• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
businessday logo


Airline operators transform aviation status quo with investment in tech systems, solutions

Quarantine rules threaten to leave travel firms and their staff stranded

As innovation technology continues to transform several sectors of every economy, and plays a significant role in disrupting ways of carrying out business operations, airline operators are setting aside budget to invest in tech trainings, systems and solutions that are creating a more immersive future driven customer experience and gradually changing the way airlines operate around the world.

Speaking with select journalists at the Emirates Engineering site on Thursday, Christopher Welham, senior manager, base operations, Emirates Airlines, said the airline operator would continue to leverage emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoTs) and Big Data to drive its airline operations in other to enhance customer experience in all its inbound and outbound flights.

“We leverage technology solutions, and a lot of them are built in-house by our software developers and programmers. Slowly, we are starting to introduce bots and AI-based solutions to crunch the numbers. We are doing this with a lot of documentation and with some of the data that the aircraft is giving us.”

According to Welham, emerging technologies are driving global airline operations and Emirates would continue to train its personnel in line with technology trends to deliver smooth airline operations that would always enhance customer experience.

On its Boeing 777 and Airbus A380, the airline operator is also in the stage of trying e-log books for pilots. The trial period is said to end later in December 2019 before the airline rolls out the electronic log book on all its fleet.

“Things like the addition of a virtual window – where you can see what’s outside the plane through a screen that looks like a window, and these sort of things are coming in slowly.

Also, some of our first-class cabins have rooms with individual temperature controls. It sounds simple, but from an aircraft standpoint, it is very complex to try and get individual temperature controls into each seat. Another thing we are moving to is e-log books which are tablet-based for the technical logbooks. We have two of our aircraft doing the trial due to finish later this month before we roll out across the whole fleet,” he said.

Experts say that the introduction of new systems by global airline companies such as Emirates will slowly see the fade out of obsolete technology systems, less human error crashes and seamless operation in the aviation sector.

Speaking about the airline’s partnership with global technology companies, Welham said, “We have partnerships with the engine manufacturers such as GE, Rolls Royce and Engine Alliance, and they are for prognostic solutions. So, an aircraft while in flight is constantly sending down data of the engine and we use such data to predict the success and failure rates before it happens. At the moment, I will say we are at about 90 percent maturity, in the area of data analytics and data usage to predict occurrences because some of the manufacturers of some components for other airlines aren’t able to provide enough data.”