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AI not a priority for Africa’s commercial airlines industry

AI not a priority for Africa’s commercial airlines industry

Flight booking and reservation systems have not been adapted to embrace technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), but this is about to change.

So claims Meir Hadassi Turner, CEO of Israeli multinational AeroCRS, an airline customer reservation system.

Turner was speaking on the sidelines of a press briefing focused on a partnership between AeroCRS and Kenya-based payment solution company DirectPay Online.

AeroCRS has had presence in the Kenya market for the past twelve years.

The partnership has been established to facilitate digital payments, including mobile money transactions, for clients on the AeroCRS platform.

Turner said there was a lack of AI technology implementation within the industry, which is in line with the findings of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 2018 report focused on the future of the airline industry.

An excerpt from the report reads: "The airline industry appears to react to new technology rather than lead the way. Disruption to existing airline models may come from energy breakthroughs, alternative modes of transport, big data and data transparency, new manufacturing tools, and quantum computing."

It added that apart from the cost of integrating new technology in aviation, the data management requirements of various regions is a major challenge to introducing new customer management solutions.

Turner said although the company does not currently use AI in its systems, it is experimenting with the technology in revenue management.

AreoCRS is also looking to work with AI-focused start-ups to introduce new technology by leveraging CockPit Innovation, a fund established to support the aviation industry.

The company also announced its partnership with Kiwi.com to offer virtual interline for smaller airlines and this will enable smaller carriers to work with bigger international airlines and facilitate end-to-end booking services.

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