Year’s end is approaching. So it was time for us to host the last episode of REFUEL — our web show that talks about nothing but airline fuel management. With this year’s last episode, we took a look back and present you with our predictions for 2021.

Undoubtedly, 2020 has been the most challenging year for the airline industry ever. Personally, I’ve never experienced a year with so many ups and downs. In terms of airline fuel management, the year started extremely promising with tons of projects ahead. 

COVID —at first— had a devastating impact on airline fuel management projects.

Well, and then came COVID. Suddenly, but totally understandable, airlines worldwide stopped almost every project — regardless of whether they were already ongoing or planned. From one day to the other, airlines found themselves in unchartered territory, and therefore, they focused on their essentials.

COVID’s accelerating power

The situation left us doubting whether we will add new airlines and fuel providers to the digital fuel network in the near and mid-term future. And we were even more surprised and excited when we witnessed an increasing number of requests from airlines, into-plane agents, and fuel providers starting from early summer. 

Obviously, COVID-19 massively accelerated the digitization process at many airlines. Moreover, due to IATA initiatives, the fueling process moved to the top of airlines’ digitization agenda. As a result, we found ourselves confronted with more projects than ever. The entire team worked as hard they could to connect tons of new stations to the fuel networks but also new airlines, especially in Asia.

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    Predictions for 2021

    When purely looking at the numbers, I am genuinely convinced that 2021 will outperform 2020 by far. In other words, I do believe that we will see even more airlines to start with a digital fueling process.

    The underlying reasons haven’t changed since I wrote an article about why it’s the right time to start digital fueling processes. Under COVID’s pressure, airlines will continue to seek opportunities to reduce costs with a fast ROI. Moreover, they will mainly implement digital measures to minimize the potential infection risk of their employees. A digital fueling process combines all of the benefits.

    Asia To Lead The Development

    When taking a detailed look into the glass-bowl, I think that Asian carriers will lead the digital fuel development in 2021. In 2020 and especially by the end of the year, we observed a strong demand from Asia. The fact that Asian countries did a very good job of handling the pandemic and are some steps ahead of Europe and America is likely to be reflected in the area of digital fuel management.

    Technical Advancements

    From a tech provider’s point-of-view, I can forecast many new functionalities that are likely to be added to existing solutions. Based on fuel providers and airlines’ discussions, I believe that there are a need and demand for extended functions, such as eSignature (something IATA is already working on) and digital payment solutions.

    Watch the latest episode REFUEL

    Check out the below REFUEL video where Robin and I discuss the last and upcoming year more in detail! Enjoy!

    Want to know more?

    More airport news? Here’s what Prague is doing!

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

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    More airport news? Here’s what Prague is doing!

    Sure, let’s go!

    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.