US airport development and management by public-private partnerships (P3s). Vantage Airport Group is leading the consortium selected to redevelop and operate the New Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. This project is a key example of a positive change in the U.S. infrastructure development.

Knowing that a terminal is only one part of the passenger experience, Lipton notes the impact of digital technology on the passenger experience. “Airlines are upping the game with new mobile technology to support customer service, from booking functionality and baggage tracking to targeted commercial offers that generate revenue, said Lipton.

“We see tremendous potential in Routes Americas to connect with existing and prospective airline partners, support network traffic growth across the network and raise the profile of our airport members.”

Lee Lipton
Director of Air Service and Cargo Development, Vantage Airport Group

“Meanwhile, airports – including those in the Vantage network – are taking a similar approach to enhancing the passenger experience via digital tools, with mobile-optimised airport websites that offer GPS-supported wayfinding, retail information and even targeted commercial offers. This means we are well-positioned to work collaboratively with carriers to create a seamless experience for our shared customers,” he added.

Indeed, developing strong, customised relationships with carriers is essential for continued growth and success.

“One of the many advantages to partnering with a Vantage network airport is our proven experience and ability to help airlines and work both sides of the profitability equations: by delivering cost-effective, efficient airport operations, and promoting revenue through partnerships with tourism bodies in the region to foster demand for the service,” said Lipton.

Lee Lipton will be attending this year’s Routes Americas Strategy Summit, where he will be taking part in the Air Service Development Trends and Best Practices Panel on the 17th February.

“Vantage Airport Group and our network airports are excited to have a high-profile presence at Routes Americas 2016,” said Lipton. “Considering the composition of our network, it makes sense to make a strategic investment in routes Americas, in 2016 and years to come. We see tremendous potential in the conference to connect with existing and prospective airline partners, support network traffic growth across the network and raise the profile of our airport members.”

Routes Americas 2016 will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico between 17th – 19th February.

Hannah Brewer

A recent addition to the UBM EMEA Digital and Content team, Southampton Solent University graduate Hannah generates content and ideas for various B2B…