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EasyJet Enhances Hub with AI for Record Summer

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 28, 2024
EasyJet Enhances Hub with AI for Record Summer

EasyJet Enhances Hub with AI for Record Summer

As the summer travel season approaches, EasyJet has unveiled its new Integrated Control Centre (ICC) situated near Luton Airport, just north of London. This state-of-the-art facility is equipped with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and is set to manage around 2,000 daily flights across Europe, highlighting the airline’s readiness for an expected surge in passenger traffic.

The ICC represents a central hub for EasyJet’s operations, playing a crucial role in everything from making urgent flight adjustments to real-time health monitoring of aircraft. The facility’s innovative features include real-time engine analysis and even the capability to remotely diagnose and schedule repairs for on-board equipment, such as malfunctioning toilets.

Key Features of the ICC:

  • Real-time Aircraft Monitoring: Technicians can analyze engine conditions and other critical aircraft systems live.
  • Operational Flexibility: The center handles urgent changes such as rerouting flights or reassigning crew due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • AI Integration: Utilizing AI tools similar to ChatGPT, EasyJet staff can make informed decisions quickly, enhancing efficiency and safety.

The ICC is not just a testament to technological advancement but also a beacon of growth and recovery for EasyJet. Following the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which grounded planes and led to significant job losses in the aviation sector, the airline has initiated a substantial recruitment drive. The staff count at the control center has more than doubled in the past two years, now boasting 266 dedicated personnel. These employees work tirelessly across multiple shifts, their attention fixed on large, curved screens that provide a comprehensive view of global operations.

Recruitment and Recovery:

  • Staff Increase: From pre-pandemic levels, the staff overseeing control center operations has increased to 266.
  • Continuous Operation: The center operates 24/7, ensuring all time zones and flights are adequately managed.

Gill Baudot, EasyJet’s Director of Network Control, shared insights with journalists during a tour of the ICC, which offers a panoramic view of the runway used by the airline’s distinctively orange fleet. “It’s going to be our busiest summer since Covid,” Baudot stated. She anticipates that the airline will serve around 300,000 passengers daily over the coming months.

The control center’s AI tools play a pivotal role in optimizing flight logistics, especially when unexpected challenges arise, such as adverse weather conditions, technical issues, or strikes. These tools assist in decisions like rerouting aircraft or reassigning crew, ensuring minimal disruption to passengers.

Daily Operations at the ICC
Flight MonitoringReal-time checks on aircraft health and system performance.
Decision Support with AIAI tools aid in logistical decisions under urgent conditions.
Passenger CommunicationAutomated notifications to passengers about flight changes.

Mark Garrett, who handles customer disruptions at EasyJet, emphasized the operational focus on passenger convenience and safety. Notifications of flight changes are promptly sent to the mobile phones of affected passengers, with particular attention given to flights carrying large groups or children.

Under the leadership of Johan Lundgren, EasyJet’s CEO, the airline has navigated through the pandemic’s challenges by leveraging data to enhance customer experiences and operational efficiency. Lundgren, who plans to step down at the beginning of 2025 after a seven-year tenure, highlighted the unseen yet significant impact of technology at EasyJet.

“Technology is already hard at work in the air and on the ground,” Lundgren remarked. He outlined the various ways in which data and AI contribute to the airline’s operations, from predicting the precise amount of food and drink needed on specific routes—thus minimizing waste—to aiding in maintenance decisions and ensuring that the right aircraft are deployed on the right routes to meet passenger demand.

As EasyJet gears up for a record-breaking summer, its investment in the ICC and AI technology places it at the forefront of the aviation industry’s recovery and growth. The airline continues to enhance its operational capabilities to ensure that it can meet the high expectations of its passengers and maintain its competitive edge in the increasingly busy skies of Europe.

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Featured Image courtesy of Tech Times

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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