The future of the travel and tourism industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with artificial intelligence (AI) being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on airline companies.  

AI refers to software-based systems that use data inputs to make decisions on their own. It includes an array of technologies and subsets. Within travel and tourism, there is steady adoption of AI-based solutions recognisable across the whole supply chain. From digital assistants to human-less check-in and facial recognition, AI is facilitating smarter and more efficient customer engagement. Beyond servicing the customer, AI can also be utilised for better and more informed contingency management, helping companies make effective decisions. 

AI also demonstrates the multitude of ways that it has helped industries across travel and tourism generally improve the traveller experience. The term ‘personalisation’ has long been circulating in the travel sector as companies, operators and tourism boards aim to offer the ultimate experience for individuals. Any technology that can help achieve this goal will prove beneficial and heighten the guest experience and AI can be considered critical in reaching this goal. 

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However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.   

According to GlobalData’s thematic research report, Artificial Intelligence in Travel and Tourism, leading adopters include: British Airways, Delta Airlines, Qantas Airways, and easyJet

Insights from top ranked companies  

Delta Air Lines 

Delta Air Lines is a global airline leader in the US and continuously innovates its products and services to heighten reliability and customer experience. Powered by 80,000 workers worldwide, the company services nearly 200 million passengers per year and operates across 300 destinations in over 50 countries. Over the past few years, Delta Air Lines has ‘upped its game’ in vast digital and technological developments from introducing the first end-to-end biometric terminal at Atlanta’s international airport (US) to developing its own AI-driven platform to predict potentially challenging situations. All its efforts have been recognised as it has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies Worldwide for two consecutive years – and AI investment alongside other data-driven technologies will likely be a critical element in the awarded status of this airline. 

Qantas Airways 

Qantas Airways is the flag carrier of Australia and services more than 50 domestic destinations including 27 international and offers more than 200 additional destinations with its codeshare partners. As the third oldest airline in the world, innovation has been a pivotal part of Qantas Airways’ corporate strategy and overall vision. Over the past few years, management has been searching for ways to effectively incorporate AI and ML into different areas of the business to manage flight disruptions and more effectively improve its digital operations. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the travel and tourism industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Travel and Tourism

  • Southwest Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • ANA
  • United Airlines Holdings
  • IndiGo
  • IAG
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • LATAM Airlines
  • American Airlines Group
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Air China

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article. 

GlobalData’s Thematic Scorecard ranks companies within a sector based on their overall leadership in the 10 themes that matter most to their industry, generating a leading indicator of their future earnings and relative position within key strategic areas.