Fabián Ramos Acosta, the chief information officer at Viva Air, is no stranger to the dynamic nature of the aviation industry. As a low-cost carrier, Viva Air seeks to deliver accessible service to passengers, while implementing a sustainable and efficient business model. To keep the opportunity to fly alive, especially in today’s environment, Viva Air’s technology leader needs to understand how to provide a positive passenger experience safely and effectively. Having spent the better part of the past decade working in both airports and airlines, Ramos and his team are doing just that. They are creating new digital experiences to help passengers travel safely and more frequently. He shared this and more in our latest Executive Spotlight installment.
“From the moment that people arrive at the airport, to when the plane takes off and then lands at the destination, [the aviation industry is] dynamic and exciting in that we can fly with people as their own dreams come true,” Ramos shared of his passion for the industry. Working for a low-cost carrier, Ramos sits on the frontlines of changing how people in his region fly, creating new opportunities, and making travel more accessible.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be in two different worlds: the airport side and the airline side,” Ramos reflected on this career. On the airport side, facilities were often transformed into “little cities where the people come to take the flights, but it is in these buildings where the passenger journey is a live process. It’s where the airports have the mission to offer technologies for the airlines and passengers to have seamless and easy experiences.”
That passenger experience is also expected in the air as travelers board the aircraft and fly a thousand kilometers per hour. “Especially at this moment, digital advances will create a new experience for the passenger.” Ramos explained that technologies enable a mobile, connected, digital experience from the time a passenger begins their journey to when they reach their destination. Digital technologies along the journey allow passengers to receive real-time information about their flights, experience new biometric processes to board the plane in the terminal, and have digital assistance through in-flight connectivity on their mobile devices in the air.
The opportunities that emerged during the pandemic, where technology is front-and-center of the industry’s transformation, are one of the areas that excite Ramos the most. While he has always seen the industry as being exciting and dynamic, he is seeing a significant opportunity to embrace technology as we are trying to get back to a sense of normalcy during a global pandemic. “These days, technology has been one of the most important drivers to reactivate tourism because of the importance of digital processes to improve the experience and to minimize contact in all the touchpoints throughout the aviation ecosystem,” he explained. In his role, he focuses all his energy with his team on delivering this technology and innovation to the passenger.
As vaccinations are rolled out and borders are opening, Ramos shared that “Viva Air is increasing and supporting all the growth with new routes, new aircraft, and with all the digital innovations that let our passengers be safe and have a better experience on their flights.” He pointed out that low-cost carriers like Viva Air “are pushing this recovery of the industry, showing that this model is the best to create the confidence of all the passengers that want to fly again.”
In fact, the pandemic opened the door to rethinking the aviation business and how to give passengers more choice. That included rethinking business models and looking for new savings and better processes, not only for the company but for the passengers as well. “Innovation and change management were the keys to rethinking the business and moving ahead with new options,” Ramos reflected. “It created a new culture to fly with responsibility.”
As the industry continues to adapt to these new changes, and a new generation of aviation professionals emerge, Ramos offers this advice: “Enjoy it a lot! This is an industry with so much passion.” With all the ongoing changes, there are so many opportunities to create new technologies that are impossible to find in other kinds of businesses, he concluded.