250px-Air_China_Logo.svgAir China has brought in US telco AT&T to help it leverage mobile technology better and so strengthen its position in China’s international air travel market.

AT&T will provide specialist consultancy support to China’s flag carrier with the aim of helping it develop a detailed strategy for mobile communications and technology. In particular, the US firm plans to deliver a five-year ‘road map’ detailing how mobile technologies and procedures can be implemented to deliver superior customer service and generate revenue.

Li Qiang, CIO of Air China, said:

As a world-class airline operating in a very competitive environment, Air China is always looking for ways to further improve customer service, offer more self-service options, and control costs.”

Almost every major airline is looking at how to best exploit mobile technology to not just improve operational efficiency but differentiate the customer experience, particularly when compared to that of the low-cost carriers.

In 2012, traffic to, from and within China increased 10.6% according to the Civil Aviation Authority of China. International international travel accounted for 20% of the total but over the next 20 years, it is predicted to grow faster than domestic travel, increasing at an annual rate of 7.2%, compared to 6.8% for domestic travel.