Sita holds a bullish view of AI’s potential to transform baggage handling 

The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) is captivating industries worldwide, and air transport is no different. Travel technology provider Sita believes AI holds tremendous promise to transform and improve baggage handling once viable data streams are established.

As airlines prepare to meet the Jun-2018 deadline for IATA Resolution 753 – a requirement for member airlines to track each bag and share that information with all entities involved in luggage delivery – Sita believes the data generated from that compliance can be combined with AI tools to create improved efficiency in baggage operations.

“To establish a strong foundation for digital transformation around baggage, you need to be able to harvest, clean and make sense of your data,” Sita president Air Travel Solutions Ilya Gutlin recently said. “Once that data stream is flowing you need to know if it is relevant, and can be transformed into action.”

Building those relevant data streams is not trivial, Mr Gutlin noted. Not all entities have in-house data scientists to develop their own AI capabilities. In most cases airlines and airport will opt to work with industry partners to manage their data.

“Whatever path they take, airlines and airports will need to feed the AI systems with their internal people and adapt people, processes and systems to action the results,” Mr Gutlin adds.

Sita believes the value AI can bring to baggage handling can be gleaned from an examination of initiatives underway in the supply and logistics industries. DHL uses a tool to monitor 140 different risk categories, including financial, environmental and social, using publicly available data from online and social media sources. Machine learning and natural language processing are used to analyse this data to identify potential supply chain disruptions.

“Data is a mindset that everyone needs to adopt.” Mr Gutlin concludes. “It will take time, but we already know how it can help transform the business of baggage.”