The Role of Digitalization Using Software Testing in Airline Industry

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Before the jolt of COVID-19, digitalization was at the forefront of the aviation industry’s collective consciousness.

Carriers worldwide are progressing toward fulfilling their digital transformation objectives by investing in cloud services, data centers, wireless onboard crew services, and autonomous data management, which are critical components in attaining digitalized airline operations.

The digital revolution has reached its pinnacle, and it is now affecting established businesses like utilities, industrial goods, and airlines, to name a few.

According to experts in these industries, sensors, equipment, and IT systems may be connected to evaluate data, allowing faster, more flexible, and more efficient processes.

However, many leaders are baffled about how digital techniques may help them gain strategic benefits.

Beyond mobile boarding cards and text message notifications, digitization in the aviation industry is improving the passenger experience at many airports.

Airline Digital Business Process Management (BPM) is responsible for the business processes impacted by digital transformation.

BPM services are critical to providing a better customer experience. Call center outsourcing firms connect brands from many industries with their customers via various channels, such as chat, phone calls, and emails.

To develop strong and durable customer relationships, an omnichannel approach across multiple media is required.

With the harsh realities of the post-COVID-19 operating environment, adopting new digital tools, solutions, and services might not be at the top of airlines’ priority lists.

According to Tom Mouhsian, Principal Analyst, and Frederic Giron, VP, Research Director, Forrester, “Once the world has dealt with the pandemic, hordes of passengers will flock to airlines and happily fly again. Airlines need to have immediate ramp-up plans in place by country, by route, and by sales/service channel. Imagine going from zero to 4 billion passengers (as was the number of air travelers globally before COVID-19) in a matter of a year. Yes, more planning will be required for that.”

However, many airlines are at a critical juncture in putting digitalization rhetoric into action, with many affordable, intelligent solutions on the market that allow them to work smarter and more cost-effectively when times are tight.

They may also assist airlines with the long-term refinement and rebuilding of their operations and actively support their digital goals as they evolve.

Digitalization of Flight

Strategic digital advancements delivered through intuitive airline software and services provide immediate and future-proof benefits to airlines in everyday flight operations.

Airlines may improve their overall operations by assisting with the responsibilities involved at each stage of the flight.

Work operations in the cockpit have become increasingly computerized due to digitization in the aviation industry. A networked ecosystem of apps, services, and documents that will define the future flight deck is becoming more accessible to pilots.

Thanks to targeted applications, pilots can acquire rich, essential information from a single handheld device.

As part of an airline’s bespoke digitalized portfolio, these can assist them with improving operational efficiency, situational awareness, collaboration, and safety protocols.

Going digital is a sure way for pilots to reduce their burden. The ability to digitally upload briefings or submit reports with a device that connects at the gate, for example, eliminates levels of administration.

Digitalization in airline industry improves operational efficiency as well. Consider specialist apps that provide situational weather knowledge.

Apps that offer better awareness of the cockpit can support more flexible and responsive operations and safer and more economical flight paths by delivering graphically optimized views of market-leading weather data.

The reason for minimizing such risk is evident, with aircraft interruptions previously estimated to cost the airline industry $60 billion annually.

Establishing a centralized digital ecosystem for airline application testing also makes it easier for pilots and ground-based operators, many of whom have had to adjust to remote work, to interact more efficiently.

Greater consistency and communication around flight performance can be achieved by providing everyone involved in flight operations with the same perspective on airline information, regardless of where they are situated.

Having more eyes on the same data, such as through intelligent fuel tracking, increases the likelihood of detecting problems or opportunities for improvement.

Likewise, employing a digital applications suite for cabin staff helps to significantly cut administrative operations, allowing them to spend more time focusing on passenger service.

How Does Digitalization Help Airlines Run More Efficiently?

Digital transformation in airline industry acknowledges that a digital transition is critical to reimagining and rebuilding aircraft operations, flying, and the onboard experience to make them safer, more efficient, and more entertaining.

Connecting application-rich cockpit and cabin crew tablets to accessible flight deck connection channels can enable constant data sharing with the ground.

These advantages can be magnified exponentially when in-flight connectivity is included. Pilots will demand the same level of connectivity in the air as they have on the ground. And it’s easy to see why.

Those flying with a connected app ecosystem are in the best position to get real-time, consistently formatted, uplinked updates from the ground, giving them the most up-to-date and complete picture for decision-making.

From real-time weather knowledge, route planning, and air/ground communications to conveying aircraft health information, this has the potential to assist every element of flying.

Meanwhile, connecting cabin crew devices lets attendants communicate better with ground IT and their coworkers onboard.

Enhanced communication empowers attendants to promote safe and upgraded passenger service by allowing them to get connection updates, relay customer complaints, or communicate catering stock information mid-flight.

On the base, improving aircraft operations activities, collaboration, and support will require evolving digital applications to communicate with people onboard.

Advancing digitalized operations – leveraging an integrated, connectivity-ready airline application ecosystem – gives operators the agility to respond to new challenges and needs after COVID-19.

Airlines must be able to cut across numerous disciplines and satisfy best practices for flight operations digitalization to deliver on its promises of increased time, cost efficiency, and effectiveness.

Airlines will require partners with the skills to help them achieve digitization today and in the future and partners who are always ready to adapt.

Since so much of this transformation takes place across processes, it’s critical to maintain product quality.

Testers continuously update traditional testing methodologies, and carriers are devising new ways to make these changes easier to embrace.

Quality Assurance and Software Testing for Airlines Industry

The airline sector faces two significant challenges: changing customer behavior and growing global competition.

Airlines can solve these problems by adapting to social media channels, the cloud, and mobile technology.

As more people book plane tickets online, travel firms and airlines must focus on providing a positive consumer experience on their websites.

Quality assurance and testing ensure that online transactions result in a smooth, secure, dependable client experience.

Airlines must have a digital assurance strategy that includes establishing the necessary tools, processes, and measures for delivering a consistent customer experience.

There are three crucial elements when looking for high-quality airline software testing: business rules implementation, system integration, and non-functional testing.

Business Rules Operation Testing

Airlines must tailor their business, packaging, and pricing rules to their specific needs. These customizations should be appropriately executed as part of the online booking process.

Passenger amount limits, infant tax computation, selling insurance policies, and loyalty services all have their business regulations, adding to the complexity of the test case design.

To test the application of business rules, testers need domain knowledge. The ticketing procedure is not always followed in a sequential order.

When developing a test strategy, several business rules from the booking process must be considered.

To avoid user errors, testing airline’s digital applications must verify both conformity to industry norms and simplicity of use from a quality standpoint.

Depending on user situations and application functionality, the airline application test approach must account for user preferences, including browser and behavior, and robust test case design employing orthogonal arrays, cause-effect graphing, and state transition diagram methodologies.

Flight application for testing of systems integration

The Global Distribution System (GDS), also known as the Computer Reservation System (CRS), and the Internet Booking Engine (IBE), paired with a payment system, are the most common platforms for travel booking services.

Each component has grown in complexity and usefulness, making integration increasingly important.

The needs must be established clearly and as early as possible. The performance tolerances for GDS, CRS, and payment systems are incredibly tight.

As a result, smooth integration with minimum overhead is critical. Slow replies while retrieving information may result in the UI not rendering correctly or a failed ticket transaction.

Non-Functional Airline Software Applications Testing

People’s attitudes toward online applications are shifting. It is no longer limited to browsers on a laptop or desktop computer; tablets or mobile phones with various screen sizes are now commonplace for consuming information and conducting transactions.

Aesthetics and simplicity are crucial components that organizations should be worried about to keep users on their websites or applications.

Airlines app testing and responsive websites are critical aspects of the role of software testing in the aviation sector.

Testing Responsive Travel Web Sites

To create appealing web apps, responsive web designs are used. They ensure your website looks great on all devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

Responsive Web Design is the process of resizing, hiding, shrinking, enlarging, or moving content to make it load efficiently on any screen using CSS and HTML.

The following are some of the advantages of responsive design:

  • It gives an excellent viewing and interaction experience across various devices, easy reading and navigation, minimal resizing, panning, and scrolling.
  • It offers a unified user experience and coverage across all digital platforms. It facilitates end-user workflow on numerous screens.
  • It can handle any new operating system or platform release.
  • It brings resources together and aligns corporate objectives across platforms.

Most of today’s software programs are responsive. It takes a long time to test responsive applications across many platforms manually.

That is why a responsive automation framework must do automated responsive checks on the application, create mock-ups, and report failures.

Automation is required to reduce testing time because there are many ways to access responsive design applications. Such dynamic web pages are inaccessible to traditional automation technologies.

We are transitioning from a pre-digital to a post-digital era. Within ten years, the bulk of the world’s population will comprise post-digital generations or individuals who have grown up interacting with internet technology and using it to govern their lives.

Closing Thoughts

With this generational transition comes the expectation of using technology in all aspects of life, including travel. This will significantly impact how passengers engage with airports and airlines, as digital travelers want greater automation and control over every step of their journey. The pivotal role of software in airlines becomes paramount in meeting these expectations.

In fact, according to a recent study, 83 percent of airport and airline IT leaders estimate that by 2025, this generational transition will have the most significant impact on their passenger solutions strategy.

End-to-end application testing for airline digital apps (including e-commerce, digital platforms, departure control, passenger management, operations, fleet management, and so on) is provided by Cigniti’s Domain Competency Group of 300+ Quality Engineering experts and a dedicated Testing Center of Excellence for Airlines.

Cigniti’s automation testing experts are well-versed in all aspects of the airline industry. Our team has managed various modern airline IT systems, including new-generation airline passenger solutions, revenue accounting, booking, e-commerce websites, and mobile apps for multiple platforms.

Cigniti’s airline’s software testing center of excellence gives you access to 400+ Test Accelerators, a strong airline domain testing competency group of experts passionate about the aviation domain, a robust toolkit and framework, on-demand testing services, and flexible engagement options. BlueSwanTM, Cloud Enabled Test Labs, Certified Test, Engineering Specialists, and a CI-enabled Enterprise Automation Framework are among Cigniti’s enablers.

We have deep product experience in SITA, Sabre, Amadeus, IBS Cargo, Navitaire, Navtech, Shares, Mercator, AIMS, & Unisys and also support external interfaces such as GDS, Timatic, APIS, Payment, Cargo, and Alliance Partners.

To learn more about digitalization in the airline industry, embark on a journey to the digital future with Cigniti by connecting with us.


  • Cigniti Technologies

    Cigniti is the world’s leading AI & IP-led Digital Assurance and Digital Engineering services company with offices in India, the USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Singapore. We help companies accelerate their digital transformation journey across various stages of digital adoption and help them achieve market leadership.

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