AI-Powered Ingredients to Enhance Airline Customer Experience in 2022

AI Blog AviationReport
Experience is Everything—human or mechanical. But Get it Right.

"AI's potential doesn't solely lie in its ability to improve business efficiency. Rather it lies in its ability to bridge the gap between businesses and customers. AI-powered communications enable for surged personalized and strengthening of information, stimulating customer trust and customer experiences."

- Kevin Gosschalk, CEO, Arkose Labs, in a conversation with Media 7.

Whether you make payments with a single tap in apps, ask Alexa to instruct in your smartphones, select Google assistance to find flights, or connect to airline companies, digital transformation is omnipresent. So, the appreciation comes naturally for how today's digital atmosphere transforms and affects our lives in every way.

Yes, you heard that right!

Using Google assistance to find flights is not the new way the industry uses AI. Instead, it has enhanced its way of AI usage into its process and operations. Like other businesses, aviation businesses are catching up well in using data and technology. With the help of these, they now create more compelling and prompter customer experiences.

The developments and revenues in the global aviation industry are skyrocketing. The industry expects almost 8.2 billion passengers to fly around the world by 2037. The rising numbers are because of digital transformation. The most interesting thing is aviation now has to manage high expectations of digital-savvy customers. It will be even more interesting now!

Before the blog breaks into discussing the futuristic airline customer experience, let's look at the flashback of the past customer experience scenarios (challenges) that prevailed in the airline industry.


Past Customer Experience Scenario in Airline

The aviation industry in 2018 recorded 4.4 billion passengers flying around the world. Furthermore, according to the IATA reports, the count is anticipated to reach 8.2 billion by 2037. But the industry is increasingly lacking behind in customer experience.

Complex booking procedures and missing out on the best flight offers because of complex app/website navigation and other potential customer services are issues raised in air travel today. Apart from this, customers also raise concerns over inflight infotainment systems. The systems merely do their job. Therefore, as many airport terminals are still empty, customer service representatives are working harder to overcome such issues.

As the industry has stepped into the fourth industrial revolution, AI rewards the best experiences for travels and other airline customer services. Now, airline marketers can find diverse AI-based digital solutions to sail through the cloud. And the findings are quite remarkable.

Let's come to the part where you will know how AI is helping the aviation industry scale its customer services.


How Can AI Enrich Airline and Scale Customer Services?

Airlines that leverage AI customer experience have had a significant advantage during the pandemic time. Their insights have been put into enriching the entire aviation business. Let's understand the 'how.'


Get Multiple Output in Seconds

When the demand for air fly rise, offering immediate services for customer handling teams becomes stressful. However, with AI, instances like this get a perfect solution.

AI can handle an infinite number of customers' demands at once. By leveraging AI-based digital solutions, you can scale up fulfilling airline operations in seconds. As a result, teams in your firm can easily diminish the increased demand for services and serve remarkable customer experience.

The benefit of AI can also be seen crosswise support channels. For instance, WestJet's ticket volume surged by 71% on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp during the beginning weeks of COVID-19 disruption in North America. However, the airline kept its response time low as its virtual agent Juliet ultimately resolved 87% of tickets.


Identity New and Trending Issues

Aviation is an industry of challenges. Issues and obstacles keep knocking on the door of airline companies. In such cases, AI informs if there are any trending issues over channels. For example, during the COVID-19 outbreak, new onboard safety issues and questions towards social distancing surfaced for the first time. However, airlines have never come through about social distancing. So, by leveraging AI, they created a responsive plan for customers. They communicated the same through AI-enabled solutions on websites and applications.

In response to the coronavirus, Gartner suggests that companies should use chatbots in digital channels to focus on the most ordinarily asked questions to give solutions for customers.


Feedback Analysis

Air travel can be stressful at times, even for frequent and experienced travelers. For example, it could be passport-related or booking tickets, baggage checks, ticket prints, arrivals, departures, seat assistance, etc.

So, by analysis of data, artificial intelligence in customer experience learns about these pain points of airports and flight experiences. In this way, customer experience can be improved and enhanced simultaneously.

Then comes feedback. Using AI for feedback analysis, airlines can research the market. It can make informed decisions related to processes and operations. 

"AI systems can quickly allow airlines to discover opportunities to intervene in the customer journey and turn a miserable experience into a delightful one. It also allows companies to respond faster in a synchronized and regulated way that is uniform with the business's values. Ultimately, we want to understand how an airline can fascinate a customer as well as where there is an abrasion in the customer journey and figure out how to fix it,"

- CEO of PureStrategy Inc. Briana Brownell

Briana highlights the growing relevance of natural language used in AI. Understanding technology in the processing and analysis of customer experience data thus allows businesses to explore the customer journey in their own words.

For example, ANIE, an AI assistance, can help customers find, book, and pay for flights.


Effective Communication

The speed of responsive communication to customer queries is highly considered to resolve issues. For example, airport issues like flight delays or baggage loss crop up quite often throwing. As a result, travelers usually get into a state of nervousness. However, when they do not get a response or explanation to their problems, they start considering other airlines for their future trips.

In these cases, AI software deployment can speed up and simplify services, automatically enhancing airline customer experience. In addition, effective customer emails with exact information can also solve significant issues and streamline employees' workflow using natural text.

Another way to automate and improve airline customer experience is chatbot development. Today, many airlines enhance their customer support with AI-powered chatbots on their websites and mobile applications.

The Business Insider’s research report says that by 2022, over 80% of airline businesses are likely to have chatbot automation implemented in operations.

These chatbots help passengers with bookings, managing flight schedules, and updating customers about general flight information. In addition, they can post queries and other types of assistance to get quick responses.

Self-Services at Airports

Easy self-check-ins, ticket booths, and overall communication (from booking to destination arrival) add to the comprehensive AI-based digital solutions.

The pandemic forced the aviation industry to witness the extraordinary rise of numerous contactless technologies. So, airports are now more focused on providing self-services for customers. These include contactless payments, luggage checks, robotic assistance for queries, and more like these.

Self-service systems in airports are critical automated systems. AI technology is installed to automate passenger journeys without any hurdles.

Today, airline companies and airports implement an end-to-end solution using artificial intelligence in customer experience to facilitate smooth passenger air travel and operations. In case of point, Delta Airlines, one of the world's largest global airlines, uses intelligent systems such as Fly to Gate by Thales. The system works with biometrics technology. The employees use it for the document scanning process to recognize and verify passengers at security checks.

Such technology reduces passenger check-in time and improves customer experience.


Future of AI Customer Experience in Airline Industry

There are many shreds of evidence that customers increasingly want a personal touch with their communications. They adore personalized services. Even airline companies are seeking profound connections with their customers. And this is the right time to act by offering personalized customer experiences.

Today, AI makes it possible for the entire airline industry to enhance customer experience with automation, provide self-service solutions, ensure safe air travel, and more. Technology is a powerful tool for airlines to make informed decisions that they couldn't take in the past few years. Now airlines can make decisions faster on essential decisions such as on pricing of tickets by analyzing data, enabling secure authentication of customers than before.

Ultimately, the success of artificial intelligence in customer experience is driven by having a deep understanding of different customer segments. By harnessing the power of conversational AI, airline businesses can improve their ROI, nurture long-term customer relationships, metrics being the core elements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can airline companies improve their customer experience?

To improve customer experience, airline companies can follow these ways:
  • Focus on knowing the target audience
  • Meet unique and specific customer needs
  • Keep customers engaged on social media platforms
  • Make smart customer-targeted decisions
  • Be responsive towards customers


How does AI play its role in aviation concerning customer experiences these days?

AI plays a crucial role in helping customers in aviation to find the correct information more efficiently. It actively helps analyze customers' data and recommend services based on their browsing preferences about flights.


How does AI improve customer experience?

AI enables the power to strengthen customer engagement, encourage activities, and improve customer retention. Although not a replacement for human beings, it does help increase the efficiency of serving — like answering frequently asked questions, providing the correct information, and being available 24*7.

Spotlight

TransDigm Group Inc.

TransDigm Group Incorporated, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, including TransDigm Inc., is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today.

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Flight operations are crucial, including operation control, connectivity, network, data handling, integration, maintenance planning, and software. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the risks to the aviation industry during COVID-19?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The level of risk is on the rise in the COVID-19 situation at present in the aviation industry. It may affect the operation, new business models, management, monitoring, and evaluation more as remote work culture is hyped." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the main sectors of the airline industry that need improvement?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There are limited sectors in aviation. However, the main ones that need improvement are commercial aviation and business aviation." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the crucial areas of operation in the aviation industry?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Flight operations are crucial, including operation control, connectivity, network, data handling, integration, maintenance planning, and software." } }] }

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Article | August 31, 2021

The unprecedented wave of Covid 19 created significant turbulence in the aviation industry that made the industry face daunting new challenges. However, as airlines continue to respond to the challenges, the marketers remain focused on paving the way for quick recovery. Whereas, aviation experts admitted that this black swan event impacted the airline industry roughly. The impact of COVID-19 on airlines was forced to face bankruptcy, destruction of financial packages, and complete changes in the airline industry in terms of security. Therefore, while keeping the fact that COVID-19 will have longer-term repercussions, it’s imperative the airline industry would quickly reduce the impact on its stakeholders and operations. And for this, airlines need to go beyond conventional thinking and come forward in using technology to dig in for the long haul. 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However, further analysis revealed that it fell $419 billion more in the same year. Also, the second quarter of 2020 saw a nearby decline to $43.5 billion in revenues compared to the projected baseline, a reduction of more than 1%. Impact on Future Investments The impact of COVID-19 on airlines was much on the plan for future investments and asset building. These areas posed significant challenges for airline businesses and investors to monetize assets or repurpose them to create shareholder value. In other ways, competition from newer asset-light businesses also posed an additional challenge on asset building and profitability. How has Airline Industry Retorted to the Pandemic? Most businesses have reduced all new investments, freezing shares, maintenance, and partnership costs. These have been the extreme response expected in the war—COVID-19, which is even gimmer than war. But, despite all the impact of COVID-19 on airlines, airlines have responded with alacrity. The crisis made them stand by quickly developing new business processes and operations, research models. In a longer time, changes in the airline industry weren’t so significant. Airlines are also witnessing a radical shift in their development priorities and unique opportunities to conduct research. The desire to provide additional pressure on revenue management systems to predict demand more accurately has also been the core force of development. Let’s understand more under the following points: Technology Makeover In a progressively evolving digital-only landscape, the technology carries more value if used well. Investing in the right tools and technology can help monetize assets better and significantly improve operating efficiency and customer experience. Refocus on Cost-line Innovations in marketing strategies, technology can suggestively change the cost of providing services for both airlines and airports. It can help give more pressure on both affordability and profitability. This area of transformation can stimulate significant savings in operating costs and could become the norm for the best performance of marketing. Innovate COVID-19 has spawned the best inventions and innovations. The value of data and technology that you have access to today cannot be overstated. Yet, the aviation industry has shown the resilience to come back stronger and smarter. Therefore, there is a necessity for a thoughtful, analytical, and consistent approach to reforms to help the industry function at a newer and higher altitude and redefine its new normal. The changing geopolitical marketing scenario and impending operational shifts globally demand a swift and nimble approach. Advantageous changes in airline industrial policy in COVID-19 will be required to feat the opportunity, with accrete marketing strategic gains and create a better future. In a nutshell, airlines had to reinvent how they looked at bookings, employee management, and revenue management, as the previous curves were no longer relevant, and the training data used for machine learning algorithms were no longer valid. Now, airline businesses are exploring novel ways to shorten the old methods used in forecasting, pick up on trends more quickly, and incorporate demand adjustments made by manual revenue management users. Finally, the writing is evident on the wall—as airline stocks continue to falter (by 16 to 20%), the industry needs to go beyond conventional thinking and use technology to dig in for the long haul. Airline Marketing: Path to Recovery with 3 Important Tech-Strategies Inclusion of Advanced Analytics In the next five years, airline businesses will proceed to develop their ability to install advanced analytics. Although the industry has been using advanced data and analytics, there are expectations that marketing leaders will expand the entire value chain of analytics more progressively. Data-backed analytics will render insights to pinpoint geo-specific interventions for maximum ROI. While traditional sources of competitive advantage for airlines such as products, networks, technology will continue to gain importance, it is believed that increased usage of data science and advanced analytics will help the industry to augment these sources to deliver notable performance improvement. Rapid Adoption of Data Science The aviation industry is part of the change, too, in terms of technology development. Airline Technologies in Covid is radically varying the way businesses connect with their customers. The data required is allowing businesses to take informed steps towards operational efficiency. While embracing new technologies, changes in the airline industry are witnessing the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) to the maximum so that businesses can operate in the post-COVID-19 scenario. Control of Digital Solutions As airline market behavior during the Covid-19 crisis has incurred changes in the airline industry, the control of digital solutions has come to the rescue. The solutions are in need to shift resources and efficiently scale to maintain operations. Digital tools can help with a wide range of business efficiency, sales and revenue management, marketing, and network planning. Opportunities to Reimagine in Post COVID-19 Era Here are the significant ways in which it could be done. Operating Model Airlines today need a data-driven operating model with a mindset that pushes accountability across each touchpoint in the business journey. Marketing teams should be organized around journey stages keeping technological aspects on board. The operating model should be accompanied by KPIs that should be measured across the customer journey and regularly shared with every team member. Digital Transformation The airline industry could consider stepping up IT, digital, and automation investment now. The crucial strategies for digital transformation are driving data-driven platforms and personalization. Tracking business interaction at every touchpoint with the brands and their products enables better predictive analytics. This means integrating digital solutions with enterprise systems and making the data available at the point-of-sale for sales associates to view, interpret and recommend products accordingly will enhance the convenience of operations. In the case of point, airlines businesses can respond to the faster recovery of short-haul flights by investing in direct sales, owning the customer relationship. Also, relationships with IT and its providers could be re-considered and explore from a technologically perspective. Beyond this, other initiatives which involve efforts like using data in smarter ways to enhance decision making, requiring some investment to yield significant payoffs, are in the line of digital investments. Virtual Reality Gone are the days with COVID-19, when customers were physically involved in the airline business and running it successfully. Unfortunately, the panic of the pandemic is here to stay as a part of our life. So, companies will need to think out of the box. Several tools are available in the market today to avoid physical interactions. Brands have introduced their own ‘Virtual test and try’ tools for marketing and sales purposes. For instance, Guerlain invested in gamification and launched a mobile game called ‘WeChat’ to promote its sales deck. Similarly, to enhance the operational desk, Lancôme introduced ‘Virtual Mirror’ - an augmented reality virtual makeover app.12 ‘Modiface’- a Canadian AR and AI company, was purchased. Its product performs virtual try-on simulations and is enabled to support live video for all airline operations. So, the crisis and issues the airline industry facing in the Covid‑19 on revenue generation will still be intensely felt in 2021-2022, as it was earlier. But it is expected that the coming quarter of 2021 will show improvements compared to the previous. This means the industry, which was moving from a decline of 7% in the first quarter of 2021, will see a decline of 35.2% in the fourth quarter compared to the projected baseline. How to Plan a Marketing Strategy for your Airline Company? Being in the market already, you can understand where the roots of a marketing campaign come from. Nearly all the airline businesses arise their marketing activities from their vital target group or according to the demand to promote a new product. There is no solitary way to create a marketing campaign because it involves many company-specific details. Here, you will need to understand how you can stay ahead of your competitors in the marketing field to yield revenue. Here is a brief sum-up of some valuable points that can help you. Stick with your Customer Segment: Business or corporate travelers differ in their travel behavior and priorities. So, while you run a marketing campaign, it should highlight this factor as a prime concern. Focus on the Product you will Market: This point covers that you need to consider that all the product dimensions (digital, physical, service) to market should consider on parameters like how do you want it to market, what are your secondary aims, and how can you benefit from customer actions. Foster Interaction: So, try to keep as much interaction with your customers as possible. It does help to build loyalty, establish relations with your brand, and source valuable data about your customers. By doing this, you will be able to create a personalized experience for them in the future. Be loyal: As long as you are not an ultra-low-cost airline operator, you will perhaps have to reward the loyalty your frequent customers give you. Special offers, discounts, and loyalty programs make your brand a company to stick with forever. Keep an Eye on Competitors: As the airline market has high competition and competitors, your team creating a marketing strategy must include two key elements: your market position and your competitors. And the last, you must maintain a balance between competition and customer loyalty at any cost. Frequently Asked Questions What are the top three issues the airline industry is facing in the Covid‑19? Although the airline industry faced several challenges, the worse challenges were: Sluggishness in travel/travel bans Loss of revenue Data loss Which airlines have been most affected by coronavirus? The list of airlines worst affected by covid-19 goes as: China Southern Hainan Airlines Singapore airlines Japan airlines Korean Air & Asiana Middle Asia British Airways United Airlines What is the future of the aviation industry after covid-19? From the perspective of the COVID-19 scenario, the aviation industry needs to pick itself up and begin rebuilding. From hygiene and health standards to aircraft data management to monitor an aircraft’s components and onboard equipment can transform airline operations. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the top three issues the airline industry is facing in the Covid 19?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Although the airline industry faced several challenges, the worse challenges were: Sluggishness in travel/travel bans Loss of revenue Data loss" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which airlines have been most affected by coronavirus?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The list of airlines worst affected by covid-19 goes as: China Southern Hainan Airlines Singapore airlines Japan airlines Korean Air & Asiana Middle Asia British Airways United Airlines" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the future of the aviation industry after covid-19?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "From the perspective of the COVID-19 scenario, the aviation industry needs to pick itself up and begin rebuilding. From hygiene and health standards to aircraft data management to monitor an aircraft’s components and onboard equipment can transform airline operations." } }] }

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A Carbon-Neutral Fuel for the Aviation Industry?

Article | July 26, 2022

A New System That Aims to Create Carbon-Neutral Aviation Scientists have achieved an amazing breakthrough in the development of carbon-neutral fuel for the aviation industry. An aviation fuel production system that uses water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide has been put into action. Its design was published on July 20th, 2022, in the journal Joule. The dream of achieving carbon-free aviation could become a reality with this development. “We are the first to demonstrate the entire thermochemical process chain from water and CO2 to kerosene in a fully-integrated solar tower system.” - Aldo Steinfeld, Professor, Study Corresponding Author, ETH Zurich The aviation industry accounts for approximately 5% of the global anthropogenic emissions that contribute to global climate change. The industry heavily relies on kerosene, commonly known as jet fuel, a liquid hydrocarbon fuel derived from crude oil. There are no clean options to power commercial flights on a global scale at the moment. Production of Synthetic Kerosene This breakthrough, with the help of solar energy, makes it possible to produce synthetic kerosene from water and carbon dioxide instead of crude oil. The amount of CO2 emitted during kerosene combustion in a jet engine equals what is consumed during its production in the solar plant. It is what makes the fuel carbon neutral, especially if the CO2 in the air is captured and directly used as an ingredient, which could be possible in the near future. As part of the European Union's SUN-to-LIQUID project, Steinfeld and his colleagues put forward a system that uses solar power to generate drop-in fuels—synthetic alternatives to fossil-derived fuels like kerosene and diesel. Solar-produced kerosene is consistent with the current aviation infrastructure for allocation, fuel storage, and use in jet engines. It can also combine with fossil-derived kerosene, according to Steinfeld. High Hopes for the Future Steinfeld and his team began scaling the construction of a solar fuel manufacturing plant at the IMDEA Energy Institute in Spain half a decade ago. The plant has 169 sun-tracking reflective panels that redirect and concentrate solar radiation into a tower-mounted solar reactor. This concentrated solar energy then powers redox reaction cycles in the reactor’s porous ceria structure, which is not absorbed but can be reused. It transforms the water and carbon dioxide into syngas, a customized mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This syngas is then injected into a gas-to-liquid converter and is finally converted into liquid hydrocarbon fuels such as kerosene and diesel. Steinfeld and his team are working on amping up the reactor’s efficiency from the current 4% to more than 15%.

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TransDigm Group Inc.

TransDigm Group Incorporated, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, including TransDigm Inc., is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today.

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