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Airlines put break on IT spending

Airlines expect to cut their IT spending as a percentage of their overall revenues then and there year as the recession continues to bite.

The decline in spending is in spite of airlines expanding their IT operations in growing areas just as social media, smartphone sales and passenger self-service.

The results of the annual SITA/Airline Business Airline IT Trends Survey were an indication that the airlines were for all that overseeing a struggling industry, while together they were facing operational demands from passengers who wanted an increase in customer service through new sales channels.

Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA, said the survey showed "cautious optimism" on the level of IT investment. He said IT spend as a proportion of revenue was expected to "stay stable" in 2012, however acknowledged a minority of airlines expected IT spend in 2013 to increase "in absolute terms".

In 2011, SITA said extra cash was spent by the airlines on areas just as mobile transaction systems, support for commercial social networking efforts, virtualisation research and cloud computing. The total airline IT and telecoms spend estimated for 2011 was $20 billion.

More information: Idg