May 6 2019  |  Airline & Terminal News

Air Canada invests in Artificial Intelligence Labs

By PAX International

Within three years, Air Canada plans to become Canada's leading AI employer

Air Canada announced it is placing a big focus on artificial intelligence (AI) across its business with new technology-focused labs that will help enhance both its operations and passenger experience.

Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada President and CEO, said in a statement: "Big data and AI are now a big part of our business. One example is predictive maintenance from our modern aircraft, like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In addition to our normally scheduled checks, we can now predict maintenance of components not yet broken, to repair when the aircraft is less active. This way, we can do other work that we know we’re likely to have an issue with, that would not come into the regular cycle.

"Our new loyalty program will also make use of data that already exists for all of our frequent flyers. We know what their flying preferences are and that will enable us to combine relationship-management technology with loyalty management.”

The airline says that the 787 Dreamliner alone generates over 500 gigabytes of data during a single flight. The company will utilize AI to help it "understand complex patterns in a manner that would be impossible with traditional technologies," according to a press release.

Furthermore, Air Canada has a goal to become Canada’s number-one AI employer within three years. Within five years, it hopes to leverage AI throughout the organization to ensure it stays competitive on a global scale.

As part of this strategy, the airline has formed an AI Centre of Expertise (CoE), comprised of business leaders, data scientists and data engineers who collaborate with universities and researchers. This center will also introduce the carrier to new ways of thinking about traditional problems.

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