The Data Era is Taking Off

data and analytics

Like many other industries, aviation has identified data science, AI, machine learning and predictive analytics as practices and technologies that can help it become more efficient and profitable. This is not news. Aviation industry experts have been saying it for years. 


The main reason that the aviation industry yearns for innovation is its constant struggle to create wide revenue margins. Aircrafts are expensive to purchase and maintain, and oil prices are affecting jet fuel prices. Labor costs also play a major factor, and so are flight delays, which are very frequent and are incredibly costly to airlines. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines and other aviation industry businesses managed to thrive due to great customer demand. But the pandemic changed everything.


No one really saw COVID-19 coming, and that includes the aviation industry, which, along with the tourism industry, took a huge hit in 2020 and 2021. According to an article by IATA’s Airlines Magazine, the aviation industry’s net losses for 2020 are estimated at 137.7 billion dollars. And while 2021 losses have been reduced to 51.8 billion dollars, the industry is still shaken up by these huge financial setbacks. In addition, more uncertainty follows in 2022, as Coronavirus variants continue to spread. 


Airlines and airports are now facing an entirely new world. As they continue to adapt to new health, safety and operational regulations brought on by the pandemic – as well as dynamic consumer trends and governmental restrictions – they must introduce new technologies and practices that can help usher in a new era for aviation. 


How can Data Science and Analytics Advance the Aviation Industry?

Leveraging real-time data from multiple sources can go a long way in creating an ecosystem that is better positioned to serve its customers, enhance employee efficiency and tackle major challenges. Yet despite the fact that airlines and airports have implemented data science practices and AI technologies to improve a variety of measures, there is still a long way to go. In fact, one can say that in 2022, two years after the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the advanced data era is still waiting for actual takeoff. 


There are virtually hundreds of ways in which data analysis and prediction can propel the aviation industry to new heights. Here are several key parameters:

  • On-time performance: Flight delays are one of airlines’ worst enemies, but when they occur, it is for a good reason (weather, passenger safety, etc.). Some delays are completely unexpected and unavoidable. That said, by analyzing a wide range of key data parameters, airlines can better understand the causes for delays, and can prepare themselves to avoid certain flight delays ahead of time.
  • Customer experiences: There are countless ways in which real-time data analysis can improve customer experiences in airports and on planes. From customized consumer offerings to shorter wait times, the possibilities are limitless. 
  • Airport services: Airport service is an important facet of aviation industry efficiency. Data science can make many services more efficient, from baggage handling and gate operation to shuttle and taxi services. 
  • Employee efficiency and welfare: Airports are vast networks that are run by dedicated employees from a variety of professions. AI and predictive analytics can help airports utilize their manpower in ideal fashion, and aid employees in becoming more effective at their respective positions. Data analysis can also detect and fix faults that endanger employee safety. 

AI Prediction for Aviation: The IntellAct Case Study


At Cockpit Innovation, we are always looking to identify companies and technologies that can advance the aviation industry. Understanding the need for better AI and data science capabilities for aviation cost and operation-efficiency, we realized that some of these technologies are maturing in front of our very eyes, and can already be found in various stages of development and production. 


We were introduced to IntellAct and its product at its earliest stages of development. IntellAct’s founders aimed to create an AI-based solution that could utilize data to make airport ground handling and turnaround services quicker, more efficient and more cost-effective.

After realizing IntellAct’s immense potential, we signed on as investors.


What IntellAct can do is truly groundbreaking, and we feel it has the potential to become an integral part of the future of aviation. By using CCTV and other existing infrastructures, IntellAct automatically detects a wide range of ground and turnaround services in real-time, in order to resolve service bottlenecks and minimize delays. By automatically subjecting vast amounts of video-based data to real-time machine learning, IntellAct optimizes gate services, ramp services and jet bridge services – and creates improved operational scenarios for airlines, airports, and all relevant personnel. 


As investors, we provided IntellAct with guidance from the pre-seed stage, and gave the team access to the ELAL Airlines premises so that they could perform valuable system testing and evaluation. Today, the IntellAct system has already proving to be useful for clients, and is on its way to making waves in the industry. 


The Bottom Line

Innovative and systemic solutions like IntellAct are just what the aviation industry needs. Solutions like IntellAct combine smart technology, out-of-the-box thinking, relatively simple implementation on existing platforms, and flexible volume usage-based pricing. But most importantly, IntellAct has a clear definition of the problem it aims to solve, and an acute understanding of what its success can mean for airlines and airports. 


IntellAct is just one example. There are more AI-based solutions for aviation out there, and many of them are very promising. The sooner they are implemented in our industry, the easier it will be for everyone to take off to a better future. 



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