British Airways has initiated the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure the timely departure of flights at Heathrow Terminal 5.

This is part of the airlines’ £6.5bn investment plan to improve the customer experience.

When passengers disembark an aircraft, the airline staff are required to carry out manual checks and record the details of 18 different activities such as aircraft interior cleaning and the unloading and reloading of catering before the next journey.

In the case of an issue, the entire process may be stopped, leading to delays on the next flight’s departure.

British Airways has partnered with start-up Assaia to install a network of cameras around the aircraft stand.

For the first phase of the trial, four cameras have been deployed on three stands.

The technology uses advanced neural networks or AI to compare proposed schedules with live footage of the process.

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In case of any issues that could cause delays, the manager is alerted via a smartwatch so that appropriate action can be taken.

As well as decreasing instances of delays, the airline intends to use the data for boosting the efficiency of fleet operations.

British Airways airports director Raghbir Pattar said: “British Airways operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow. We run a highly complex operation so efficient turnarounds are critical to ensure all 145,000 customers travelling through our home hub every day enjoy a punctual departure.

“Artificial intelligence is a rapidly evolving area of technology and I’m thrilled that we’re the first airline in the world to harness it to further improve our customers’ journeys through the airport.”