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IATA Aviation Data and Digital Capabilities during crisis webinar review

Our team have participated at IATA’s webinar for data and digital capabilities during crisis and we bring to you our summary.

IATA organized a webinar as part of its series to help its members and aviation community into how to combat the crisis of COVID-19 with digital capabilities.

The subject of its 1st episode was: decode and analyze.

The host of the event was Mr. Houman Goudarzi, Data expert. First guest was Jean Charles Odele, a director of Industry Payment Services from IATA who gave an intro into the airline’s situation in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on their cash-flow. Mr. Odele also pointed out on main issues for airlines such as lack of hard currency reserves, economic sanctions and banking restrictions while demonstrating a tool they are developing to gather monetic data during this crisis to find ways how to start the aviation recovery.

Next on stages were airlines, therefore we made a summary of each guest:

Minna Kärhä, FINNAIR – Shared data sources

Minna Kärhä is a Head of Data at Finnish national flag carrier, Finnair. Mrs. Kärhä demonstrated to the audience a Finnair’s desire to understand the scope of their data sets and essentially to combine all data sets into interconnecting platform. Previously, certain departments only had access to their own domain data and knowledge in the company was scattered. First step was to understand the customer into one platform called “Customer Intelligence Platform” with ultimate Data Catalogs – collaboration platform that provide Finnair to share and find information about data. Final objective is to gain operation excellence while keeping maximum customer experience which is proving vital in this COVID-19 pandemic.

Minna Kärhä, Finnair

Ido Biger, EL AL – The (Airline) Data Leaders Do’s and Don’ts during crisis

Ido Biger is Chief Data Officer at Israeli national flag carrier, El Al. COVID-19 has hit hard aviation industry and El Al is also in problems with majority of staff on unpaid leave. However, the company is doing its best to find the innovative ways to fight the crisis. Mr. Biger took advantage of his experience in telcom industry to use some of the methods in crisis management. One of the methods to focus on sales & refunds as that was a focal point for their cash-flow. Putting attention on this main financial impact they have developed models to forecast and predict impact on their business. During the crisis they turned to Rapid BI methodology to deliver their products fast to the front line. With Rapid BI they focused on main products that can show them relevant data with minimum time effort. Remarkably, they managed to pull of three real-time data models inside their company that helps them navigate through the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 such as Sales/Refund model that refreshes every 5 minutes which is now most-used dashboard. Mr. Biger showed how data and digital systems can be useful in unprecedented situations for airlines. To close of his speech, Mr. Biger highlighted on the need to keep employees informed who are on unpaid leave but not to involve them. Yet he suggested to use the online training during COVID-19.

Ido Biger, El Al

Sourav Sinha, IndiGo Airlines – data and analytics can help reduce the costs

Sourav Sinha is a Chief Information Officer at Indian airline IndiGo Airlines. Mr. Sinha presented today a situation at Indian aviation market that was heavily battered by COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown in India. What Mr. Sinha pointed out was an interesting fact how airlines need to change their business perspective. After COVID-19 there will be new parameters, new KPIs and new analytics. There will be a need to have more “real-time” data and to even perform Passenger Health Survey. He also highlighted health data as an important, new, data set. In the immediate future, customers/passengers will now have a new criteria – how healthy is to fly certain airlines.

His new operational considerations include:

  • New Promise – health safe travel
  • Aircraft Utilization – use of right fleet, minimize aircraft scheduled maintenance costs through optimization
  • Flight Operation – optimum manpower, optimum fuel burn, meal service may be suspended meaning no carts and in-flight magazines
  • Airport – increase of mobile boarding passes as passengers will avoid touching screens, save on stationary costs
  • Passenger Compensation – avoid flight delays/cancellations, avoid lost/damaged bags, increase on hand-luggage

At the end of this interesting presentation, Mr. Sinha said that their forecast models will have to change and the objective will be to capture more close to “real-time” data and will have to incorporate new data elements such as CCI, Retail Spends, Credit Card Usage, COVID-19 data etc.

Sourav Sinha, IndiGo Airlines

The webinar was finished by a panel of all guests with their host Mr. Goudarzi. We thank to IATA for this insightful webinar and we are looking forward to the 2nd episode.



About the author

Inxelo Technologies

Inxelo Technologies Ltd. is a company that core-business is software development in aviation industry.
Our mission is to provide quality software solutions to any air operator and improve their operations.
The software solutions we create for our customers are in various fields in aviation such as safety management system and compliance management system.