Digitalization in Aviation

Sustaining Profitability and Customer Satisfaction in Aviation

The influential, US-based Aviation Week Network recently quoted Warren Buffett as stating that the aviation industry is leaving a century of economic hardship and is set towards sustained profitability. Yet, a sustained upholding of profitability in a dynamic field, such as aviation, requires growth.

How can this growth be generated? A continuation of current business practice will most likely not lead towards the desired and needed growth rates. Innovation and transformation are the keys to the industry’s next leap forward.

Jonathan Keane, Accenture’s global industry lead for aviation, identified digital transformation as the most potent vehicle of progress and foundation for sustained growth. Whilst passenger services surrounding flights, such as check-in procedures and travel documents gradually become digitalized through applications and online portals, it is in the operational segment that plenty of airlines still work manually. Being a central node in the working of an airline, it is of utmost importance that systems deployed in this realm are reliable and efficient! Airlines and airports hence need to be rigorous when considering the potential of digital means.

Crucial is the realization that digitalization is a gradual process, which can take place in a multitude of areas, which aid, yet not negatively impact the daily operations. The involvement of software can range from the creation of passenger documents over publications and newsletters to aircraft manuals and in-flight menu cards.

Ultimately all areas share one target: The customer and the customer’s flight experience!


As Paul Ross, the global brand director of the advertising company DDB France, stated in his yellow paper on airline branding, what truly counts is the image that the customer has of an airline. Often underestimated, a brand’s image is of vital importance. Especially with regards to aviation, where operational expenses render profit margins slim, tough competition depresses prices and external factors induce a significant degree of volatility, the customer is the most pivotal factor for profit generation. If an excellent image of a brand could be transmitted to the customer during a flight or through a successful campaign, it is well likely that this customer will return and even support some ticket price volatility. The brand image is thus a key foundation for sustainable profit generation throughout the economic cycle.


A clear message and hence identity has to be recognizable


The key to a successful creation of a brand image is consistency. A clear message and hence identity has to be recognizable. Such recognisability stems from continuous branding, the utilization of identical templates throughout the company and usage of the same colors, to name but a few factors.

This is where many internationally operating airlines struggle. With offices in a wealth of destinations, data and content tend to be spread out, often without central oversight. Thus, it easily occurs that resourceful digital assets and information get lost or cannot be located in a timely efficient manner. In addition, brand image consistency tends to suffer, which renders the transmission of one unique and powerful message nearly impossible.

Apart from the advertisement aspect and branding of documents, which directly concern and are visible to the customer, aviation companies deal with a vast amount of data in their daily operations. This requires organization and often has to be made available within short amounts of time. Examples being menus for business and first-class passengers, voluminous aircraft manuals or passenger lists.

Time Saving Hourglass

Marketing automation allows significant time savings, smoother operations and thus eventually higher levels of customer satisfaction


The ideal software solution for airlines, as well as airports, are online platforms. These platforms, or portals, allow for central, cloud-based storage and management of digital assets, such as pictures, videos, and data files as well as automated processes of document creation. Being collated in one central location each sub-office can access and collaborate on the file collection to find exactly what is required. Henceforth, the production of consistent material becomes facilitated and thanks to pre-set branding criteria, follows one central guidance, which renders all documents following a globally identical brand image. Additionally, scripts automate the creation of key documents for daily operations, which allows for significant time savings, smoother operations and thus eventually higher levels of customer satisfaction.


Sabern can offer such solutions and tailor them to the specific needs of your airline or airport. The world’s oldest passenger airline KLM, as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), are two of our most important clients where our products are successfully in use.

Brandifyer automatically translates vast tables of data into neatly designed business class menus for KLM, which are subsequently flying around the world on a daily basis. This automatization has saved KLM at least 60% of time and made resources available for more efficient fulfillment of multiple tasks at the same time as was used before for the manual generation of the menus.

KLM menu card 1

Almost any cargo airline already is in the possession of a product, which was produced with the help of Sabern. The Air Cargo Tariff and Rules (TACT) published by IATA is automatically compiled by FrameMaker with an individually for IATA produced script. This automatization alleviated a wealth of workload and ensured consistency even though the document is of considerable size!

In conclusion, digitalization and automatization with Sabern can help your company to save time and smoothen your daily operations by rendering document creation processes more efficient, collating your digital assets and making them available in a structured manner to all offices and departments. In addition, Sabern software helps you in maintaining a globally consistent brand image to ensure that your prospective and actual customers recognize and choose you again. All of which will help you to sustain your current profitability. At Sabern we are proud to offer you all of these advantages in one comprehensive product solution!

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