How Smart Training Technologies Redefine Airlines Operational Excellence

Operating in the airline industry is tough. When one former airline CEO was asked about the current and future areas of concern, he jokingly replied, “What aren’t we concerned about?”

Even though nowadays, airlines are far more efficient, safe, and profitable, there still exist numerous challenges:

  • The ever-changing economic and business environment 
  • A heavily regulated industry and sustainability issues
  • Expensive errors, including the responsibility for human lives
  • Non-standard work schedules and workloads
  • The political climate, weather changes, and the effects of epidemic diseases
  • Customer sensitivity and their growing needs

While airlines can’t influence some of these aspects, they can definitely improve their competitive ability and enhance travelers’ flight experience with the right combination of different tools and technologies.

The right employee onboarding defines the best carrier

According to The 2019 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, the airline industry is projected to hire 804,000 civil aviation pilots, 769,000 maintenance technicians, and 914,000 cabin crew, globally, within the next 20 years.

operational excellence

The thing is that smart recruiting will help to solve only 10% of this high demand. After attracting the right candidates, the key thing will be to retain them and turn them into valuable long-term contributors to the common business goals. This necessity comes from companies’ need to save money, enhance the passenger experience, achieve strong competitive ability, and ensure a sustainable future in the ever-changing world. 

Retention starts from Day 1, meaning that personalized onboarding will define the rest of your team’s journey. Every company wants its pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, and technicians to be not only passionate about their jobs but also provide best-in-class service. 

Data-driven onboarding that meets the needs of every individual is the ultimate tool for a successful take-off. Data-driven onboarding will help guide your new hires through every learning task and activity, ensuring that they retain crucial information, know how to apply this information to practice and can calmly respond to any unexpected situations. A smart onboarding program will also help to align company values with the employees’ first steps, to create a crucial and necessary bond for long-lasting engagement and retention. In turn, your team will feel support, gaining more confidence in what they do and radiating this confidence towards passengers and their co-workers. 

Adaptive mobile training drives productivity and customer service

Effective training is essential for both low-cost and full-service carriers when it comes to their survival. The only difference is that usually, “a low-cost carrier has less time and budget, therefore has to rush through it [training] and only conduct what is required by law,” according to Wolfgang Kerndler, emergency trainer at Austrian Airlines.

Another thing is that the number of annual passengers is increasing year by year and is expected to double by 2035. Airlines will have to redefine the way customer service is delivered in such new realities. Hence, the ability to deliver the right new training to the right person at the right time will be critical for businesses to keep up with the competition. 

Embracing adaptive learning. With the development of smart learning technologies, it has become possible to use adaptive learning as a way of adjusting to every individual’s needs, maximizing their productivity and engagement. By using the right data, the learning system triggers specific learning activities for an individual, allowing them to achieve specific performance goals as swiftly as possible. 

Leveraging mobile learning. With the right learning tools on hand, companies can provide their cabin crew, pilots, technicians, and ground staff with seamless access to training on-the-go whenever the need arises. Learning, in a shape of gamified nuggets with various leaderboards, points, and badges, is delivered just-in-time to solve the “less time and budget” question and to ensure the high-performance of every team member. 

Knowledge transfer tools support continuous growth

As Baby Boomers are retiring and Generation X are getting closer to the retirement age, the need to retain and secure their knowledge and experience for the next generation is arising. According to studies, 78% of executives say that knowledge loss is a greater problem now than it was five years ago. Moreover, every such loss costs companies, on average, $430,000 on top of the usual recruitment replacement costs.

“Younger workers can’t be counted on to fill the void, as they lack the experience that builds deep expertise. They also tend to change jobs frequently, taking their technological savvy and any knowledge they’ve gained with them. You need to have a way to maintain continuity in roles so you are not reconstructing solutions to problems from scratch because people who have the expertise left,” says Diane Piktialis, Mature Workforce Program Leader at The Conference Board.

For this reason, airline companies need to develop an effective training program that would ensure a smooth knowledge transfer between the older, more experienced employees and younger ones. By providing the right tools and automating knowledge transfer, companies can save every precious piece of expertise and experience. These tools include collaboration and communication systems, data-driven feedback loops that use all the relevant data to collect and store all the accumulated historical expertise in an organized manner to deliver more impactful training for newcomers.

Customer satisfaction equals operational excellence

Usually, it takes only about 45 minutes to restock supplies, upload and unload baggage, and tow a plane out of the gate just to ensure an on-time departure. Every second counts. Every action is executed with precision to ensure passenger satisfaction and operational efficiency. Every step is aimed at achieving operational excellence to optimize the use of resources and minimize disruptions. 

According to The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends report, 62% of companies utilize operational excellence methodologies in day-to-day operations, with 44.3% certain that it is the main factor in achieving customer satisfaction. 

If passengers want all the friction to be taken out of their journey, there needs to be the right tool—no, a hub that integrates different systems and contains all the necessary data and activities spread across departments or team members to coordinate and manage every operation. Such a kaizen-driven approach that ensures an ongoing improvement in processes will help to cut costs, save time, reduce errors, and enhance the overall passenger experience.


Get in touch with the Rallyware experts to see for yourself how our performance enablement platform can help your company achieve operational excellence and improve passenger satisfaction!