The year 2019 was marked by major exits of industry leaders such as Thomas Cook, California Pacific, and Jet Airways, from the global aviation industry. Thus, leaving a sentiment of fear and uncertainty in the rapidly evolving and highly competitive landscape of the commercial aviation sector. At the same time, the year 2020 seems to hold a promise of increase in the number of passengers and an even higher demand for highly skilled talent in order to tackle the demands of the digital age.
At the backdrop of several flight crashes, governments across the globe have grounded the aircraft Boeing 737 Max, thus affecting the jobs of pilots, and also creating a need for rapid upskilling and reskilling drives to train the Boeing 737 Max pilots in flying other aircrafts. Developments such as these have resulted in a price hike of airfare, thus impacting the business bottom-line as well.
Keeping in mind these developments in the aviation industry from 2019, let us take a look at the major trends that are going to redefine the aviation industry going forward.
Trends to look for in 2020
According to the IATA Aviation HR Report, the aviation industry is facing significant trends that are going to redefine the way the sector functions in terms of talent and people.
Primarily, experts expect that there is going to be significant growth in jobs and the demand for talent is going to be high in ground operations, customer service, and cabin crew. Even though the demand for jobs would be high, finding the right talent would prove to be a major challenge. About 48 percent of the HR leaders surveyed for the report highlighted that the aviation industry is facing a recruitment challenge when it comes to the availability of applicants with the right skill levels and qualifications and the salary demands of new applicants.
Since recruitment is a major challenge, so is retention of highly-skilled top talent. Upskilling the existing talent is going to become crucial in the coming years.
However, the quality of the training initiatives needs to improve tremendously as only 28 percent of HR professionals say that current training is very effective. Thus, in this digital age, it has become crucial for aviation industry’s leading companies to identify a robust network of external learning partners to improve the training efficacy. Basic digital skills have become a must-have in the market and customer service skills are a priority--especially in the aviation industry. It is precisely why HR leaders will be bringing these skills to the forefront of their priority list.
Even though there is a fear that most jobs will become automated and replaced by bots, the truth of the matter is that the aviation industry still continues to be a people-focused sector. Technology might transform the customer experience at the airport, however, the human interaction with the ground staff at the check-in and gate agents will continue to remain an essential piece of the process of seamlessly delivering an enjoyable experience throughout the entire passenger journey.
Rise in number of jobs
The aviation industry is likely to see a growth in the number of jobs in the ground operations, customer service, and cabin crew department. From aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians to air traffic controllers, to airline and commercial pilots, to aerospace engineers and flight attendants, the aviation sector has a variety of jobs that are counted as some of the highest paid jobs.
IoT in aviation market
One of the key trends that are expected to redefine 2020 for the aviation sector is the role of the Internet of Things in the sector. IoT in the aviation market is expected to increase from $593 Mn in 2019 to $1,941 Mn by 2025, according to a report on IoT in Aviation by End Market (Airports, Airlines, MROs, Manufacturers), Application (Ground Operations, Passenger Experience Asset Management, Air Traffic Management), Component, Region-Global Forecast to 2025.
As IoT provides leaders in the aviation industry the opportunity to improve passenger experience, reduce operational expenses, and reduce maintenance costs, the adoption of this particular technology is expected to be applied to various processes within the aviation industry, thus impacting the way work is done in this particular sector.
The needs of the modern airport have increased in their complexity and scale as compared to the time when commercial flying was still in its nascent stage. As airlines become more and more affordable and low-budget, thanks to the rising competition in the market, airports are also trying to find ways in which they can reduce their operational costs and build new revenue streams at the same time.
IoT in the aviation sector is particularly useful in improving efficiency in the baggage handling area and air traffic control.
The way forward
As the ground-breaking developments of 2019 continue to impact the aviation sector on a global level, the year 2020 might hold a certain extent of financial pain for industry leaders. However, private airline carriers are looking to expand their fleets and services thus creating the demand for skilled talent.