Development Trends of Air Passenger Transport Services and Service Distribution Channels
Alongside their core service, i.e., passenger transportation, air carriers are nowadays providing numerous extra services, which are not directly related to transport. On the one hand, airlines are enlarging the scope of paid services provided on board an aircraft by, among other ways, splitting the air ticket fee and singling out the costs of such services as catering on board, checked-in luggage, airport check-in, etc. On the other hand, airline companies tend to provide mass services to their sales partners - ground transportation, car rental, insurance, hotel booking, etc.
Provision of both the core and the extra services is closely connected with computerized reservation systems and the corresponding agent and customer access networks. These systems and networks form the basis of IT channels of service distribution.
The present paper analyses the indicators and development trends of air transport services in combination with the development of service distribution channels and the information technologies lying at the basis of such channels. The paper also describes the structure and IT support of distribution channels. The authors have paid attention to the potential qualitative changes in the structure and possibilities of distribution of air passenger transportation services in view of the Next Generation Network (NGN) concept whose implementation has been started in the world.