Air India, until recently tied to an antiquated manual pricing system when setting airfares, is shifting to algorithm-based software long used by rivals to help it squeeze out more revenue from each flight.
In another sign of the formerly government-owned carrier’s whirlwind transformation under its new owner Tata Group, Air India is testing ChatGPT, OpenAI’s popular chatbot, to replace paper-based practices.
The push to modernise underscores the decay left by years of under-investment as Air India looks to shed decades-old bureaucratic processes and recapture customers from Dubai’s Emirates and powerful domestic rival IndiGo.
“Frankly the system is almost so bad it’s good,” Chief Executive Officer Campbell Wilson told Indian airline executives last week, adding that this offered the chance to start from scratch rather than “jury-rig” existing architecture.
Air India is not only reworking every aspect of operations – from systems to supply chains – but integrating four Tata-related airlines, with Air India due to merge with Vistara while low-cost Air India Express and AirAsia India also converge.
Some areas, such as technology, allow for a clean-sheet approach, the 52-year-old New Zealander said, which is why he is putting artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools at the centre of Air India’s reboot.