A wealth of data can be powerful, as long as that data delivers actionable insights. UK-based airline easyJet implemented artificial intelligence (AI) technology to make sense of its data and streamline areas of its business, such as stocking airplanes with the right amount of food. Alberto Rey Villaverde, easyJet’s head of data science, spoke to eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about why the airline turned to AI and the different ways the information AI provides is being used.
eMarketer: How has easyJet been using artificial intelligence?
Alberto Rey Villaverde: We’ve been using artificial intelligence for a few years. For the last year, we’ve been exploring new areas where these technologies could give us a boost. For example, we’ve been trying to be less wasteful with the food in our planes. The demand for a baked baguette depends on multiple parameters, such as weather, time of year and the types of customers that are flying. We wanted to know the optimal amount of product required to meet demand without waste, so we are using machine learning to optimize how we load planes.
eMarketer: Are there other ways that you’re experimenting with artificial intelligence?
Villaverde: We’re also using a recognition tool that looks at a passport, reads all the numbers from the document and fills out customer information at the airport without the customer having to type anything.
eMarketer: What made you start implementing artificial intelligence in your business?
Villaverde: Everything works around data. easyJet has a big set of operations, and we have been seeing that data grow for years.