Self-connections: the growing impact of a transformative market for aviation

ACI EUROPE has partnered with ICF to organise the 3rd Self-Connections Symposium on 8 November in Brussels. The event aimed to discuss the state of play of the self-connecting market and to explore the recent and future developments leading to different self-connecting initiatives by airports, airlines and service providers. Report by Inês Rebelo.

Self-connecting passengers – those that purchase two independent tickets on their own to reach a final destination that is not available via a direct flight with the objective of saving money – are growing rapidly and have become a new relevant segment for the aviation industry.

In the last 18 months, the self-connection market has incredibly gone up by 200%, representing €50-€70m. Given this tremendous growth and market value, airports, airlines and service providers are trying to adapt as fast as they can to meet the specific needs of the self-connecting passengers. As reported in the 2nd edition of the ACI EUROPE Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports, some European airports already provide a self-connect service to make the airport process and the passenger experience much more seamless and pleasant: SEA launched ViaMilano in 2012, Gatwick Airport has put in place Gatwick Connects and Venice Airport offers VeniceConnects, to name but a few.

In order to better understand the impact and the potential of the self-connecting market for airports in particular, ACI EUROPE organised with ICF the 3rd Self-Connections Symposium on 8 November at ACI EUROPE’s offices in Brussels. Over 40 representatives from the airport and technology industries discussed the main developments brought by this market, such as the rapid dissemination of self-connecting concepts, the development of new baggage solutions and the urgent need to protect passengers (insurance) by guaranteeing their connecting flight. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, Gatwick Airport, Venice Airport and Budapest Airport shared their experience in providing self-connections. From the technology companies, Kiwi.com, Dohop and Air Black Box explained the current and future trends of the self-connecting market.

The event also focused on the real benefits of the self-connect solution for airports. These include a considerable rise in passenger numbers, enhanced passenger experience and satisfaction, increased air service development, larger non-aeronautical revenues as well as additional ancillaries through insurance, brand partnerships and advertising.

As part of the 3rd Self-Connections Symposium, ACI EUROPE and ICF have conducted a brief survey about the self-connecting service, which has also been extended to the members of ACI EUROPE’s Facilitation and Customer Services Committee and Regional Airports’ Forum. The results will be analysed by the end of November 2019. More information will be provided in the Spring edition of Airport Business.

For further information, please contact Federico Bonaudi, Head of Facilitation, Parliamentary Affairs & Regional Airports at ACI EUROPE:  federico.bonaudi@aci-europe.org

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