We are living in unprecedented times and Oliver King, CEO of Avinode Group, talked about several factors affecting our industry in this yearly review at the end of 2022. Even though the business aviation industry has been somewhat immune to economic downturn, the last years’ covid pandemic and the following energy crisis have had a massive impact on people globally and left no industry unaffected.
We sat down with Patrick Lucy, Account Manager Team Lead – EMEAA, to discuss his view on the current state of our industry and how alternative payment methods can be part of the solution.
Patrick, how can new payment solutions provide security in an uncertain business climate?
Stepping away from the comfort of your traditional bank might feel daunting in uncertain times. But many other B2B sectors have already taken the step into a new comfort zone where payments are made faster, easier, and more securely.
In recent years, the developments in open banking solutions and alternative payment methods have exploded. In this McKinsey report from 2022, it’s also clear just how quickly the payments industry has rebounded after the pandemic. Electronic payment transactions are predicted to grow even faster in the coming years. This is driven by businesses always looking for solutions to lengthy cross-border payment cycles when using traditional payment methods.
Is the business aviation industry back to pre-pandemic levels yet?
In Avinode we’re still seeing higher demand for air charter globally than pre-pandemic levels in 2019. We’re also seeing an increased number of smaller brokers and operators joining Avinode. The business aviation industry is traditionally slow in adopting new digital technology, but in challenging times we see that more business leaders are looking for efficiencies and ways to speed up their supply chain with the use of technology.
A potential global economic downturn means we all need to focus on cutting costs as well as finding ways to increase data security. At times of economic uncertainty, there is usually an uptick in attempted fraud and identity theft when bad actors take advantage of the turmoil. That’s why we take security and compliance so seriously in Avinode Group, and are building a trusted network where payments can flow freely.
What does this mean for the air charter space?
The payment flow from end client to charter operator is certainly at the core of the air charter business. That’s why we believe this is so important. During the global pandemic, a new set of end clients started flying private instead of commercial and it looks like many of them are staying. Something to consider in our industry is that they will be expecting the same friction-free booking and payment experience as when booking a commercial flight.
What’s on the roadmap in 2023 to meet the demands of customers?
We’re currently working on a solution to reduce the workflow steps when securing payment from the end customer, to the broker and finally to the charter operator. Our Paynode users will definitely hear more about this in 2023, as we put more focus and resources in this area.
It’s all about providing even easier and more secure payments. In our data we can see that one third of charter requests are made within 72 hours from departure. Speeding up the payment process using instant payments, or via credit card holds, in a smart and user-friendly workflow is a game-changer when funds need to be secured quickly.