With Generation Z rising in influence after Millennials, this unique generation has grown up in a fully connected world and has high expectations for accessing digital content during travel. How can airlines capture this new market of passengers? The recently released Sky High Economics Report offers insight for airlines looking to capitalize on the opportunity.

According to the latest chapter of the report, “Chapter Three: Capitalizing on Changing Passenger Behavior in a Connected World,” which is being released this week at the APEX EXPO in Los Angeles, airlines that embrace connected cabins have an immediate opportunity to win $33 billion in market share from competitors.

Much of this rapid change is being driven by Generation Z (born between 1997-2012), which will become the largest group of air passengers – with 1.2 billion flying each year.

In addition, Millennials value loyalty less than previous generations, and are more apt to switch their allegiance to an airline offering high-quality in-flight Wi-Fi. In fact, the study found that there are 450 million passengers worldwide who are currently uncommitted to any airline loyalty program.

The study also defines a number of modern drivers of airline loyalty in a digital world, encompassing engaging inflight experiences from e-commerce to premium content, personalization before, during and after the flight, and making the flight a more significant component of the wider customer journey.

“The next decade presents both a huge opportunity and challenge for the global aviation industry,” said Dr. Alexander Grous (B. Ec, MBA, M.Com, MA, PhD.), Department of Media and Communications (LSE) and author of Sky High Economics. “The technology and infrastructure are ready to meet the expectations of always-on travelers and it is up to airlines to seize this opportunity now, or risk falling behind their peers – to the tune of $33 billion today, and $45 billion by the end of the next decade.”

“The widespread and growing appetite for connectivity, coupled with the vastly changing demographic of passengers, has shown that demand for connected, personalized and value-added services in the cabin is accelerating at pace,” said Philip Balaam, President, Inmarsat Aviation. “To stay relevant in a competitive industry landscape, airlines must adapt to the behaviors and expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s passengers now.”

As the pace of innovation is moving very fast in the aviation industry, those airlines that are embracing a fully connected experience for the next-generation of travelers will have an unprecedented opportunity for business growth.

To download the third installment of this report, please click here. You can also access Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Shany Seawright

About Shany Seawright

A senior executive at Strategic Communications Group and Managing Editor of Connected Aviation Today, as well as other publications, Seawright oversees the editorial direction of the publication and managed the editorial staff.