The pandemic has severely impacted the entire travel and hospitality sector, and the road to recovery is equally challenging for all players in the industry.

Vistara was already on its digital transformation journey, one that has only been fast tracked due to the pandemic. There was a natural focus on stepping up safety and hygiene measures across various touchpoints and minimizing human contact through touchless solutions was the key to ensure safety throughout the passenger’s journey.

Vistara bets on touchless customer services to transform customer travel in new normal“Touchless customer services have seen significant enhancements and we continue to invest in web/mobile digital technologies that transform the way our customers travel. IT infrastructures will become more sophisticated with greater use of technologies like AI, IoT, AR, VR, Robotics, etc. and the aviation industry will need enhanced processes and systems for passenger data collection in line with rules and guidelines around data privacy.” Vinod Bhat, Chief Information Officer, Vistara

Bhat also believes that all these will help build passenger confidence in air travel, which is the way to achieve a healthy growth-rate.

Vistara, when flying at full capacity, connects 31 cities across India and five international destinations using its fleet of 46 aircraft. With 4000+ staff strength at Vistara, the airline has flown more than 20 million passengers since starting operations.

According to Bhat, Vistara is India’s first airline (and one of the few all over the world) to have 100% cloud-based IT infrastructure.

For Vistara, being on the cloud makes things a lot more efficient and easier, given the complexity of airline operations.

Any airline deals with huge quantities of data that staff across geographies and time zones can access instantly to ensure seamless air and ground operations.

“It is also a significant factor contributing to the airline’s cost leadership, helping cut and minimize various costs, as well as helping the organization be more productive, and dynamically scalable – the latter being extremely important in today’s VUCA world,” said Bhat.

The airline is building a next generation connected eCommerce ecosystem which will extend the digital experience to customers and enable business to drive sales & marketing strategies.

“It will include delivering superior customer experience through intuitive design and personalized content. We are also enhancing our Club Vistara loyalty management system to be able to offer more value-added services to our customers,” he maintained.

The company is also in the process of transforming its fleet maintenance operations in terms of automation and productivity improvement. The e-enabling data exchange between aircraft and base has been further enhanced for uploading software updates and to download automatically generated reports and logs etc. from aircraft and transfer to base.

“We are also developing solutions along with our partners for intelligent flight operations optimization using data analytics that would bring a great deal of automation to our processes, including flight planning as well as network planning and management. Fuel efficiency continues to be a key focus for us in flight operations,” added Bhat.

The airline’s IT Business Operations are monitored through its Integrated Operations Control Centre (IOCC), which services across business functions of Ground Services, Flight Dispatch, Travel Desk, Cockpit & Cabin Scheduling, Maintenance Control Center (MCC) and so on.

“We have developed big data solutions for a comprehensive and integrated view of our customers and these solutions are used across aspects of customer-facing operations,” he averred.

Relying on technology for a better CX

Vistara has collaborated with leading global technology solution companies to develop end-to-end customer solutions that are continuously tested and customer feedback is collected so that these can be improved from time-to-time.

From the website & mobile application enhancement, to passenger identification and baggage screening, to customer support and predictive maintenance, the company has heavily relied on artificial intelligence backed technologies to strengthen processes and facilitate a seamless travel experience for passengers.

“Such solutions not only help to cut down on customers’ waiting time but also ensure health and safety in times like these, eventually making customers happy and more confident about flying.”

As a young airline, any concept that promises to enhance customer experience finds the right place in Vistara in the form of experimentation, prototype, or a full-fledged solution, he added.

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