British Airways is adopting artificial intelligence in a move to enhance its flight operations. This step comes as a response to several operational issues faced by the UK-based airline in recent years. Utilizing AI, the airline aims to automate key aspects of its business, particularly in maintaining its expansive fleet of over 250 aircraft, according o the Financial Times.
BA will use an AI-powered tool designed to predict potential aircraft faults. This predictive capability enables the airline to conduct maintenance proactively, preventing issues from escalating into critical problems that could affect flight schedules and passenger experience. Such an approach marks a shift from the traditional reactive maintenance model to a more efficient, preemptive strategy.
British Airways has faced several operational challenges, including an IT failure in 2017 that severely impacted its reputation. This incident led to disruptions during a busy holiday period, stranding thousands of passengers. BA’s management has acknowledged the airline’s dependence on outdated technologies, including legacy IT systems and paper-based records for flight defect logging.
The airline’s move to digitize and incorporate machine learning is part of a broader trend in the aviation industry. Boeing has implemented diagnostic tools for maintenance efficiency, while airlines like easyJet have utilized AI in various domains, ranging from customer service to optimizing flight routes. In the past, BA had experimented with AI to enhance aircraft turnaround times, employing cameras across Heathrow Airport’s airfield to identify potential issues.