Passenger Terminal Expo 2022 - Market Insights
In the wake of the travel industry, tradeshows and events are also restarting and giving the players an opportunity to share with the industry their new technologies and solutions. That was the case with Passenger Terminal Expo (PTE) last month. Today I’ll share some of the findings I did while attending the event that has become the main reference for the aviation industry when it concerns passenger processing solutions inside the airports.
Players from all over the world were represented and showcased their latest products and upgrades to the audience, mostly airlines and airports. From a market standpoint of view, we would like to give you our understanding of the facts. The conclusions we could retrieve fit into 3 main dimensions: products, messaging, and trends.
- the Common-Use Self-Service (CUSS) check-in kiosk was “the star of the event”. It is relevant to mention that the CUSS kiosk market has been maturing for almost 20 years, with the first major installation being made in the US between LAS McCarran Airport, ARINC (now Collins Aerospace) and 12 participating airlines. Briefly, the main benefits are on reducing the labour cost of staff required by manual check-in thus, enabling more free space for other non-ancillary revenues such as retail stores or entertainment facilities.
For years, this market has been dominated by a few players. As pioneers, they had the chance to price skimming, charge high per-pax fees, increase device footprint worldwide, and complex software integrations with the airport ecosystem creating high exit barriers.
According to IATA, passenger traffic is forecasted to double in 2037. This level of traffic for the existent infrastructure will bring great challenges mainly on queuing thus, requesting more space optimisation and process automation to cope with such demand. Many players have been seeing this as a market opportunity therefore, they started to complement their portfolios with new CUSS kiosk options, in terms of design, features and business models.
- The crowded market of facial recognition devices. A biometric hardware device, serving identification and verification purposes along the journey, that most main players have showcased as standalone on a fixed stick generally, or on top of a security and/or boarding one-door gate.
- Finally, the mobile enrollment app. Although as the initial part of a seamless journey, we could not find any main player simulating in loco a mobile app enrollment. What does it tell us? According to recent studies, it is likely to be caused by 2 main reasons: 1) no robust underlying business model. It needs further software integrations with the airport ecosystem to be relevant to the user and 2) CUSS infrastructure legacy, matured, integrated with all stakeholders in the airport with the possibility to increase non-ancillary revenue (e.g. seat reallocation, upgrades, retail coupons, etc), now with more vendors delivering options.
Contactless journey and facial biometrics concepts are not new. This vision has been discussed and promoted in the market among airlines, airports, and border forces for several years and now, it became real, spread all over PTE exhibitors, even those pure hardware providers. We could see that highlighted with written references on the exhibitor walls, along the pitch or marketing material.
Pandemic brought “seamless” to the top of the agenda where contactless and frictionless started to be highly demanded from the passenger. Therefore, self-service solutions that bond digital identity with facial biometrics turns out to be the best cost-effective option for airlines, airports, and border agencies to process passengers faster and with higher security.
In a nutshell, the PTE tradeshow has just validated what the industry has been claiming. Highlights for 3 main aspects:
First, the bonding of biometrics with digital identity will become the global common standard to process passengers during the journey. Mainly, all players were pitching and showcasing seamless experience with their HW and/or SW solution packages, going towards what IATA with One ID initiative has been officially pushing from 2017.
Second, the number of displayed CUSS check-in kiosks was impressive, showcased by legacy and new vendors trying to penetrate the existing market, with new designs, form factors to cover different usages and more flexible business models. This fact also validates recent studies on the seamless market that forecasts a growing airport CUSS check-in kiosks market at a 44% CAGR for the next 3 years, +50% YoY revenue.
Lastly, most incumbents are extending their portfolio of biometric processing passenger devices to penetrate existent markets such as CUSS, facial recognition devices or even boarding gates. The main objective is to show the market they have a full range of products to enable an end-to-end experience, either in-house production or partnering with 3rd party (as we saw, it happens generally for one-door gates).
Publish date: July 2022