Aviation and Travel in the Age of the Hyper Connected Consumer was the focus area for our think future event in 2017. 

Facebook's net profit more than doubled to $3.6bn in the fourth quarter of 2016. The social network hit two billion users in the first half of 2017. The iPhone celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. 50% of the top ten companies with the highest market value are tech companies. 81pc of consumers search online before they take a buying decision, there are 2.3 million Google searches per second. 57% of decisions had been made up before engaging with a brand. Mobile is growing fast and already leaves desktop behind.  

At the Hamburg Aviation Conference 8 - 9 February 2017 more than 200 board members, CEOs and other top managers, tech innovators and thought leaders from aviation, travel, technology and universities from 29 countries discussed again innovative solutions to approach the current dynamic environment and to transform the business in the age of the hyper-connected consumers. The event has evolved into a global think tank for customer focus, innovation and new trends and hot topics of relevance for the travel industry. 

"Customers expect a seamless travel experience, in reality and in the digital world. This requires a system partnership between airlines and airports.” explains Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO at Hamburg Airport.

Other speakers and delegates included top managers from airports such as Moscow, Brussels, Helsinki, Eindhoven, Lviv, from airlines such as Wizzair, Ryanair, Eurowings, Lufthansa, Finnair, from innovative tech companies such as IBS, kiwi.com, Skyscanner, ICLP, Planitas, Caravelo, Farelogix, BravoAero, Quicket and DiscountIf, a bestselling diversity author from Canada, and representatives from Hongkong Polytechnic University, ISM International School of Management, TU Hamburg and Concordia University Canada.


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 Discussions covered among others the digital airport of the future and new retail opportunities for airports and airlines, best practice in terms of customer engagement and loyalty, case studies related to hot topics such as chatbots and messaging apps for customer service, enhanced data analysis to improve planning and customer service, how to develop booking and distribution systems to be fit tor the 21st century, talent development in the digital age, a lot more mobile and digital food for thought, and how to make change happen. 

There were also be demos about virtual reality (by Airbus), snapchat practical application (by Hamburg Airport), and an innovative approach to retail and personalisation real time (by Traxas). The think tank was also the first aviation event showcasing Slack, a collaboration and productivity enhancement tool which is already used by a lot of renowned companies, including airbnb, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Pandora, Harvard University, LinkedIn, Samsung, ebay. 

Philip Micallef, CEO at Air Malta from 2014-2016, and former top manager with Olivetti, Sita and Equant and speaker at the conference 2017 about the successful airline: 

“The new successful airline is all about transforming it into a new entity that yesterday could not be imagined and that the day after tomorrow may be obsolete. Airlines operate in an environment of a new economy, new enterprise and new technology and must master how to link all three to one another and how to enable one another”.

Check out live interviews and impressions from the conference in our gallery and have a look at the presentations and insights in our download section