How predictive analytics will transform airline demand forecasting

Campbell Brown

CEO, PredictHQ

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The Olympics. Christmas. A solar eclipse. Some events are easy to identify and prepare for months or even years ahead of time. But others, like say, the Air Guitar Championships, are easy to miss. In fact, there are thousands of high-impact events for airlines every month and many more clusters of smaller events that can cumulatively create significant impact on demand.

For example, in the US alone, there are more than 20,000 professional conferences and expos that can attract up to 30,000 people per year. Many of these change location each time, which means relying on historical data alone leads to revenue analysts preparing for a demand spike that won’t repeat, while missing the new spike in another city or country.

For airlines, knowing what’s happening, when, and where, is a critical part of their business. You can’t prepare for what you don’t see coming. 

For example in October, there are many more events than Oktoberfest to be factoring into aviation forecasts such as:

  • World Dairy Expo in Madison USA - 65,000 attendees, 32% flying in
  • Motek in Stuttgart, Germany - 35,000 attendees, 34% flying in
  • Canton Fair in Guangzhou Shi, China - 204,000 attendees, with 33% flying in

The better airlines can understand catalysts of demand, the better they can scale up supply to meet peaks. They can be proactive rather than reactive, increasing operational efficiency, and adjusting fare prices so travellers can benefit from increased choice and capacity. 

That’s where we come in. 

At PredictHQ we create powerful demand intelligence so businesses, such as airlines, can reliably predict and adapt to real-world events so they never miss an opportunity. Here’s how we do it:

How demand intelligence technology works

Our demand intelligence enables predictive analytics so you can know exactly when and why a demand spike is happening, as well as how it might be relevant to your business. 

We simplify demand forecasting by finding and verifying millions of significant events for companies. We do this by aggregating data from hundreds of sources to identify and then verify local, national and international events, that are both scheduled and unscheduled in thousands of locations. This gives companies the ability to include key events in their forecasting so they can plan accordingly months in advance.

Our demand intelligence technology, used by companies such as Uber and Booking.com. It saves revenue managers many hours each month that they would otherwise spend searching for events – inevitably missing some - and entering that data manually into spreadsheets.

Companies can then use that intelligence for planning, pricing and marketing. For example, Booking.com uses our data to increase both yield and sell-through. Fortunately, this technology can now be adopted by airlines.

In September, after working closely with Amadeus and two airlines, we launched Aviation Rank™, our first industry customized system which identifies the impact of real-world events on flight bookings. Aviation Rank powers event monitoring in the Amadeus Altéa dashboard.

With PredictHQ’s Aviation Rank, airlines benefit from a unique in-market picture of potential demand versus current supply. This allows analyst to be extra efficient by collecting much more relevant information, in just one click, to assess the impact of relevant events. We estimate that each analyst will save around 100 hours per year thanks to event monitoring with Aviation Rank.

Predictive analytics in action

Airlines are large and complex businesses that have established processes, so we wanted to make sure that our technology was seamlessly integrated into their wider planning suite. 

With the help of Amadeus, and its airline customers SAS and airBaltic, we spent some four months testing PredictHQ to ensure it was ready for market. These tests helped us identify potential integration models and best practices while allowing us to better tailor our data results for airline needs. 

By taking this ‘integration designed by airlines’ approach we were able to design the user experience specifically for airline-specific requirements. Altéa Event Monitoring gives airlines access to some Aviation Rank insights. Several airlines have also customized access to the full power of Aviation Rank with a PredictHQ Data License.

What does the future hold?

As airlines aim to offer increasingly personalised services to customers, predictive technology will help improve the airlines’ offer through better revenue management, merchandising, customer experience management, network planning and more. And we’re only at the beginning. It’s an exciting time to be in aviation. 


Airline IT, Big Data, Guest Post, Altea