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Airlines turn to social media for flight planning

Tweets might have an influence on future airlines routes, as air carriers are forced to turn to alternative methods while trying to predict earliest signs of travel demand. New data sources, such as customer’s behavior on social media, are becoming essential for network planning as traditional forecasting tools have become insufficient amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Lufthansa Consulting.

While network planning in aviation is a well-thought and strictly structured process, until now it was based on the past travel patterns, observed Hannes Müller, Lufthansa Consulting Managing Director, speaking at AIR Convention Digital Week event on June 15, 2020. The basis for route planning, built over decades, became unreliable during the coronavirus crisis.

To navigate the fast-paced changes of the current operating environment and detect the earliest signs of demand, airlines are now forced to look for new methods for network planning, including reliance on new data sources. 

“In our experience, data sources that proved extremely useful include general economics, public health indicators related to COVID-19, airline websites information, customer surveys, search trends on online search engines, or unstructured content such as tweets, comments, and social media,” Müller said. 

AIR Convention Digital Week hosts 30+ global aviation executives discussing how aviation is reshaped by the COVID-19 virus effects and the paths to recovery. Watch the event on aerotime.aero, every day at 2 CET on June 15th – June 19th, 2020.

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