KLM-Boston Consulting Group partnership to support Virgin Atlantic in digitising of operations

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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), known together as the KLM-BCG partnership in digital airline operations, have been appointed by Virgin Atlantic Airways to support the airline with optimising and digitising its operations worldwide.

The KLM-BCG partnership, based on their shared vision of driving integrated decision making in airline operations, has developed, implemented, and marketed a suite of state-of-the-art Operations Decision Support (ODS) tools based on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced optimisation techniques. These tools will maximise operational performance for Virgin Atlantic by assisting both on the day of operations and in the planning phase. To minimise the number of disrupted passengers (e.g. limiting the number of missed connections) these tools will suggest how to manage last-minute events such as bad weather by combining data on the available fleet, passenger travel plans, maintenance schedules, crew schedules, and gate availability. Additionally, these tools will assist in creating a flight schedule that is designed to minimise delays by predicting where disruptions in the network are most likely to occur.

An in-house ODS team, consisting of business partners, data scientists, and software engineers will be set up at Virgin Atlantic. This team will be responsible for the continuous improvement of the tools in the long run as well as the development of new tools and use cases. They will act as a liaison with other key stakeholders in the operation such as crew, maintenance, and ground, to ensure the optimal cross-functional trade-offs are made.

“We are very excited to customise our tools to reflect Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul network and its industry-leading customer experience. In addition we look forward to helping attract, train and onboard the digital talents that will further develop and expand our solutions once implemented.”

“Adding Virgin Atlantic as our customer is another step towards our mission to establish KLM-BCG as the global leader in digital airline operations, enabling ambitious airlines to achieve their operational targets.”

Sander Stomph, VP Operations Decision Support at KLM and Dirk-Maarten Molenaar, Managing Director and Partner at BCG

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Virgin Atlantic’s operations team. We are delighted to be partnering with KLM-BCG, to ensure that our customers enjoy their journey as smoothly as possible. Through KLM-BCG’s platform, our team can deliver leading operational performance based on faster, smarter decisions, supporting our journey to becoming the most loved travel company.”

“A new Operations Decisions Support team will ensure that we put our customers first every time during operational disruptions by leveraging complex operational data and creating numerous flight scenarios.”

Phil Maher, COO of Virgin Atlantic Airways
Amstelveen, 27 February 2020

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