Big data and ancillary services amongst key trends identified in Operations Research

Dongkyoung Choe

Research Engineer, Operational Research & Innovation, Amadeus IT Group

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The most interesting and relevant trends gathered from study groups held throughout the year are then taken to the final AGIFORS Symposium of the year. Attendees include representatives from airlines, air transport associations, universities, industrial research labs, consultants, IT providers and GDSs. Amadeus plays an active role in both the organisation and content of the AGIFORS Symposium.

airplane in the sky


Every year, AGIFORS (Airline Group of the International Federation of Operations Research Societies) organise various study groups where experts gather to discuss the trends and advancements in Airline Operations Research (OR). OR - a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to improve decision making - can be usefully applied to many aspects of the aviation industry. The four meetings focus on how OR can assist airlines with: Airline Operations, Crew Management, Schedule and Strategic Planning, Reservation and Yield Management.



Results of identifying trends

Undoubtedly, the trends identified during this gathering of OR specialists helped highlight the importance of making optimal use of the various data sources available to aviation players, including complex, heterogeneous and unstructured information. The key trends discussed included:

Big Data:

the aviation industry is investing heavily in building a Big Data infrastructure. Extensive data collection and management will help airlines optimise resources and improve decision-making. Sources include:

  • Shopping data: amalgamated from various sources, to help forecast and segment demand
  • Reservation Data: to make better and more regular use of customer information available in the PNR
  • Airport Data: to track passenger mobile phone movement in order to improve airport operations (e.g. identify bottlenecks, increase staff at security gates)

Ancillary Services: measuring the impact chargeable bags have on operational delays

Customer Segmentation: generating tailored availability and price responses to booking requests based on customer profiles Transaction Platforms:

exploring the use of high consuming availability tools, e.g. KLM Trip Planner

With comprehensive passenger and flight records held centrally, Amadeus is particularly well placed to help address the challenges faced byairlines, especially in providing relevant data for more collaborative decision-making.

We are delighted to report that Ümit Cholak, Director Revenue Management & Inventory Product Management, Amadeus IT Group, has been nominated as an AGIFORS distinguished member in recognition of his extensive contribution to the association over several years. Ümit points to the importance of the AGIFORS meetings, commenting "we look forward to attending further AGIFORS events in 2014" and added "they provide the opportunity for high level networking in which aviation and OR experts can review and debate the most pressing issues facing the global airline industry today."

What do you think of these trends? Tell us in the comment section below.


Open Source, Big Data