March 2, 2021

Fuelling Aena: How Travel Insight empowers the leading airport operator

Aena is the world’s leading airport operator by passenger number, managing 46 airports and two heliports in Spain and co-managing a further 23 in Latin America and Europe, including London’s Luton Airport.

Skyscanner’s Travel Insight Reports data tool has powered much of Aena’s decision-making since 2013, helping the company to spot opportunities faster, align aircraft and airport capacities with demand, and grow domestically and around the world.

“Never sitting still”

Aena is always looking at ways to improve. Its airports are packed with the latest technology and are fully accessible to provide passengers, airlines, handling agents, and shops and restaurants with efficient, market-leading services.

Back in 2013, Aena’s commercial team believed data-driven insights were the best
way to overcome challenges and set up for long-term success. Travel Insight was in its infancy then too, so when Aena signed up, it became one of our first data partners.

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“Reliable data the industry can believe in”

Before working with us, Aena was using several data providers simultaneously, as well as airport slot data, tourist board data and its own internal statistics and surveys.

But it was experiencing a few shortcomings: the data was historical, backward-looking and split into annual sets. The team saw our partnership as an exciting opportunity to increase and diversify its data portfolio.

Our data provided something Aena had never had before: forward-looking data, delivered daily, based on the search and booking demand of the world’s travellers – 100 million unique users a month* from almost every market in the world, with an especially high penetration in Europe.

Aena analyses over two million records of raw data a day from Skyscanner alone, compared to the millions of records delivered a year from its other data providers combined. 

While some companies benefit from the simple-to-use front-end interface of Travel Insight Vision, Aena's large internal team gives them the people power to analyse and interpret data in the way that makes the most sense for their business needs. 

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“You don’t get a full picture without all the angles”

Aena’s marketing intelligence team downloads a new CSV file every 24 hours containing all traveller searches and redirects over a chosen period. They process the data using SQL and Power BI and present it, alongside their other data sources, to stakeholders.

Its programmers, statisticians and marketing experts then use these insights to drive and improve decision-making processes across the business, as well as informing management of macro and business trends.

By knowing where people want to travel in the coming months, as well as their preferred price, dates, duration and more, Aena can identify the latest trends, habits and emerging destinations – and, crucially, ensure the right flights and services are there to cater to demand.

Aena now tracks demand levels and how they will evolve in the future, complementing Travel Insight Reports with other sources like slot programmes to plan airport resources more easily. Airport marketing teams also use the data to approach airlines and help them with their route development strategies.

“We use insights from all our sources, including Skyscanner, to prepare briefings and business cases for airlines, informing them of changes in demand and ensuring they’re prepared to take advantage or curtail services. And when an airport or airline wants to launch a new route, we can prove there’s pent-up demand.”

Jose Antonio Hernández, Head of Market Intelligence, Aena

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Travel Insight Reports has proved especially vital. Aena has been able to evaluate demand as travel corridors are opened and closed, and spot green shoots of recovery on the horizon. In these uncertain times, it’s provided a lot of visibility and enabled the company to operate more efficiently at a time when saving money has been a priority.

“It’s about knowing what’s ahead of us, so we can best prepare our airports and staff, match capacity and resources to demand, and help airlines take advantage of opportunities faster.”

Ignacio Biosca, Head of International Relations, Airport Marketing and Airline Relations, Aena

Aena has ambitions to grow its network in Asia, with a special focus in China. As the company looks east, Skyscanner will be with them for the journey.

Empower your business with Travel Insight

Travel Insight Reports is one of three Travel Insight products helping airlines run more profitably, airports find new customers, and destination and marketing agencies understand demand.

Discover the right one for you and transform your business with our market-leading insights.

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*Pre-COVID-19 levels