Aviation in the Americas region is vital. It is considered one of the most important sources of income for tourism as well as a key player in terms of regional connectivity improvement and economic growth, especially in South, Central America, and the Caribbean. I have spent nearly 25 years of my professional life in travel, specifically in the aviation industry, which is actually my passion. I am delighted that for the past three years I have been able to continue this passion as a member of the Hitit family.
If I were writing this precisely two years ago, I would probably be talking to you about the middle-term forecasts and projections for the LATAM region in light of past experiences and the predictions from the regulators. However, the pandemic that we have been in for two years has changed many things and continues to change. I started at Hitit before the pandemic and have therefore experienced both periods. Within the framework of these experiences, I see the direction that Hitit provides with its services to LATAM airlines, and I am very happy to be a part of the Hitit family.
Hitit is about to become the preferred IT partner in the region
Hitit first entered this region in 2011, however in 2017, after becoming a member of ALTA, the largest aviation organization in the Latin America and Caribbean region, Hitit's presence in the region became more robust with its strong airline partnerships. In the Americas, Hitit has become the preferred brand for IT systems with four airlines; Contour Airlines from the US, Bahamasair, Win Air from Saint Maarten, and Nella Airlines from Brazil. We have managed this process remotely, and Bahamasair, Winair, and Contour Airlines have successfully completed their remote migration processes and are continuing their operations. We recently signed a new long-term partnership agreement with Ava Airways from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and we are about to become the preferred IT partner for some other airlines, that we cannot name now, but we will share this news soon!
Although the pandemic caused a significant passenger mobility recession, this situation also led airlines to review their technological capacities. Hitit has become an important provider for airlines, especially in the Latin America region, as it enables digital transformation and adaptation to current aviation applications with the technology it uses. At the Airline Leaders Forum, which we have been attending regularly since 2017, I have had the chance to meet with the CEOs of important airline companies in the region. Here, I personally witnessed that the information I shared about Hitits’ IT solutions, services, and consultancy competence influenced many of them. Some of these positive interactions have turned into tangible partnerships, making Hitit an effective IT provider in this region.
If we talk about Hitits' successful journey in Latin America, we can attribute this to three reasons. One is the region's dynamics, the other features differentiate Hitit from other IT providers, and the third is the perfect harmony of cause-and-effect.
The region's dynamics
Today one of the main challenges for airlines is to have control of real-time data for the passengers and the airline staff and at the same time reduce the costs associated to manual processes that may result in revenue or operational inefficiency and during the pandemic all efforts have been focused on looking for new technology initiatives they can be used to boost demand and support biosecurity. I think most of the tier 1 to 3 airlines in the region have made a great job on their digital transformation strategies by implementing different technologies that helped them to know more about their customers. At the same time giving them freedom by increasing, for example, the use of mobile applications among passengers, since they want to have a travel experience with less contact with airport personnel, receive notifications, special promotions, ancillary revenue sales, etc. Also, inside the airline the use of mobile apps for ramp agents, airports customer service, operations staff, and crew are also being adopted in some airlines in Latin America. At the same time Tier 1-3 airlines are continuously improving and looking at new technology partners like Hitit to enhance their digital transformation adding a plus of cost savings. On the other hand, we see that there is still a long way to go for the tier 4, small size, charter, and even private aviation companies to transition into a digital transformation stage. These companies have limited resources and need technology providers like Hitit, that can help them as a real trustworthy business partner.
Let's take a closer look at the Hitits' features. What are Hitits' features that have influenced Latin American airlines? Let's review the factors that have made Hitit an attractive IT provider during this pandemic period. I think the first factor is distribution freedom and cost reduction. I believe our distribution freedom, and cost-reduction features are highly relevant for the Americas region for the airline industry’s path to recovery. Some of the distribution freedom features include Omnichannel distribution for flights, fare families, bundles, and ancillaries, Mobile, IBE, OTA, GDS, agent network and API integrations, direct connectivity to many major GDS with no messaging costs, the highest level of New Distribution Capability (NDC) functionality within the system, Unlimited partner integrations such as GDS, interline, codeshare, payments gateways, OTAs, TMCs, and others.
In terms of cost reduction, we are able to deliver fair and transparent pricing with no hidden costs or pitfalls, quick to set up and easy to train for significant savings in time and cost, robust direct-connect capabilities including GDS to minimize distribution costs and maximize revenue opportunities along with customizable smart automation such as automated e-mail data exchange for DCS.
Our goal is to increase Hitit’s ecosystem exponentially. We already have a representative in the Latin American region. However, in parallel with the easing of the pandemic, we are planning to establish an office and institutionalize our presence there. In Latin America and the Caribbean region, which is one of the most important places in the world for tourism, we want the aviation industry to reach a much more advanced point in terms of technology. As Hitit, we aspire to this mission. I am sure that with the inclusiveness of our solutions, affordable cost structure, and our one-stop-shop approach, the airlines in Latin America will find at Hitit the rapid digitalization they need after the pandemic.