Airlines, Analytics, and Big Data: Taking Flight to the Cloud

Self-service baggage checkers. Scannable passports and boarding passes. Long security lines. Air travel’s fixed and technologically mobile ecosystem can feel both seamless and frustrating at once. For a system as complex as that of the airline itself getting you from point A to point B can leave you fuming as the robotic barista makes your latte. But with the decline of air travel during the pandemic and the rapid rise in air travel this year, many airlines are shedding their legacy systems and finding solutions in the Cloud. Here’s how:

Four Ways Airlines are Using Data and Analytics

Maintenance – There’s nothing like making it to your flight on time and boarding only to find the plane parked while unplanned maintenance is conducted. Predictive Analytics are used in fleet support, reliability, and optimizing air space for the countless craft moving across the skies. This includes types of aircraft, routes, number of planes ready and waiting to take off or land on the runway and can even help alleviate baggage mishandling using RFID tags.

Performance Timing is everything in the aviation industry and the amount of Data airlines must parse in real-time can be dizzying. Enter Big Data Analytics. Measuring performance and generating reports for daily and weekly revenues for routes and allowing for variations from fuel spent to passenger satisfaction offers actionable advice so solutions and improvements can be made.

Cost The investment by Southwest Airlines (LUV) in an Analytics project is just one of many by the airline to be put in place for a more seamless experience. During the pandemic, for example, they didn’t sell middle seats leaving space between those who needed to fly. More recently, their Analytics system efforts regarding fuel demand forecasts which can help leaders see and understand jet fuel demand. Using Predictive Analytics, neural networks, Machine Learning, and AI this and other airlines will be able to see Data for weather, type of aircraft, and route distance to determine the required fuel for a flight.

Health and Safety –  HEPA filters in the cabin, UV technology for cleaning, vaccine passports and digitization of health records, as well as biometric scans and more, are just a few of the ways tech is being used not just in the air, but on the ground. All this effort is to provide passengers with a more seamless experience and to keep everyone involved safe and healthy. No airline was ready for the rollercoaster ride from travel bans during the pandemic to high traffic demand to travel in just two short years once again.

But the ultimate benefits of Data & Analytics are about improved planning, timely responses now and in the future, and ensuring everything is at its optimal level. Main performance drivers and cognizance of demand and issues which block movement can help decision-makers move faster than at any time in history when it comes to air travel. Airlines are using Data and Analytics for a smoother travel experience and to do so, their taking flight into the Cloud. Ready to soar?

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