KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), known together as the KLM-BCG partnership in digital airline operations, have been appointed by Virgin Atlantic Airways to support the airline with optimising and digitising its operations worldwide.
The KLM-BCG partnership, based on their shared vision of driving integrated decision making in airline operations, has developed, implemented, and marketed a suite of state-of-the-art Operations Decision Support (ODS) tools based on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced optimisation techniques. These tools will maximize operational performance for Virgin Atlantic by assisting both on the day of operations and in the planning phase. To minimise the number of disrupted passengers (e.g. limiting the number of missed connections) these tools will suggest how to manage last minute events such as bad weather by combining data on available fleet, passenger travel plans, maintenance schedules, crew schedules, and gate availability. Additionally these tools will assist in creating a flight schedule that is designed to minimise delays by predicting where disruptions in the network are most likely to occur.
An in-house ODS team, consisting of business partners, data scientists, and software engineers will be set up at Virgin Atlantic. This team will be responsible for the continuous improvement of the tools in the long run as well as the development of new tools and use cases. They will act as a liaison with other key stakeholders in the operation such as crew, maintenance, and ground, to ensure the optimal cross-functional trade-offs are made.
“We are very excited to customise our tools to reflect Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul network and its industry-leading customer experience. In addition we look forward to helping attract, train and onboard the digital talents that will further develop and expand our solutions once implemented. Adding Virgin Atlantic as our customer is another step towards our mission to establish KLM-BCG as the global leader in digital airline operations, enabling ambitious airlines to achieve their operational targets,” said Sander Stomph, VP Operations Decision Support at KLM and Dirk-Maarten Molenaar, Managing Director and Partner at BCG.