Interesting Big Data Scenarios in the Airline Industry

Some of the interesting things going on around Big Data & Airlines:

  • Crowdsourcing Big Data Solutions: Alaska Airlines & GE Partnered to get the best minds in the world to contribute their algorithms to better optimize flight paths so airlines can reduce cost, avoid bad weather, and get to their destinations on time. This is a fascinating approach to solving Big Data problems in the Airline world pioneered by Alaska & GE using
  • How Etihad Airways Uses Big Data to Reach Its Destination: Etihad Airways uses pricing and revenue management software developed by PROS to cope with the vast amounts of data that they generate. And like any airline, they generate massive amounts of data during many different processes. A few examples: online price comparison and ticket purchasing, online check-in and seat selection, 24/7 online communication, personalization of information and offers, etc. The PROS tools allows Etihad Airways to add new destinations and grow their connections that best fit with the needs of their target group as well as those destinations/connections that will deliver the best available seat/price combinations.
  • British Airways uses Big Data Analytics to better understand Customers: BA has been accumulating various forms of passenger data in a customer data warehouse, and is now putting it to work in a program it calls "Know Me." The goal of the program is to understand customers better than any other airline, and to put the customer knowledge accumulated across tens of millions of touchpoints to work for the customer's benefit.
  • Preventing Airline Equipment Failures: Inefficient operations are more than a customer service nightmare. Air carriers lose a whopping $10,000 for every hour spent on the ground performing maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). That inevitably shows up as checked baggage fees or pay-for-your-peanuts policies that further aggravate the flying public. The latest generation of aircraft produce loads of data—several terabytes on a single transatlantic flight—that could streamline maintenance operations, decrease fuel consumption, improve safety, and increase customer satisfaction.
  • PASSUR arrival estimates as a service for Airlines called RightETA Minutes matter in airports. So does accurate information about flight arrival times: If a plane lands before the ground staff is ready for it, the passengers and crew are effectively trapped, and if it shows up later than expected, the staff sits idle, driving up costs. So when a major U.S. airline learned from an internal study that about 10% of the flights into its major hub had at least a 10-minute gap between the estimated time of arrival and the actual arrival time — and 30% had a gap of at least five minutes — it decided to take action.
  • Big Data Analytics a Key Enabler for Social CRM – Airlines Case Study Twitter sentiment scores obtained for many of the airlines are "comparable" to results of The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). What is important to note here is that by analyzing few tweets using freely available R programming language (which is part of the GNU project), it is possible to achieve results similar to that of an elaborate and expensive market research study such as ACSI at a fraction of a cost, that too in real time. Isn't that a game changer?

And a story from Saudi Airlines and how Microsoft Services implemented a Business Intelligence System for them for an anticipated operational savings of several millions. 

4000014765[1]The airline needed to consolidate systems and data sources within various departments that supported all of their critical business functions including Human Resources, Operations, Sales, Maintenance, Customer Relations, Safety, and Revenue Accounting. They also needed to improve manageability of the BI architecture as well as the consumption of information by business stakeholders through flexible, self-serve reporting that could be made available quickly.

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