The rise of generative AI chatbots, exemplified by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, hinted at artificial intelligence coming of age. However, despite the widespread attention AI has garnered, Steve Varsano, CEO of London-based aircraft broker The Jet Business, believes there is room for growth in fully embedding AI within business aviation.
AI in private aviation operations
Private aviation has seen early adoption of AI, with startups like Flyv and established players like MySky and Stack incorporating AI-powered solutions. Flyv, a German air mobility startup, uses proprietary AI algorithms to develop custom-made flight networks. MySky, a Swiss company, introduced an AI-based online audit platform for private jet operators in 2016, focusing initially on automating invoice verification.
MySky’s Chief Strategy Officer, Chris Marich, highlights the company’s evolution from invoice verification to a comprehensive spend and revenue management optimization platform. The company’s AI algorithm plays a crucial role in automating the analysis of diverse invoices in the unscheduled aviation sector. Marich emphasizes that AI is fundamental to MySky’s technology, offering efficiency in handling repetitive tasks and processing vast amounts of data.
Vista global’s AI integration for operational excellence
Vista Global Holding, a Dubai-based private aviation group, deploys AI to manage its fleet effectively. Vinay Roy, Senior Vice President of Product, emphasizes the complexity of private aviation operations in an unscheduled charter flight environment. Vista’s AI-powered management system tracks the entire fleet, providing real-time visibility into aircraft availability, maintenance, and schedules. The invisible yet powerful role of AI ensures seamless operations for end-users.
AI in private aviation: visible vs. invisible applications
Visible AI applications in private aviation
While MySky and Vista leverage AI for operational enhancements, the spotlight often falls on visible AI applications like generative chatbots. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, known for its creative capabilities, interacts directly with end-users, creating a high visibility factor. However, practical applications of generative AI in private aviation are still a work in progress, according to Marich. The focus remains on identifying areas where generative AI adds concrete value to customer experiences.
Strategic approach to AI integration
Marich emphasizes MySky’s strategic approach, opting for a thoughtful implementation of AI to ensure tangible benefits for customers. MySky’s AI-powered offerings have expanded to include pre-flight estimates, forming a virtuous circle where data fuels continuous improvement. Vista Global also explores additional AI technologies like generative AI but adopts an augmented intelligence model, emphasizing a harmonious collaboration between machines and humans.
Human factor in private aviation
In an industry where customer service is paramount, the human factor remains irreplaceable. Varsano acknowledges the continued importance of human interaction, highlighting that people often prefer speaking with a person to address their concerns. Marich echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that human contact is indispensable in an industry where personalized service is key. As AI continues to evolve, the balance between machine efficiency and human touch remains a crucial consideration.
The future of AI in private aviation
Roy suggests an augmented intelligence model as the way forward in private aviation, emphasizing a close collaboration between machines and humans. This model assigns tasks based on strengths, allowing AI to excel in repetitive tasks while humans retain control over decision-making processes. In an industry as service-oriented as private aviation, where human contact is valued, an augmented intelligence approach ensures a balanced integration of technology and personalized service.
As AI continues to advance in private aviation, the industry is witnessing a transformative shift. MySky and Vista Global exemplify how AI, whether visible or invisible, contributes to operational excellence. While visible AI tools like generative chatbots captivate attention, the strategic integration of AI into existing systems remains key. The future lies in striking the right balance—leveraging AI’s strengths while preserving the essential human touch in private aviation services.