Category Archive: News: Avinode

  1. 3 lifehacks to make your charter sales ready for the beach season

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    We know it can be challenging for charter sales teams to balance their workload during the high-demand season and still give your customers that five-star experience that they expect.

    The summer season is also the time of year that puts more pressure on finance teams to stay on top of reporting and payments. With a smaller team in place due to vacations, you may need to hire temp staff, and it can be difficult to stay on top of your regular administrative routines.

    This is our best advice to keep your charter sales in shape and your team within their comfort zone during the high-demand season.

    1) Get on top of your pricing

    Creating seasonal pricing profiles is always a good idea, allowing you to proactively manage your incoming demand. You can create profiles for a certain time period, or for specific customers. For more flexibility, you can add an urgent rate for any request for a flight departing within 65 hours. Learn more in this article about the tools available in Avinode for managing your pricing.

    2) Set rules to manage aircraft availability

    In Avinode you have multiple tools available to manage your aircraft availability. You can give time back to your charter sales team by adding aircraft and account rules to help the team focus on trips they want to service and support.

    If you no longer want to sell transient availability or you want to block trips during a certain period, our aircraft and account rules, as well as the TakeOffReady feature, are your helping hand. Learn more about all these tools in this article.

    3) Stay vigilant of scammers

    The summer season in combination with an economic downturn means a general uptick in fraudulent activity. Training your ordinary and temp staff on the most common financial scams and phishing techniques is a good way to protect your customer data and reduce the risk of financial fraud.

    Read up on the best and most up-to-date payment fraud trends for protecting your funds no matter if you accept payments via credit card, wire transfers, or digital payment methods.

    Download our white paper ”Why payments matter” to learn more about the most common trends and solutions in digital payments, and how you can increase payment security.

  2. Creating greater trust and transparency between operators and brokers – our vision for 2022

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    Hi, Per. Tell us about your vision for Avinode in 2022

    Quite simply, our vision is to offer greater transparency and increased trust between operators and brokers in the marketplace.

    Key to achieving this is setting the right expectations in terms of the price for a trip. By doing this, a buyer can feel confident they’re seeing a reliable price estimate when searching for an aircraft and the seller can reply with a quote at the click of a button.

    In our experience, this transparency is what builds strong and long-lasting relationships between our members. In 2022, I look forward to us making a step change and getting even closer to realising our vision. I’m really excited about the future.

    And what, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge in the business aviation sector right now?

    In the wake of the global pandemic, we’ve seen a 125% surge in charter trips requested in Avinode. With that comes increased charter prices, ranging from a 2% increase in Europe to a 12% increase in the Americas.

    This makes it an incredibly challenging market situation for operators and brokers.

    High demand and low supply – just like in many other industries worldwide – puts extra strain on relationships between buyers and sellers. That’s why setting the right expectations from the outset is more important than ever.

    How is Avinode working to make a positive change for the sector?

    One of Avinode’s real strengths – and a reason the platform was ground-breaking from the beginning – is its pricing engine. By using an advanced set of calculations and data models, operators can build up their pricing using a multitude of pricing parameters.

    In terms of change, we’ve focused on how to improve the price estimate of the listed aircraft in Avinode. The estimated price gives buyers a better idea of the final price. We’re shortly making the transition to present the estimate as the only price shown when searching for an aircraft. We believe this will impact the relationships in the marketplace in a really positive way.

    Given that pricing is such a core feature of Avinode, what has the process been to making these changes?

    We’ve been working in close collaboration with our members for the past 18 months to understand how we can create better transparency. This has made it possible to present much more reliable price estimates in our search results.

    Our operator members have all the tools needed to build a very reliable price, and many of them have already embraced this change as an opportunity.

    And finally, what are you hoping to see as a result of these improvements?

    I’m very confident that we’ll see operators save time in the quoting process, and brokers will be able to search and find a reliable price for a trip faster. The process to source an aircraft becomes more efficient, as fewer requests can be sent for each trip.

    Ultimately, this is another example of how we’re constantly evolving Avinode to make life easier for our members and help them to run their businesses more effectively.

  3. How Avinode can help during supply & demand challenges

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    As the industry continues to endure pandemic-related obstacles, Avinode Group is facing these challenges head on through numerous approaches ranging from creating new features to scaling our team.

    We recently sat down with our Director of Customer Success, Saskia de Jong, to discuss the recent industry hurdles and how you can best utilize our platform. 

    Any advice for operators on how they can make the best use of Avinode?

    We know it can be challenging to meet the current demand, but if you’re an operator and have hours to fill, our team will work with you to make it known. Our Take Off Ready feature lets you market any last minute availability. You can also block the schedule when an aircraft is not available. This makes it easier for buyers to see which aircraft are truly available. Our onboarding team recently wrote this article with more advice to help operators setup for success.

    What will increase brokers’ chances of securing an aircraft?

    One of our recommendations is sorting search results on estimated price, to get better transparency on pricing. Using Avinode TripManager is also a great way to set up a better quoting workflow, and save valuable time. We know all our members are under a lot of pressure, so respecting each other’s time and considering the amount of requests you send for one trip will be important. 

    To hear more from Saskia about the current industry climate, you can catch her at CJI Miami 2021, on November 2-3, where she moderates the session “Managing charter and jet cards during a boom”.

  4. Tech and aviation – what will 2020 bring?

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    • The advance of ADS-B: the name may not be thrilling but automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) really is great news for bizav and, critically, for the environment too. Without the need for action from the pilot, or any request from ATC, ADS-B provides aircraft surveillance data (such as position and speed) to air traffic management and, potentially, other aircraft. Why do we think that’s so great? ADS-B means air traffic controllers can manage safer aircraft separations and deliver more efficient routings than ever before, reducing bizav’s environmental footprint. Compulsory for business aircraft in the US from January 1 this year, ADS-B will be necessary to operate in European airspace from June 7 2020.

    • An incredible ‘Parallel Reality’ awaits us: perhaps the most stunning concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was Delta Air Lines’ ‘Parallel Reality’ tech. Nearly 100 passengers in a terminal, all looking at the same digital screen simultaneously, will each be able to see different information, personalized to their particular journey (such as directions to that traveler’s gate). And if that idea doesn’t take your breath away, you should know each passenger can see their information in their preferred language. You’ll find Delta testing ‘Parallel Reality’ in mid-2020 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

    • A staggering sense of space: if you think you know what the inside of a bizjet looks like, think again. Another outstanding display at CES 2020 saw electronics giant LG showing off the idea of aircraft cabins lined with OLED videowalls. (If you’re wondering, OLED means ‘organic light-emitting diode’.) What the screens show is really only limited by human imagination. So, if your passengers dream of sunbathing on a beautiful beach when they’re really in mid-air, they’ll be able to look around and (almost) believe their dreams have come true. Videowalls could make bizjet cabins – which are often already fantastically spacious – feel even larger than they are.

    • Landlines finally catching up with smartphones: more and more brokers and operators will be closing the gap between outdated office landlines and cutting-edge smartphones in 2020. After all, don’t you find it absurd when you can do so much more with a small smartphone than a large landline phone? Landline videotelephony will grow this year, as will Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In our integrated world, companies across bizav are increasingly realizing the time-saving benefits of a VoIP phone system seamlessly connected to, say, customer relationship management (CRM) tech.

    • The rise of ‘Super Apps’: travelers are increasingly annoyed by needing different apps for every company in their travel supply chain. So, we expect to see a surge this year in the popularity of unifying ‘Super Apps’, where the core offering also acts as a gateway to countless other services. Look at the way ‘Google Maps’ now goes far beyond mapping and lets you do so many other things, from ordering an Uber to booking a table in a restaurant.

    Looking beyond 2020, many of the most exciting developments in business aviation are likely to be dramatic changes to the aircraft themselves. Firstly, we’ve already seen the successful flight of an all-electric commercial seaplane, powered by magniX tech, in Canada in late 2019. Watching that story develop will be fascinating. Secondly, Uber plans to launch commercial electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations in 2023. Thirdly, Aerion plans first flight of the company’s AS2 supersonic business jet in 2023 too.

    With the help of incredible tech, bizav is changing fast. Let’s all enjoy the ride this year.

  5. Artificial intelligence: a reality check

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    What do we mean by AI?

    Before anyone starts accusing companies of deliberately being misleading, and cashing in on the hype around AI, let’s admit defining the concept is very difficult. English computer science pioneer Alan Turing proposed the “imitation game”, in which a computer appearing to act, react and interact like a human could basically be described as ‘thinking’, but not everyone agrees with Turing’s suggestion.

    In the end, does the definition matter much in private aviation? After all, AI for the sake of AI is not much of a goal in business (unless, of course, you want to attract that specialist funding). As long as your tech is commercially productive, does it matter whether your machine is ‘learning’ in the pure sense of AI or just brilliant at analyzing traffic data and predicting pricing trends?

    Shall we talk?

    Chatbots and voice-activated virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, certainly want to make Turing’s dreams become reality. And AI-driven chatbots surely offer great potential for customer service in private aviation. As messenger apps that can learn ‘on their own’, chatbots could one day have productive online conversations with your clients that appear as natural as human interaction. A chatbot can source and deliver information – about a client’s destination, for example – more rapidly than even the most well-informed human. And better yet, as they know the details of a customer’s past bookings, and ‘learn’ more about that customer’s needs and preferences with every interaction, chatbots can offer personalized private flight proposals highly likely to be converted into sales.

    What do we need?

    Data, data and then more data. The technology behind Alexa might be super clever, but she can’t even tell you the right time without the fuel of accurate information. If you want your AI tech to automatically deliver competitive quotes to your clients, reflecting the latest market conditions and each customer’s specific budget, you need to constantly feed the right real-time data into your system. You need a good data partner.

    Who’s in charge here?

    Humans, not machines. AI works best when helping people to think and work at their best too. If you want to encourage your team to use AI productively, don’t demand those people act in a certain way to suit the machines. And don’t expect bookings through virtual assistants that can’t even answer simple questions about jet range without quoting pages of unhelpful information from Wikipedia.

    So AI can’t just look after itself?

    Absolutely not. Unchecked, without human oversight and filtering of content, AI tech will happily gather and spread incorrect, inappropriate and out-of context information (including photographs). Do you remember Microsoft’s disastrous Tay chatbot, which was closed down almost immediately in 2016 after posting unacceptable comments? So here’s a natural but controversial question to consider: if you still need to pay a lot of good people to make AI work properly, is it worth investing in AI in the first place?

    Computers can’t play Turing’s “imitation game” with any chance of success yet. No virtual assistant fools you into thinking you’re talking to a real human. But, embraced smartly, AI can definitely play a role in the future of private aviation. No one knows exactly what that future will look like. But we do know humans must and will be at the heart of AI’s evolution. Despite what sci-fi movies want us to believe, the machines aren’t taking over…yet.

  6. How the internet has revolutionised Bizav

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    A big thanks to airlines

    Bizav certainly owes a debt to our colleagues in the airline industry, whose pioneering websites in the 1990s built public confidence in the ease and security of online air travel booking. Carriers such as Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and British Midland took brave steps into this strange new world of the internet. The public responded eagerly and at a speed that even surprised many industry insiders at the time.

    Having seen how successfully the airline industry had embraced and exploited the internet in the 1990s, we at Avinode knew bizav was ready for an online air charter sourcing platform when we launched the company in 2002. 

    To this day, private aviation watches and learns from how airlines use the internet to develop exciting concepts such as dynamic pricing.

    Passenger power

    Armed with the internet, charter clients no longer need to rely on information from brokers and operators. Passengers who want to know how a Cessna Citation M2 differs from an Embraer Phenom 300 can find out online for themselves in seconds. Brokers and operators will always help in every way they can but the more clients know about bizav, the more precisely those clients can make the right choices for their unique needs.

    And web apps, including our own Avinode products, mean clients can search for flights and empty legs with ease.

    In short, the internet gives passengers power and knowledge as never before…not just on the ground but in the air too. Whether passengers are relaxing or working, inflight Wi-Fi means a business aircraft today really is a mid-air ‘home from home’ (or ‘office from office’).

    Pricing revolution

    Let’s not forget pricing transparency too. In a pre-internet world, unscrupulous operators or brokers could have been tempted to overcharge, knowing customers had no easy way to find out what a ‘fair’ price was. Now, anyone can gather many quotes online at speed. High quotes are simply ignored. And as average quotes across the industry are consequently driven down, bizav becomes appealing and affordable to more people than ever before.

    Industry interconnectivity

    Industry partners are now connecting and collaborating online with unprecedented speed, clarity and efficiency. We don’t like to show off (well, maybe a little bit) but we’ve played a huge part in that process here at Avinode. Working together through our online air charter marketplace, brokers and operators have never been closer.

    Game-changing communication

    The internet has opened so many exciting channels of communication. Bizav customers love the convenience of ‘talking’ to brokers and operators by email but, if a phone call is needed, the internet has stepped in to help there too. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, most famously Skype, is often the perfect option when clients need to talk through complex flight issues and personal requirements with their brokers and operators.

    And, in the wonderful world of the internet, industry experts are no longer trapped in their offices. Fantastic laptops, smartphones and mobile apps mean brokers and operators can work almost anywhere, 24/7. You canliterally prepare a quote and secure a booking when flying on an aircraft with Wi-Fi at 35,000 feet.

    What next?

    The story has just begun. Looking ahead, the internet will bring even greater efficiency to private aviation. The more we analyze online activities, the more we can understand and predict industry needs, delivering productive services that require minimal client interactions.Look at how our new ‘Takeoff Ready’ search filter saves time by effectively ‘pre-answering’ the question: “Is the aircraft actually ready to fly within 96 hours?”

    And, elsewhere, generations raised with virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa in their homes, and Apple’s Siri on their phones, will surely expect to be booking private flights through voice technologies soon.

    There are so many ways in which the internet will improve private aviation. We certainly haven’t explored every possibility yet. At Avinode, we can’t wait to play our part in this exciting online future.