Updated: Jan 21, 2020
Big data is basically reforming all aspects of the aviation industry and the airlines which don’t adopt this new fad will be lagging behind in this data-led society. Every day, the airline industry is generating a plethora of data from their various parts of their operations. For example, a Boeing 787 generates half a terabyte of data on average for every flight it takes. By combing all these data (weather report, airport performances, travel time, customer interaction, ticketing information, etc.), the companies are getting some meaningful insights which will help them to operate in a competitive way in this steep competitive era.
Personalized offers: Many airlines are using big data and are send customized offer to satisfy their customers. Because customer satisfaction will enhance the loyalty and trust. British Airways is using a ‘Know Me’ feature which will help them to make an in-depth analysis of data for each customer. Based on the analysis, they can provide personalized offers to the customers. According to British Airways, people who are travelling with them are very much pre-occupied and thus, they don’t have time to check the irrelevant offers. This feature helps them to analyse customer data so that they can construct relevant and targeted offers for their customers. The airlines thus received pleasure and good feedback from the customers because they really understand their travel needs.
Pricing: Big data is reshaping airline industry. Many airlines are analysing big data in various aspects (traveller’s purchase activity, travel time, flight preference, etc.) and are rescheduling their prices. They can also get an idea which customer segments are price sensitive and measure each customer segment’s price range for a given route. EasyJet was invested in an artificial intelligence algorithm which helps them to determine seat pricing in real-time depending on demand.
Flight safety: A chunk of data (weather reports, incident report, pilot reports, warning reports, air traffic report, and control positions) is generated during a flight in every second. Southwest Airlines has partnered with NASA so that it can indicate potential safety issue and can give a better travel experience to the passengers. With the help of a machine-learning algorithm, they have built an automated system which is capable of crunching vast data sets to warn about incongruities. In this way, they can prevent potential accidents in advance.
Fuel efficiency and maintenance: It is true that fuel is the second highest expense for airlines. That’s why eminent airlines are now using big data to help squeeze new efficiencies into their fuel usage. Southwestern Airlines has collected a massive data directly from the sensors that it has embedded in its aircraft. Now, they have equipped with various information like wind speeds, ambient temperatures, plane weight, and thrust. They feed also this imperative information into an analytics engine and combines it with other operational data like fuel, passenger, and cargo loads to search for patterns by which they can improve their trip profitability. Aircraft-based data sensors will give more insights beyond fuel efficiency to the airlines. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has launched Data4Safety which is a data analysis program. This helps them to detect various risks using multiple information like safety reports, in-flight telemetry data, air traffic surveillance information, and weather data.
Improved marketing efforts and strategies: By using big data, an airline can enhance their marketing strategies and effort. By collecting all the detailed data from individual customers, airlines can embrace them with new offers and discounts. They can also plan their marketing strategies based on their customers’ choices and behaviours. For example, an airline can launch promoted flights and various offers to Paris when they find that more people are preferring to travel in Paris by analysing trends. United Airlines analyses 150 variables in a customer’s profile and by analysing all those things, they have made tailor-made offers to the customers. This system has increased United Airlines’ year-over-year revenue by more than 15%.
Check your customers’ feedback on social media channels: These days. Social media and smartphones are buzzing everywhere. The passengers also share their feedback, travel experience or any grievance for an airline on their social media pages. This helps the airlines to track them down with the help of data available with them to instantly resolve their concerns. Real-time data analytics of social media posts help the airlines respond to negative feedback in the right way. By analysing all these, an airlines can find better ways by which they can serve their customers happily. KLM is one of the best and popular airlines on social media. Because this airlines handles up to 40,000 passenger queries in every week on Twitter and Facebook pages.
So, big data plays an imperative role in the aviation industry. By leveraging big data into their marketing plan, an airlines can certainly improve its performance and strategies and can present itself firmly in this competitive era.