“Airlines aren’t known for their IT prowess,” says Pascal Buchner, chief information officer of the International Air Transport Body (IATA), the world’s airline trade association. This may be attested to by anyone who has had their bags lost or a vacation delayed. On the other hand, airlines are betting that by investing more in technology, they will be able to correct the problem. Mr. Buchner says, “We now know that data is the primary source of performance for airlines.”

From predictive maintenance, luggage handling, and cargo tracking to staff management and customer loyalty programs, data – and how all this information is processed – has swiftly become one of the most important aspects in determining how well an airline runs. Mr. Demael claims that the amount of data shared across the sector has “exploded” in recent years. Even if travelers aren’t aware of it, data plays an important part in making a journey operate well, from exchanging travel papers to tracking baggage traffic between airports.

The pandemic has wreaked problems in the global aviation industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects that the industry will rebound to 2019 levels in 2022, the same year that it is expected to break even or profit. Massive amounts of data will be acquired as a result of the recovery.