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Airline dependability is the essence of a contract with your customer. Airlines commit to transport customers to their destinations safely, efficiently, and effectively. This commitment is a promise to perform upon which brands are built or can all too easily fail. Departure delays are costly both to the airline’s reputation and its bottom line. When airlines cannot make up delays en route, passengers and the company incur both financial and time costs. Passengers frustrated with lost time due to flight cancellations and missed connections may make different choices the next time they fly. The cost of delays is estimated in the billions of dollars for airlines due to crew wages, fuel, and maintenance. Shorter turnaround times (TATs) are a critical factor in minimizing operating costs, particularly at hub airports where schedules are under further pressure to make connections. When an individual partner misses an SLA, this can create a domino effect. Delays in the arrival process, in fueling, or in baggage offloading can quickly compound to result in a flight cancellation if a flight violates an arrival curfew at the destination airport, or the crew is close to reaching the limit of their duty time. Airlines may suffer bottom line financial cost as well as brand damage. Identifying and correcting resource bottlenecks is essential for improving TATs to grow airline profitability, particularly during this challenging COVID economy. It is a data-rich problem ideally suited to the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI works to mimic human cognitive functions at scale to rapidly identify out-of-pattern events, trigger alerts, and recommend actions before missing SLAs.

Computer Vision Technology

From the moment the plane lands, sensors trigger cameras to begin tracking activities around the aircraft, capturing process details that the human eye would miss. Cameras function as the computer’s eyes, acquiring digital images, processing, logging, and categorizing the data for interpretation by the AI brain.

AI For Airline Dependability

Through a set of predefined events, the AI analyzes the sensor data logs and triggers real-time alerts, allowing ground teams to course correct, avoiding costly delays. Milestone events are assessed against targets on the way to meeting TAT goals. Examples of milestones may include chocks in, passenger loading bridge attached, ground power connected, and air conditioning supplied.

Applying computer vision and AI technology to meeting airline dependability goals results in several benefits, chief among them being reduced costs.

Reduced Costs

Delays are costly, not only to passengers but for the airline. Missing operational targets is undesirable, impacting station performance and customer perception. While a setback often begins on a small scale, the effects can accumulate. Falling behind may result in a long delay — and ultimately, a flight cancellation. Having a system that partners with you to keep your operation on-track and on-time is priceless. It is set to help you avoid your delays altogether, increasing profit and lowering costs. Instead of finding the root cause of the delay and explaining the failure, the system alerts you in time to course correct! No explanations or investigations are needed, fostering teamwork instead. 

There are several important benefits that help airlines avoid setbacks and increase their bottom line.

#1: Eco-Conscious Consumption

Reducing the number and length of aircraft hold events minimizes engine and APU fuel burn. As a result, you reduce CO2 emissions, helping your airline become an environmental leader and save on energy costs.

#2: Improve Vendor Performance

AI keeps track of each vendor’s performance, letting you know when they fall behind so you can mitigate delays. From ground power to food services, utilizing AI as an early warning system allows you to partner with your vendors to achieve target goals. Hitting those targets leads to fewer flight cancellations that cut into your profits.

#3: Increase Safety

Be alert to safety violations as soon as they happen. AI can help you eliminate unsafe driving around a plane, improper safety cone placement, non-compliance with safety vests, and more. Increasing compliance leads to less safety violation fines your airline must take care of.

#4: Eliminate Manual Tasks

AI allows you to automate ground operations audits and reporting. By tracking all activity outside of the aircraft, it can accurately create invoices for handling and airport services. Your airline will pay only the correct amount, eliminating unnecessary costs from your budget.

#5: Elevate the Customer Experience

AI systems keep track of baggage and passenger loading bridges. If an event is taking longer than usual, you will be on top of it. You can then relay this information to passengers, avoiding frustrating time spent standing in the aisle and wondering why the aircraft door isn’t opening. Increased customer satisfaction leads to repeat customers, bringing your airline more profitable business

These benefits may sound like science fiction, but the technology is available today. Some of the largest commercial airlines are already actively using AI to improve revenue and efficiency. Is your airline keeping up?

Synaptic Aviation is dedicated to airline dependability by saving you time and money from landing to takeoff. We partner with you to keep your airline operation on-track and on-time. Our software helps you to avoid delays, finger-pointing and investigations by providing proactive, real-time alerts in time to course correct. Our technology fosters smooth airline ground operations teamwork that quickly pays for itself in improved efficiency, reputation and reduced SLA penalties. Looking for a demo of our AI? Let us show you how simple and effective it can be to implement. Request a demo today or contact us at 844-505-4496.

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