* Hitit, one of the world's leading technology companies in the field of airline IT solutions, hosted representatives from more than 40 airlines and travel companies from five continents in Istanbul.
* More than 200 high-level airline executives, travel experts and veterans, including Mehmet Nane, Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, and Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board Ahmet Bolat, discussed the future of the aviation industry after the pandemic, at the Hitit Partner's Event.
* Sector representatives stated that the aviation industry needs new technologies and cooperation in order to reach its zero-emission target by 2050.
This year's Hitit Partner's Event, where Hitit brings together its airline partners from around the world, was held for the first time since the pandemic. The meeting, which focused on discussing the latest developments in airline technologies and predictions about the future of the industry, was held at Kuruçeşme Divan on September 8th. More than 200 senior executives from countries all over the world, ranging from Belgium to Pakistan, Kazakhstan to Romania, Bahamas and Tanzania attended the event organized by Hitit.
During the conference, renowned representatives from around the world discussed recent industry dynamics and developments. Some of the keynote speakers included IATA President Mehmet Nane, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board Ahmet Bolat and French astronaut Jean-François Clervoy.
Cenk Kıral, TAZI.ai VP of EMEA, gave a presentation with Hitit on the topic of artificial intelligence. Additionally, panel discussions were held discussing different airline business models coming out of the pandemic as well as current trends in low-cost, hybrid and national airlines.
Despite the pandemic, we have tripled the number of our partners in the last three years.
Hitit's CMO Nevra Onursal Karaağaç gave a speech to airline officials from all over the world, emphasizing the company's namesake, the Hittite civilization. She pointed out many innovations that these ancient people had made in history, and how Hitit is continuing this tradition of innovation in modern times. During her talk, she also spoke about how Hitit has approached the pandemic with an innovative spirit. Karaağaç continued her speech with the following: “Thanks to our innovative technology, we not only managed to survive but also thrive during the pandemic. In just three years, we more than tripled the number of our partners from 20 to over 60. This success has allowed Hitit to fix its place among the world's airline technologies." Mrs. Karaağaç stated that Hitit's objective, which began with the loyalty program, was from day one to become one of the world's leading innovative companies in the airline reservation and ticketing systems. With the "one-stop shop" approach, Hitit is now one of the pioneers in the industry. Pointing out that growth and new partners bring along a strategic step for Hitit, Karaağaç continued: “We successfully completed the public offering process in the first quarter of this year, which is one of our important milestones. With the strength we get from our new stakeholders, we continue with safer and more confident steps.”
Mehmet Nane: Technology is an integral and necessary part of the aviation industry.
IATA President Mehmet Nane noted that the number of passengers in some European countries has reached the level it was before the pandemic started, showing how much the aviation industry has revived. Noting that air cargo, which stood out during the Covid period, remained important, Nane stated that according to the latest data of IATA, the industry lost 42 billion dollars in 2021, and the loss is expected to decrease to 9.7 billion dollars this year. Nane remarked that the industry will make a profit in 2023.
Highlighting that technology solution partnership in the aviation industry is like a marriage, Nane said, “There can be no aviation industry without technology. It is always with you in good and bad times. In our 17 years of cooperation, Hitit has always been a very good partner for us.”
Pointing out that the global business world is changing rapidly, Nane said, “Inflation is rising, global contraction is predicted. The World Bank expects energy prices to increase by 50% compared to 2021. Russia's invasion of Ukraine confronts the entire world with the greatest geographic divide since the Cold War. The aviation industry, on the other hand, is struggling with a debt of 650 billion dollars on its balance sheets. "The only way to fight it is by working alongside every other element of the aviation industry," he said.
“If the industry is to reach its zero-emission aim by 2050, it will require new technologies. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) accounted for 65 percent of this figure," he stated, noting that the aviation sector requires new solutions to achieve its goal of ending emissions by 2050. “Now, we're looking at whether we should take it from developing countries where people eat it as food and put it in the industry. We need to work together and find a solution to this problem for the future of aviation,” he concluded.
Ahmet Bolat: Transforming algorithms into a solution is close to art and Hitit is a master of this.
Pointing out that Turkey's service exports were 55 billion dollars last year, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat said this figure is expected to exceed 80 billion dollars this year. Bolat stated: “I am here today wearing three different hats. First of all, I would like to share some data for the Service Exporters' Association. Turkey's service exports reached 55 billion dollars last year. We expect service exports to exceed $80 billion this year. IT exports reached $2.5 billion this year. We expect this to increase to $5 billion next year. As an academic, I know how difficult optimization is in our industry. It's close to an art to transform algorithms into a solution. Hitit is a firm that has mastered this. As such, I'd like to congratulate them on behalf of the sector for completing this as a Turkish business and wish them continued success.
Cargo became a lifesaver for airline companies
Atila Lise, Chief Transportation Solutions Officer at Hitit, spoke about air cargo, which has been especially successful during the pandemic and continues to grow in the current climate. Mr Lise stated the following: "While people could not leave their homes during the pandemic, planes were able to take off thanks to cargo services. According to IATA data, cargo services, which had a 12 percent share in airline revenues before the pandemic, increased its share to 34 percent. During this period, the seats were removed, and passengers were replaced with cargo. According to IATA, airline companies will generate record revenues of 175 billion dollars in 2022 thanks to air cargo. We have also made significant investments in this area and opened an important field for ourselves. Our cargo solutions have started to be used in different parts of the world. Our investments in the cargo sector will continue.”
Unrivaled with its one-stop service and ecosystem governance model!
Pointing out that they provide services in the sector with a wide range of solutions ranging from reservations to operation, from accounting to distribution channels that can meet all the needs of airline companies, Hitit's Chief Product and Strategy Officer Semra Kandemir said that this model distinguishes Hitit from the competition. “We have a very distinct organization at Hitit," Mrs. Kandemir continued. "As Hitit, we place our partners at the heart of our business while developing software solutions. As a result, we created our ecosystem governance model. Our partners' feedback and demands influence the development of our R&D studies significantly. We achieve incredible results in the field because of real teamwork. In addition, we started 2022 by integrating creative strategies into our solution development process. This year, we are focusing on investing in applications that make use of artificial intelligence. With TAZI, which operates in artificial intelligence supported machine learning systems and software, we took an important step for the digital transformation of the travel and aviation industry. With the agreement between our two companies, TAZI's artificial intelligence technologies and machine learning will be used in Hitit's software solutions."
On the day when different distribution channels of airlines were discussed, David Rutnam, Senior Manager of Sector Distribution Channels Program from IATA also talked about developing technologies. Additionally, Hitit - who has made investments for agencies - talked about changes accelerated by the pandemic in this area and what their goals are.