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Joe Locandro of Cathay Pacific Airways: Soaring higher with technology

Nurdianah Md Nur | Oct. 7, 2014
We find out how Cathay Pacific Airways is utilising technology to innovate as well as improve operational efficiency and customer experience.

Joe Locandro, Cathay Pacific Airways

Joe Locandro, Cathay Pacific Airways' director of information technology, took the time to share with us how the airline is leveraging technology to continuously innovate as well as improve operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. He also provided nuggets of wisdom about leadership, drawn from his wealth of experience being the CIO of various companies from various industry sectors ranging from energy to entertainment. 

Prior to joining Cathay Pacific Airways, Locandro was most recently the director for group Information Technology at energy group CLP Hong Kong. He is currently a member of the Hong Kong SAR government's Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee, as well as several other IT related advisory boards for universities, semi government authorities and technology companies. Besides that, he is an executive member of the Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS) and the HKCS CIO Board.

How has the advancement of technology impacted the airline industry over the years?
Technology is continuously offering new opportunities for airlines in the areas of customer experience, operational efficiency and innovation.  With the increasing use of the Internet and mobility, customers are using these channels to assist with their travel needs more often. 

The technology nowadays offers customers to do online check in, get notifications on delays and travel destination's weather forecast. The use of tablets and mobile apps also allows frontline staff to quickly respond to aircraft issues by having manuals and work repair orders on the tarmac. This gives greater operational flexibility and productivity. Current trials in this area are bringing positive results.

We have also developed mobile apps for cabin crew to assist in delivering consistent service delivery and operational effectiveness whilst doing their duties. Cathay Pacific is one of the world leaders in the e-enabled aircraft domain. We are using technology to integrate and build applications that are used within the cockpit and aircraft. Sophisticated air-to-ground communications are available throughout the plane to allow pilots and cabin crew to have access to electronic manuals, navigation maps, and for real time reporting of defects etc.  All this technology is integrated with the avionics and processes in the cockpit.

Could you share with us how you're meeting the new demands from customers and employees?
Most of our systems need to interoperate in real time to ensure the right baggage gets loaded and that the right meals are on the plane. Real time fuel and weight calculations also need to occur before takeoff. The aviation industry is complex with many moving parts and these systems all need to work together to ensure a smooth and efficient journey for the customers.


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