By Fiona Villamor on November, 15 2016

How IoT, Big Data, and Analytics give wings to the aviation industry

IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and analytics have played a major role in the efforts to make aviation more efficient and improve passenger experience.

The aviation industry is one of the earliest adopters of data science, with mounts of data in their systems. Over the years, this industry has been making large investments to mine data and explore opportunities to improve operational efficiency and boost customer loyalty.

Some benefits or efficiencies that are brought to this sector by IoT and big data analytics are as follows (but not limited to):

  • Reduce queues by tracking passenger movements through their smartphones and sensors from the car park to the terminals.
  • Get real-time information on the performance of engines with the help of sensors installed to detect the likelihood of a failure and ensure best practices are followed to continuously improve maintenance procedures and ensure maximum safety for passengers.
  • Wi-Fi-enabled airports can offer a localized app which can give helpful information such as gate details, shopping centers, dining areas, etc.
  • Track weather and wind patterns in-flight in real-time to optimize flight path if needed and also reduce fuel-consumption.
  • Proactively reduce flight delays by analyzing data from different flight paths tracked over time to expand their search for shorter routes around the globe—cutting costs on fuel consumption.
  • Predictive analytics may also help identify whether aircraft parts or the engine require maintenance or replacement. By predicting the likelihood of equipment failure, analytics can help airlines be more proactive and set best practices to continuously improve their maintenance procedures and ensure maximum safety to its passengers.

Considering the complexities around the logistics of running an airline and the tough competition, the ones that exploit sophisticated analytical tools are the ones who would ultimately enjoy a competitive edge over the rest.

Related: 5 ways to turn your hotel into a smart hotel with IoT Analytics


IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and analytics have played a major role in the efforts to make aviation more efficient and improve the passenger experience.


Creating happier passengers

Self-serve kiosks are now a common sight at every airport around the world. Airline companies are already taking passengers’ self-serve experience to the next level by letting them print their own baggage tags along with their boarding passes when they check in online.

But imagine if an airline app would push alerts to passengers about traffic conditions prior to their flight and recommend an ideal time when they should head out to the airport—an extraordinary insight that allow passengers to never miss a flight.

This would be the perfect pre-flight experience that would delight the passenger. This will also help passengers skip an additional hurdle and directly head to the baggage-drop counters at the airport and have a hassle-free travel experience and journey.

Flight cancellations, delays, and the subsequent expenditure on re-arrangements can result in millions of dollars in losses and concerned customers. In such a scenario, a re-accommodation system that would alert a passenger in case of a flight delay or cancellation will be a win-win solution for both the airline company and the passengers.

Other services like ‘In-Flight recommender systems’ that recommend frequent-flyers their preferred refreshments—based on historical data—will give the passengers a top-notch experience and also help airline companies boost ancillary sales.

To provide the passengers with such exceptional travel experience, airline companies must tame big data. By upgrading their capabilities involving customer information analytics, streamlining processes, and aligning objectives, airlines will be able to fly more satisfied customers, enjoy greater operational efficiency. and therefore deliver sustainable profitability.

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The power of Predictive Analytics: Improved operational efficiencies

One area where predictive analytics can be of big significance is the pricing of flight tickets. Categorizing air tickets into different segments can lead to a better understanding of the demand-supply matrix. Airlines can dynamically change their pricing to ensure all tickets are sold across different classes, rather than having an empty flight due to conventional pricing.

Besides improving in-flight operations, big data has also played an important role in the on-ground operations in the airline industry.

Big data has helped in analyzing passenger movements—right from the time they arrive at the airport until they depart—to avoid possible bottlenecks at the security check, immigration counter, or even at the baggage counter.

This helps forecast passenger flows to the identified critical bottlenecks. Based on this forecast, airlines can efficiently do capacity management to help minimize long queues, which in turn provides a more pleasant travel experience for the customers.

Extensive use of an IoT platform and technologies in the future will help the aviation industry evolve as everything will be completely monitored and orchestrated by sensors, thus improving their operational efficiency and giving passengers a legendary experience.



Fiona Villamor

Fiona Villamor is the lead writer for Ducen IT, a trusted technology solutions provider. In the past 8 years, she has written about big data, advanced analytics, and other transformative technologies and is constantly on the lookout for great stories to tell about the space.