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AMSTELVEEN, The Netherlands: June 04, 2018. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are partnering to improve airline operations by jointly developing artificial intelligence-based systems of integrated solutions and tailored tools.

The airline says the cooperation is the first time a leading aviation company has joined with a major consultancy to bring to market a new service for the industry.

Over the past 18 months KLM and BCG say they have been working together based on a shared belief that operating as a cost center and serving a purely executional role must be considered a thing of the past.

“For KLM, this partnership also strengthens the digital-focused strategy we have developed over the past several years, and is a key move to becoming the most customer-centric, innovative and efficient network carrier,” declared KLM COO René de Groot.

KLM Sustainable“In the fast-paced aviation industry, the successful companies will be those who build the right strategic partnerships to accelerate innovation, growth, and customer value,” he added.

According to both companies, the result is a “state of the art solution based on AI, machine learning and advanced optimization that addresses all elements of airline operations”.

With the first set of solutions already implemented, KLM says it is now able to tackle complex decisions relating to fleet, crew, ground services and network.

Nicolas Boutin, Head of BCG’s Airline practice added: “Our partnership will drive growth for both companies, stimulate a unique value for customers worldwide, and be an incredible innovation boost for the industry.”

In a related move, AccorHotels has been talking with Air France-KLM about developing joint digital projects as well as a joint loyalty and services platform. The French hotel group has also discussed acquiring the French state’s 14.3 percent stake in the airline group.

AF-KL Group shareholders: French state, 14.3 percent; Delta Air Lines, 8.8 percent; China Eastern, 8.8 percent; Employees, 3.9 percent, Treasury stock, 0.30 percent; “Others”, 63.9 percent.

Pictured: KLM has been using sustainable biojet fuel since 2009 and uses it in part for all flights from Los Angeles because it is the only place with a refinery. To make flights to its latest destination Växjö, Sweden as sustainable as possible, the airline is investing in 120,000 litres of biojet fuel per year flying a daily service. By expanding the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme in Sweden, local companies will be able to invest in sustainable biojet fuel, says the company.

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