Turning airline operations into a competitive advantage
The operating environment for airlines is more complex today than ever. Airlines need to continually make tradeoffs that affect flights, crew, ground staff, customer experience, and profitability. Unfortunately, these tradeoffs are often based on incomplete information, short-term and narrow considerations, with operational front-line staff unable to have fully accurate information and predict the downstream impact of each decision on the rest of the system.
The solution? A holistic, integrated approach to airline operations management with next-generation digital tools and technology infrastructure. Through this approach, front-line operations staff can see the full picture and make informed, data-driven decisions with a clear sense of how that will play out across the network.
Several years ago, KLM partnered with BCG to develop a full, AI-based suite of tools to improve airline operations management that cover:
How we’re different
We combine the best expertise in airline operations management—operations executives at KLM, airline experts at BCG, and data scientists and software engineers at BCG X. That complementary expertise enabled us to build a best-in-class solution that comes with adoption and a business transformation. Front-line operations teams now get AI-based solutions that provide full transparency—in real time—about the impact of every decision that gets made.
Our solutions allow users to balance operational performance, customer experience, efficiency, and employee engagement to support the airline in reaching its strategic objectives. We constantly measure real-time performance and offer decision support around a single source of truth in data, creating transparency on cost curves throughout the organization. AI-based solutions can typically recommend decisions in uncertain environments, giving the ability to re-simulate, re-optimize and balance aircraft, network, and resource planning.
A single source of truth providing transparency and granular data to the entire airline.
AI overlays that synthesize information down to clear insights.
Simulations and scenario-planning to model the impact of decisions and future disruptions.
Decision support that enables front-line staff to make the right decision for the entire organization, not just one business unit.
Client success stories
Having implemented these tools at many airlines, we have proven our ability to meet the needs of our customers—no matter what their context. Whether you’re looking for quick access to a single standardized tool to solve a localized use case, or a full airline digital transformation, we can deliver value and impact quickly, ensuring you fund the journey as you go, not at the end.
We know this because KLM isn’t just a key provider in this partnership- they co-developed the tools with us. We have firsthand experience implementing these solutions to directly improve our own operations, from boosting airline operational efficiency to enhancing airline disruption management. In doing so, we’ve reduced non-performance costs by 20%–30% and delivered a strong ROI on the initiative. Staff at the Operations Control Center, and other operational and network departments, are performing with new levels of engagement, confidence, and satisfaction.
The COO of a major global airline, now a client, toured the KLM Operations Control Center and said this: “We have talked about this for years, but you just rolled up your sleeves and did it.”
Our approach and tools have delivered value and impact at several other airlines, with multiple references available.
“Within the KLM group, we were able to deliver a network schedule optimized for margin. With our simulation and optimization tools, we were able to simulate a wide range of scenarios to help us constantly redesign the network in the fastest way possible. Balancing demand expectations and operational feasibility -including airport station status (open/closed) and aircraft availability (park/unpark)—we significantly optimized the schedule for profit.”
— KLM Group
“We were able to use ALIGN—our simulation and ground resource planning tool—to quickly determine the optimal amount of airport concourses and gates to keep open in collaboration with Schiphol airport.”
— Ground Planning
“ALIGN helped us simulate the impact of increased minimum ground times due to COVID procedures for passengers and find the right balance between operational performance and how many aircraft to unpark to maximize profitability.”
— Network Scheduling
“Within weeks, our tail allocation tool Pathfinder was repurposed and adapted for optimized fleet type allocation based on latest demand, operational constraints, and cost.”
— Operations Control Center (OCC)