From MIT to Copenhagen: Pushing the boundaries of airline revenue management

Mike Wittman

Product Analyst, Amadeus

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When people envision a scientist, they often think of test tubes and beakers. But I’m a different kind of scientist. My test tubes and beakers are spreadsheets and data sets.

After five years as an airline researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I’m now a member of Amadeus’ revenue management research team in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I received my Ph.D. in Air Transportation Systems from MIT, where I researched a range of topics from revenue management (RM) and dynamic pricing to airport connectivity and aviation policy. During my Ph.D. candidacy, I had always been impressed by the innovative and forward-thinking research coming from Amadeus. In my field of revenue management, many of the scientific breakthroughs in the last decade were developed by Amadeus researchers, such as chief scientist Thomas Fiig. Now that I’m a part of the team, I work with my colleagues every day on developing new methodologies for RM forecasting and optimization.

We are constantly experimenting with new ways to help airlines boost revenues. For instance, our Amadeus Altéa Network Revenue Management solution is a powerful next-generation RM system that helps airlines maximize revenues across their entire networks while minimizing the risks of spiral-down. We are also working on exciting new solutions such as Amadeus Dynamic Pricing, which computes optimal prices in real time based on the context of each shopping session. Dynamic Pricing is just one part of Amadeus’s Total Offer Optimization vision to give airlines the power to create customized offers for travelers.

In any of these projects, the science is just one part of the puzzle. My job also involves communicating our findings internally and externally, staying on top of the latest advancements in the field, and making sure our research is compatible with the other technologies used by airlines today. We’re making great strides, and our customers are witnessing first-hand how our solutions can take their businesses to the next level.

Indeed, Amadeus is well positioned within the airline revenue management community. At the AGIFORS Revenue Management conference earlier this year in Hong Kong, Amadeus scientists won all three Best Presentation awards for our work on dynamic pricing, reinforcement learning, and call-back tickets. AGIFORS, the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies, is attended by specialists in the field and the prizes are awarded by votes from attendees, so we are very proud to have been recognized by our peers for our contributions.

Our journey in revenue management research is always evolving, and we are continuing to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence and machine learning to further improve revenue optimization. For more about our latest work and what we can offer airlines, visit our revenue management website.


Airline IT, Altea