Australian flag carrier airline Qantas is supported by cloud computing, AI, and data to overcome the hardship of dealing with flight delays and other service problems.
Airlines, especially the big ones, run on data. From bookings (and overbookings) to daily flight schedules, from crewing of the aircraft to fuelling and MRO, everything in the field requires a huge amount of calculation and optimization.
A fraction of a percent counts
Qantas CIO Susan Doniz told that around 70% of airline’s applications are running on cloud. She informed that the company is also looking for utilizing artificial intelligence across its systems to better manage resources in a better way in this time-constrained sector. To add to this already hard business aspects there are also problems occur every day:
A plane has issues that require it to be taken out to the repair shop or another flight delays due to heavy traffic of unexpected weather conditions; which creates an avalanche of delays throughout the normal flow of people, cargo, and generally regular flow of business. Even if unexpected issues are expected to happen, Qantas can provide a resolution and restructure of business flow to mend the situation in mere minutes instead of hours.
Still, the rest is hard to put on the cloud
As a prominent flag carrier with long flights due to hub locations, time and fuel managements are of the essence in Qantas. Load factor, distance, weather, fuel pricing at different locations, and seasonal traveler amounts all taken into consideration to manage the whole operation. For a company with a fuel bill of around 2.18 billion USD, even a fraction of a percent is a huge amount for cost-saving purposes, let alone a few percent.
Even if the rest of the 30% of Qantas’ applications are hard to put on the cloud company says that with the power from the cloud, they can run a 10-year study in a mere nine hours. Qantas CTO Rob James says;
We basically spin up approximately four thousand CPUs, run the analysis, and then spin it right down to nothing. It’s the promise of cloud, something we would not have previously done in a traditional data center.