This is a story about a tough decision at Cathay Pacific Airlines, and how it differs from the path many competitors followed. It is about what your business can learn from the whole thing.

At the dawn of the Coronacrisis, many airlines —especially European and US carriers— slammed on the brakes. That means they froze the budget, stopped almost every ongoing project, and postponed upcoming projects. After six months of Corona, this status is still active at the most significant portion of airlines. Moreover, there are no signs that airlines are planning for a change in modus operandi.

I’m not in a position to judge this approach. On the contrary, I believe that switching to survival mode has been eminent for many carriers. Nonetheless, we all know that every crisis holds opportunities. However, survival is not about realizing opportunities. In the worst-case, an airline survives in the short-term but loses in the long-term because competitors set the future base.

Cathay Pacific’s Approach — Middle Of Crisis Is Such A Perfect Place Start!

Cathay Pacific chose a different approach. Right in the middle of the first Corona wave (June 2020), they decided to kick off a project that aims for the digitalization of the fueling process. And, they did not only choose to do it, but they also executed immediately — they selected an IT partner, adjusted processes, and implemented necessary guidelines. As a result, they went live with a digital fueling process at Singapore Airport in September. Moreover, they are already working to connect additional airports within the next weeks.

Singapore’s Changi Is Asia’s First Digital Fueling-Ready Airport

With Singapore’s Changi airport, Cathay Pacific selected one of the most essential Asian hubs as launching airport. Together with Shell, Cathay’s fuel provider in Changi, and ID1, a German fuel management software provider, they accomplished this pioneering project.

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    Every Crisis Is An Opportunity — Cathay Pacific’s Mantra

    It seems that Cathay Pacific deeply understood that every crisis holds an opportunity. First, implementing a project such as digital fueling management can be realized in less operations-intensive times much more efficient. Under normal circumstances, the project duration would probably take much longer. Second, as the approach holds the potential for cost savings, it will help them, the longer the pandemic takes. And finally, once the operations are back to normal, they can rely on the digital process with all contained benefits and savings potential.

    A Surprising Yet Smart Move

    Bearing in mind the above-mentioned, Cathay Pacific made a smart move. They analyzed the situation precisely and started to take advantage of it. Whereas many other airlines —still— handle the crisis quite reactively, Cathay Pacific chose an active approach. Moreover, they chose an approach that helps them safeguard their position and pay off as longer the crisis takes — but especially once the crisis is over.

    Ist Asia doing enough to lead the digital revolution?

    Read The Story!

    Ready for a deep dive? Here’s the complete list of digital fueling airports!

    Yes, take me there!

    Is Asia doing enough to lead the digital revolution?

    Read The Story!

    Ready for a deep dive? Here’s the complete list of digital fueling airports!

    Yes, take me there!

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    Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.