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AirAsia embraces big data analytics
AirAsia's first A320neo. © Airbus

AirAsia embraces big data analytics

AirAsia has announced agreements to adopt digital solutions offered by Airbus and GE across its entire A320 and A330 fleet.

AirAsia has confirmed that its existing and future A320 and A330 fleet will be powered by Airbus’ Skywise Predictive Maintenance services under a five-year contract. The group has also signed a four-year agreement for GE to provide the electronic Flight Operations Quality Assurance (eFOQA) and the FlightPulse pilot application for the AirAsia fleet and its 4,000 pilots.

As part of the Airbus contract, AirAsia’s entire fleet will be equipped with FOMAX – a new on-board data-capture / transmission module, which is a key enabling component of Skywise Predictive Maintenance services. FOMAX, co-developed with Rockwell Collins, is an onboard connectivity solution which enables airlines to collect aircraft maintenance and performance data and automatically transmit it to ground-based operations in near-real time.

Skywise Core

In addition to this new premium predictive maintenance service, AirAsia continues to benefit from Skywise Core – a cloud-based environment that offers unparalleled visibility into its fleet operations. Airbus launched the Skywise platform in collaboration with Palantir Technologies – pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics – during the Paris Air Show in June 2017.

Airbus indicates that AirAsia is one of the first carriers, along with Asiana Airlines and Etihad Airways, to use full aircraft data and advanced predictive analytics on the Skywise platform, with each signing a premium subscription contract covering Skywise Predictive Maintenance. FOMAX will be installed on all those carriers' A320 and A330 fleets.

The three airlines will also gain access to Skywise Core, providing them with a cloud-based platform offering unparalleled visibility into their fleet operations. Airlines using Skywise Core can integrate their own operational, maintenance, and aircraft data into the Skywise cloud, so they can store, access, manage, and analyse selected Airbus data together with their own data and global benchmarks without the need for additional infrastructure investments.

For airlines who have not yet selected the premium predictive services, Airbus offers Skywise Core under a “shared value” arrangement: airlines that agree to share operating data from their Airbus fleet can access the platform at no cost. Airbus has recently signed several agreements with airlines around the world to join Skywise Core, including: Bangkok Airways, LATAM and WOW air. These latest subscribers bring the total number of airlines currently connected to the Skywise Core platform to nine – including previously announced Peach Aviation, easyJet and Emirates.

FlightPulse

Under the agreement with GE, “FlightPulse” and “eFOQA” solutions are being implemented into AirAsia’s operations in 2018.

GE’s FOQA analytics service is an online solution for airline flight data monitoring/FOQA programmes. The eFOQA solution is designed to provides speed, accuracy and scalability. The core offering, GE explains, provides data ingestion, processing analytics, and has options for expanded data sources, analytics editing, and data exporting/integration with systems. The connectivity suite allows deeper integration of flight data and analytics with other systems in the airline's operations.

FlightPulse, the first fully commercialised product to be developed with mobile services from GE’s Predix platform, uses recorded aircraft data and smart analytics to enable pilots to securely access their individual operational efficiency metrics and trends.

FlightPulse allows pilots to see first-hand the amount of fuel used at different stages of a flight and how they can help to reduce carbon emissions.

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