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Airlines, airport CIOs embracing AI for better customer experience

Airlines and airport Chief Information Officers (CIOs), including in India, are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support their customer service, a new report said on Thursday.

Over the next three years, 52 per cent of airlines plan major AI programmes with 45 per cent of airports to invest in research and development in the next five years.

According to the communications and IT solution provider SITA, airlines are also looking to use technology to minimise the impact of disruption on the passenger experience and their businesses.

Over the next three years, 80 per cent of them plan to invest in major programmes or R&D into prediction and warning systems which rely heavily on AI, the report said.

“Airlines and airports are investing in AI and mobile programmes to make services even better for the passenger, supporting sales and providing customer support, particularly during times of disruption,” Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA, said in a statement.

“The industry is using a healthy mix of in-house and outsourced development which will combine expert and industry-specific knowledge with emerging approaches to tech offerings,” Peters added.

According to the report, chatbots is another technology that is catching the attention of the industry.

Today, 14 per cent of airlines and nine per cent of airports already use chatbots. By 2020, 68 per cent of airlines and 42 per cent of airports plan to adopt AI-driven chatbot services.

SITA’s report also shows that mobile app development is a top priority among airlines and airports.

“Over the next three years 94 per cent of airlines and 82 per cent of airports plan major mobile programmes. In fact, airlines expect sales via their mobile apps to double by 2020 and reach 17 per cent of their total sales,” the report added.

Streamlining services into one single app to deliver a seamless experience is a priority for almost every airline (94 per cent) and a high priority for more than half (58 per cent).

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