530 Airlines and the Cloud: Creating Responsive Customer Service

Airlines use the cloud to provide responsive customer service. Also, Indigo Partners invests in Wow Air, micro-hotel rooms at the airport, Qantas retires some B747 aircraft, passengers chip in for aircraft repairs, Airbus A320 engine cowling door problems, and Piaggio Aerospace declares itself insolvent. Also, we have a history segment on the Grumman TBF Avenger.

Guest

IBM Global Industry Leader

Greg Land, IBM Global Industry Leader.

Greg Land is an IBM Global Industry Leader with responsibility for the Aviation, Hospitality, and Travel Related Services industry segment. That includes airlines, airports, hospitality, car rental, cruise lines, gaming and casino, GDS, and OTA/TMC/Tour Operators. Greg’s responsibilities include driving IBM’s strategy and point-of-view for the industry segment; accountability for total revenues and business development; work across all lines of business to support new contract signings for industry solutions, IBM’s growth initiatives, long-term services agreements and successful delivery of solutions and services across the segment.

Greg describes the digital transformation of the airline industry and how the cloud facilitates responsive customer service through electronic interaction with customers and employees. We talk about the reasons why airlines host their data externally, and how they achieve scale and stability of customer-facing systems.

IBM: airlines and the cloudService providers across the travel supply chain are now interacting more than ever before and IBM is embracing open source APIs for multi-cloud applications. Greg talks about cybersecurity considerations, the implications of GDPR for the industry, and how the future increase in the number and types of connected devices creates vast volumes of airline data.

Prior to joining IBM, Greg held leadership roles with American Airlines, Sabre, Wyndham Hotel Group, and Radius Global Travel Management. All that spanning a 23-year travel industry career. Greg has participated and held leadership positions with a number of travel industry associations, and he served as the Chairman for the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow, participated on the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Council; and has been a member of Hospitality Financial & Technical Professionals (HFTP), Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Meeting Planners International (MPI), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), The Sales Executive Council and The Travel Institute.

Greg currently represents IBM on the Open Travel Alliance Board, and the World Travel & Tourism Council. He also serves on the Thought Leadership Committee for Global Hotel Network, and is a member of the IBM Industry Academy.

See the IBM Travel and Transportation site for more information, and drill down to the Airlines industry segment to learn more about airlines and the cloud. Follow Greg on Twitter at @gregland24.

Aviation News

US Discount Airline Mogul Steps In to Back Iceland’s Wow Air

Despite previous reports that Icelandair was bidding for Iceland’s Wow, the airline has backed off. Instead, U.S. private-equity firm Indigo Partners is investing in Wow, which is facing significant financial difficulty. Indigo owns Frontier Airlines and they have holdings in Mexico’s Volaris, Wizz Air, and Chile’s JetSmart. In 2017, Indigo agreed to buy 430 Airbus aircraft valued at $50 billion.

Sleepbox micro-hotel set open at Washington Dulles International Airport

Ever wanted someplace to sleep for a few hours at the airport that was more comfortable than the seats in the boarding area? You’ll have that option soon on Concourse A of Dulles International Airport at the Sleepbox Nap Lounge. Sixteen small, stand-alone sound-proofed rooms (with no bathrooms or showers) can be rented via the Sleepbox website or app. The 8-foot-tall rooms come in 30 square foot and 45 square foot sizes.

Minute Suites also rents small rooms for sleeping or working at airports in Dallas, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta.

Qantas Flies Final Boeing 747 Service from Los Angeles

The last Qantas 747 to depart Los Angeles International Airport for Brisbane marks the end of an era. Qantas will exclusively fly the Boeing 787-9 aircraft to Los Angeles from Brisbane, fly the 787-9 and A380 on flights to Melbourne, and fly its A380 from Sydney.

Some recent military aircraft retirements:

Farewell to the CH-124 Sea King – Canadian Forces fleet has flown more than 550,000 hours

Adelaide to farewell Orions after 50 years of rescues, military operations and searches

Airline Asks Passengers to Chip in Money for Plane’s Repairs During Delay on the Runway

A LOT Polish Airlines flight in Beijing needed a new pump to fly to Warsaw. Apparently, without sufficient cash on hand, the crew asked passengers to contribute funds to pay for the repair so the flight could continue.

Frontier flight bound for Tampa forced to return to Las Vegas airport after engine cover rips off

On November 30, 2017, the number two engine cowling on Frontier Flight 9260 from Las Vegas to Tampa let go. The CFM56 engine on the A320 continued to operate and the plane returned to McCarran International Airport with no injuries.

In ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218815, Aviation Safety Network says, “This incident is one in over 40 fan cowl loss events involving Airbus A320-family aircraft since 1992.” More about the history of this problem in Timeline of occurrences and regulatory actions on Airbus A320-family engine fan cowl door loss incidents.

Video from the University of Limerick: The Airbus A320 family engine access doors case – UL Talk – Kyriakos Kourousis

One of the World’s Oldest Aviation Companies Is Forced to Declare Bankruptcy

Piaggio Aerospace, the maker of arguably the most beautiful airplanes, has declared itself insolvent and is entering “special administration,” effectively what we call bankruptcy in the US.

Video: Flying at Jet Speeds in Italian Style with the Piaggio P.180 Avanti Evo Turboprop – AINtv

History Segment

David tells us about the Grumman TBF Avenger.

Grumman TBF Avenger, by David Vanderhoof.

Grumman TBF Avenger, by David Vanderhoof.

Mentioned

Aviation News Talk podcast, 87 Night IFR Electrical Failure: ATC and a Cell Phone Save a Doctor – Interview with Controller Phil Enis

The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada.

Airline safety: Pilot falling asleep over Tasmania reveals problem of cockpit fatigue

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from Around the World.

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