Digitalization and Its Impact on Commercial Aviation

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
Degree programme
Tieto- ja palvelujohtaminen
The purpose of this thesis was to study the concept of digitalization and to examine its impact on the commercial aviation industry. Digitalization and the numerous developments deriving from it constitutes a comprehensive framework that is consequential for any industry, and especially for the commercial aviation industry. This particular relevance arises primarily from the rapidly evolving nature of the industry, and furthermore components such as the cost structure, security and competition intensity play an important part. Digitalization has historically been defined in multiple dissimilar ways due to its constantly developing nature. The definition used in this thesis will combine the proliferation of mobile devices and internet-based technologies with other significant innovations such as Big Data, Automation and 3D-printing. This definition will not stand alone, but instead it will be combined to fit the context of the commercial aviation industry. The findings indicate that investing in significant digital technologies commercial airlines can potentially increase their customer satisfaction as well as their operational efficiency considerably. The specific digital trends contributing to the customer satisfaction are the internet and the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Blockchain, whereas Augmented Reality (AR), Automation and 3D-printing affect the operational flight performance. The successful adaptation of these technologies can potentially lead to improvements in the overall efficiency-, cost-, flexibility- and security related performance of the airline. However, prior to focusing on the individual trends, it is vital to acknowledge the current capabilities of the firm. Furthermore, the company needs to develop a solid digital strategy and implement that strategy successfully. An ad hoc set of mind is advisable in addition to an approach that promotes trial and failure.
Thesis advisor
Mallat, Niina
Merikivi, Jani
digitalization, digital, technology, commercial aviation
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