Airbus leverages big data for digital services platform

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus has launched a digital services platform it says will enable airlines to fly more efficiently by crunching data to help them with maintenance, reduce fuel burn and optimize routes.

The platform is powered by Silicon Valley firm Palantir and Airbus has been working with airlines such as AirAsia, Peach, easyJet and Emirates to show the benefits of the data crunching.

“It’s bringing together these data platforms with the knowledge of our engineers,” Airbus chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier said at the Paris Airshow on Tuesday.

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia, said the Airbus platform allowed the airline to increase the amount of data it can collect and analyze.

“We have about 400 sensors on our aircraft, with the kit from Airbus we will go to 24,000 sensors, which means we can analyse so much than ever before,” he said, adding data could be used to improve turnaround times, training, safety as well in promotional applications.

The data can also be used to provide more predictive maintenance, allowing airlines to swap out parts before they fail and thus reducing time on the ground.

“It will enable us to increase reliability and improve productivity, which are keys for success in the low cost business,” Shinichi Inoue, CEO of Japanese low cost carrier Peach Aviation, said.

Marc Fontaine, digital transformation officer at Airbus, said the company wanted to extend the platform across the group, such as to military aircraft, its space business, and helicopters.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter)

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