EasyJet embraces AI as data strategy takes flight

easyjetEasyJet is hailing its use of artificial intelligence across the business, from managing its flights schedule to boosting its new Flight Club loyalty programme as well as analysing the millions of searches on its website.
The budget airline, which carries more than 70 million passengers a year, says that AI enables easyJet to use data to make predications rather than rely on guesswork.
Head of data science Alberto Villaverde told BusinessCloud: “Traditional computing simply records and orders data whereas advanced computing using AI starts to use this data to predict and provide for future events.
“For example, predicting the failure of a component so that it can be replaced in a planned fashion, avoiding an unexpected failure which could cause a flight delay, or predicting the sort of demand for certain items of food and drink on each flight so that supplies match customer demand without running out or carrying an excess amount.”
Villaverde insists that AI is improving the airline’s efficiencies, bringing down costs and driving customer satisfaction levels.
While conceding that there are “many challenges around data, around governance and how we integrate this technology alongside our people”, added: “We are using AI so we can make sense of the huge volume of data we receive from flying 200,000 passengers every day and making it work for us, making sense of patterns and trends so that we can make better future decisions.
“Until now analytics has been about diagnostic capability and looking backwards,” he said. “Now advanced AI is more focused on predictive capability so we can better understand the future and plan for it.”
The Flight Club loyalty scheme was launched in 2015; EasyJet’s direct marketing account, which includes Flight Club, is currently under review, although incumbent Havas Helia is expected to repitch for the business which it has held for the past seven years.

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