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Finnair uses AI to predict weather delays

The Finnish carrier has been working with Silo.AI to improve the situational awareness of air traffic with artificial intelligence.

Finnair and an artificial intelligence company, Silo.AI, have built a machine learning artificial intelligence tool that enables the airline to predict possible disruptions to air traffic more accurately.

In Finland, this “unprecedented solution” can for example be used to assess the impact of weather on the punctuality of flights, so that preparations for irregularities can be made in advance, Finnair says.

Punctuality is one of the biggest factors that affect customer satisfaction, and weather is one of the biggest factors affecting punctuality, so with the new AI solution Finnair hopes to be able to better prepare for exceptional circumstances and plan actions to reduce the impact.

“We tested the artificial intelligence solution in the pilot phase last winter and the results were encouraging,” said Juha Karstunen, head of digital transformation at the airline.

“The goal is to implement the solution as part of a broader technical reform later this year. We are also developing other intelligent solutions to support decision-making. Exceptional weather conditions are common in air travel, and our goal is always to minimise their impact on our customers’ travel plans.”

AI lab
Finnair describes Silo.AI as “the biggest private artificial intelligence laboratory in the Nordics that builds artificial intelligence solutions as a consultancy service for various industries”.

In the project’s pilot phase, the company used Finnair’s historical punctuality data, total runway capacity forecasts, actual weather forecasts and past weather forecasts. There was also a warning mechanism built into the solution that alerted if a certain number of flights were expected to be delayed.

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