In-flight passenger experience enhancement is a widely discussed topic in aviation, with all involved parties, from airlines and airports to ground handling companies and caterers, looking to optimize their services and product offerings to achieve this.
CELLOCK provides services to airlines and caterers and there is great interest from their side to evaluate their status and improve any weaknesses spotted; BoB (Buy-on-Board) is a complete inventory and warehouse management platform, used by Airlines and Caterers, to handle all airplane loadings, stock management and supply tracking. BoB is accompanied by the Crew app, facilitating the needs of the flight attendants during the flight. Using the Crew app, the crew can monitor the loaded trays and products stock on-board, report for missing or damaged items as well as receive payments for sales in cash or by cards and in multi-currencies. Both the system and the Crew app are PCI certified and all data gathered are anonymized, while sensitive data are well secured and protected from unauthorised access.
The ICARUS CELLOCK Demonstrator will deliver 2 real-life scenarios, focusing on enhancing the passenger experience through:
- Prediction of sales on-board and tray loading suggestions
- Prediction of profitable product discounts and offers to increase in-flight sales
Prediction of sales on-board and tray loading suggestions
The main objectives of the 1st scenario are to extract insights from historical data taking into consideration different aspects for in-flight sales as well as to accurately predict the sales per product and product category for each flight.
The first part of this scenario is based on historical data from BoB on retail and FnB in-flight sales, number of passengers, airplane loading for FnB, flights discrepancies, as well as other related external data, such as weather data, flight status data and economic data of countries.
The second part of this scenario will utilize the extracted knowledge and insights from the statistical analysis, as well as the aforementioned datasets in order to train a machine learning algorithm for predicting the number of in-flight product sales, with the target of optimizing tray loadings and minimizing in-cabin waste. By reducing the number and weight of the trays, the airlines can thus optimize their fuel consumption and CO2 emission rates without affecting the quality of their offered services on-board.
Prediction of profitable discounts and offers to increase inflight sales
In this scenario, despite the obvious direct benefits for the airlines and caterers, indirectly we will enhance the passenger experience by providing offers to the passengers, that will be related to their overall journey, destinations, weather etc. This will be achieved by a thorough analysis on historical data of product sales and bundle offers on the products already available on-board, both FnB and Duty-Free.
Nowadays airlines, especially the low-cost ones, are literally supported by the on-board-sales ancillary revenues, due to the minimum profit margin of the ticket sales, according to ECTAA (European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association). Moreover, offering customised discounts and offers to passengers, increases their satisfaction and travel experience.
In-flight Passenger Experience Demonstrator in the ICARUS Platform
According to the 1st scenario needs, the demonstrator has followed the steps below to reach a set of initial meaningful results:
- Upload BoB data to the ICARUS platform
- Browse the ICARUS platform for relevant datasets
- Link BoB datasets with other relevant data in the ICARUS platform
- Browse the ICARUS platform for available analytics algorithms and applications
- Design and apply analytics in the ICARUS platform
- Visualize results in the ICARUS platform
The preliminary results that we have received through the ICARUS platform reveal that the predictions received would be beneficial to the airlines and caterers. This is more than encouraging for both the ICARUS project as well as for the commercial reputation of BoB, and CELLOCK expects that it will boost the company’s market position. Initial discussions with existing clients reveal that if BoB includes such functionality as the one derived from ICARUS, they would be willing to update their plans to obtain it.
For CELLOCK, ICARUS is a powerful tool that upon it, new features will be built for its commercial product, BoB, expanding its functionality. ICARUS will additionally help in ways that are not easy to measure, e.g.
- Access to new data sources
- Reduction of heterogeneous data formats and data models
- Access to a complete data analytics toolset and sandbox for experimentation
- Reduction of costs, especially for big data analytics running and maintenance
It is expected that ICARUS will help CELLOCK and especially its BoB product to provide unique new features as well as to be beneficial to the business reputation and market growth of the company.
Blog post prepared by CELLOCK