By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor, (in Dubai)
Emirates Airlines yesterday said it is leveraging new technologies to bring more comfort in the air transportation business.
Senior Manager, Base Operations of the company, Mr Christopher Welham, who took journalist on tour of the airlines engineering section in Dubai yesterday, said because the future is technology, Emirates is trying to deploy Artificial Intelligence-based technologies not only to maintain its leadership in the aviation business, but to provide additional comfort to its passengers.
Welham said: we have partnerships with the engine manufacturers such as GE, RollsRoyce and engine alliance, and they are for prognostic solutions. So, an aircraft while in flight is constantly sending down data of the engine and we are trying to predict a failure before it happens. And at the moment, I would say we are at about 90% maturity, and that’s because some of the manufacturers of some of the components, still aren’t able to provide enough data, but we are getting better”.
He added: “However, we’ve now managed internally, things like; if an aircraft is ready for departure, we are able to monitor the temperature in the cabin, so in the summer, we control it because we don’t want passengers to get unto a hot cabin. If the temperature drops below a certain threshold, the aircraft will send Whatsapp messages to the right people to signify them, and it gives us an opportunity to try and cool it down. So we have these solutions, and a lot of them are built in-house. Slowly, we are starting to introduce AI based solutions to stay ahead in the business. We are doing this with a lot of documentation and with some of the data that the aircraft is giving us” he said.
He also disclosed that the company has a special unit for software developers, slit between the engineering site and the emirates headquarters where a team of about 20 people are looking at artificial intelligence, robotics, and getting documentation to people on their phones, watches, among other devices, basically to have the most reliable airline operation in the world aviation business.
Emirates new planes, such as the new Boeing 777 and the new Airbus A380s are said to have started having different technologies like virtual window – where a passenger can see what’s outside the plane through a screen that looks like a window.
Also, some of its first class cabins have rooms with individual temperature controls where each cabin can control the temperature to the taste of the passenger occupying it.