#61 Eric Leopold, Threedot (ex-IATA): Air transport in the digital age

#61 Eric Leopold, Threedot (ex-IATA): Air transport in the digital age

Welcome back to The Vertical Space for a conversation with Eric Leopold, a long time veteran of IATA, the International Air Transport Association. We start the conversation talking about the state of the airline industry and its current priorities such as the post COVID recovery, digital transformation and sustainability. As most of you know, there are large regional differences in the maturity of the industry and therefore priorities, so we generalize the discussion on bottlenecks that airlines and airports face as the demand for air travel grows and potentially doubles over the next 15 to 20 years. 

Here we touched on capacity, ground infrastructure, workforce, the IT infrastructure and how advanced air mobility can solve some of these bottlenecks. We also discuss whether the hub and spoke network model continues to be prevalent in the future.

Another key theme in the conversation is digital transformation. What are the opportunities on the business side and on the operational side? And how airline and airport CIOs are thinking about prioritizing their budgets across projects? Part of the discussion is the role of generative AI in the travel experience. For instance, instead of going to an online travel agent to buy your ticket, Eric suggests we might be able to buy , our flight in a supermarket or a bank or any other retail location for that matter. Or we might use generative AI and a voice interface to guide us through the travel booking process, one that is more personalized and more in tune with our individual preferences. 

If you're looking for an expert and pragmatic opinion of the challenges and opportunities that aviation is facing you're in the right place!

06:07 Exploring Potential Breakthroughs in Air Travel
07:39 The Role of Electric Engines and New Fuels
09:05 The Impact of Sustainability on Air Travel
10:37 The Current State of Airlines and Airports
12:04 Geographical Differences in Aviation Infrastructure
13:09 The Future of Aviation and Digital Innovations
28:38 Major Bottlenecks to the Growth of the Industry
34:45 The Future of Airports and Baggage Handling
38:13 The Role of Technology in Changing the Game
41:21 Potential Use Cases for AAM During Moderate Manufacturing Volume
46:54 Will the Hub System Persist?
49:46 Digital Transformation and Maturity in the Airline Industry
52:41 The Challenges of Modernizing IT Infrastructure
56:46 AI and IT Infrastructure Priorities
01:02:59 Insights from Digitizing Boarding Passes
01:05:45 Embracing Change and Sustainability in the Aviation Industry


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