Technology is evolving at a very fast pace and it has given birth to Internet of Things (IoT), which has transformed objects making them smarter, safer, and more intelligent, connecting them through a network. This trending technology has given wings to a number of industries, as there is no limit to the number of physical things that can be in communication. Well, in this list of industries, we have airline industry, which has seen a noticeable change in the past few years.
According to a report by Gartner, there will be approximately 20 billion connected things in use by 2020.
It can be assumed that Internet of Things will continue to play a crucial role in different airline operations. As of now, IoT is hugely impacting the airline industry. Also, it has given way to new opportunities for the aviation maestros to explore and make the passengers experience the best. By utilizing IoT in an effective manner, airlines can reduce or even eliminate the root causes of various issues related to the industry.
If we look at the statistics, 86% of airline owners believe that IoT will create not only tangible advantages to the customers but also they will prove to be significant.
Let us explore how IoT is transforming the airline industry.
Key Usages of IoT in Airline Industry
1. Real time data of the Flights
Flights can be easily connected via IoT devices. This will give real time data of the airplane. For instance, Virgin Atlantic has made use of Iot in its fleet of Boeing 787 planes and cargo equipment. They have connected all of them via IoT devices. They collect all the real time data and solve mechanical issues, if any, prior to their occurrence. That enhances the overall performance of the airline. The total data produced over a flight usually exceed half a terabyte.
Another major airline which is taking similar advantage of IoT technology is Etihad Airways.
2. Baggage Tracking
Nearly every air traveller has faced some or the other issues with his/her baggage at some point or another while being at the airport, like bag misplacement, lost item, excessive wait time, etc. In order to get rid of such problems and make smooth experience for the travelers, RFID baggage tracking technology can be used. As of now, Delta has become the first US carrier to make use of RFID technology for tracking baggage.
For Delta, the traveler has to have mobile app of the airline, where push notifications help the travelers know the location of their baggage while on their way to the aircraft, on the plane and when the baggage is on the way to baggage claim counter. This facility has provided the Delta Airline customers with the transparency and control of their baggage. Also, Delta was able to achieve 99.9% success rate, thereby making it one of the best among US global airlines.
3. Enhancing Flight Efficiency
Some of the most common factors affecting efficiency of any flight include climate change, fuel, etc. It is also required for the flights to reduce fuel expense and waste, wherever possible. For instance, AirAsia is making use of such technology in partnership with GE. This allowed airline to follow a precise navigation routes, which are estimated to be about 20% efficient across the industry and analyze different flight data to better optimize the utilization of the aircraft and usage of fuel.
The above implementations have helped AirAsia become more efficient and over the coming years, it is projected to save around $30 to $50 million.
4. Automated check-in process
Some of the activities that the passengers are required to perform while on the airport include those which really don’t add any value to their travel. One such activity is checking in to the airport. More often this check-in process is unamusing for the travelers.
One of the airlines – JetBlue has started using IoT to simplify the check in process by automating the whole process. Once the booking is done, an automatic ticket is generated for the customers and are assigned seat 24 hours prior to takeoff, not requiring them to log on to either website or app. The selection of seat is done based on the previous data garnered about the passengers’ preferences.
This implication avoids many problems like if there is a flight delay, the ticket gets generated automatically and the information is conveyed to the workers engaged there, thereby, giving airline an option to reallocate the workers in some other critical operations, if needed.
5. Virtual Reality experience for the customers
Customer experience can be enhanced with the help of virtual reality. For instance, Qantas airlines provide its passengers with VR headsets to give its passengers unique experience. They use this to not only serve the passengers but also to collect and transmit data about them. Afterwards, they analyze this data to gain useful insights, which can help them give their customers the best experience.
With the help of enhanced communication, Qantas is able to give its customers more personalized experience. Further, airlines can even predict the specific offerings to a particular customer depending on the previous use of VR headset. This will ultimately boost Qantas’ quality of services, enhancing their business.
6. Avoid bottlenecks and Queues
With the help of Wi-fi and iBeacons deployed in the airport, passengers can be provided with location based services. For instance, Helsinki airport has installed dozens of sensors throughout the terminal. The airline is able to track all the mobile devices right from the parking area to the terminal. By doing this, the airport is able to prevent queues and bottlenecks wherever they appear. Further it allowed retailers to send push notifications based on their location.
Indubitably, IoT is going to become a game changer in the futuristic advancements of sundry industries. As discussed in this post, IoT is making airline travel a flawless experience. Well, it is going to make this experience more pleasant. Let’s be optimistic about the wonders that IoT will bring to this industry in the years to come. If you have any thoughts about the transformation that IoT has brought to the Airline/ Aviation field, then your views are welcome in the comments below.