A showcase of innovation for the Group
This morning, Jean-Marc Janaillac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM, presented the Group’s “Future of Travel” Lab and shared his vision and the Company’s open-innovation and digital technology policy.
The Air France-KLM Lab at Viva Technology is a real showcase of innovation for the Group whose digital technology and innovation performances clearly set it apart in the world of air transport.
For Jean-Marc Janaillac, “the development of digital tools is a strategic priority as they are the key to offering our customers a more streamlined, personalized and more comfortable travel experience. Rolling out technologies for the benefit of everyone constitutes our vision and a priority we have been committed to for several years.”
A strong and committed open innovation policy
Air France has teamed up with its partner Hokage to develop a fundraising accelerator, the T3 Fundraiser to support startups in their financial and international development. The idea is to create a digital platform connecting startups who are seeking funds with different Air France businesses and potential investors from around the world. This initiative also offers startups coaching programmes with international mentors and investors to help them in their fundraising efforts, and their extension on the market.
The Air France-KLM Group has a long-established commitment to open innovation and supporting project leaders and startups through numerous initiatives. For example, Air France created the Start Tech Factory several years ago, a corporate accelerator to facilitate contacts between Air France businesses and startups, and accelerate the creation of innovative projects. The company has also been a founding member of the Welcome City Lab since 2014, an incubator dedicated to tourism. The company supports the French Tech initiatives, with its partners in the sector, Business France, as well as abroad with players such as My African Startup, which supports the development of startups on the African continent.
Innovating to better serve our customers
For the Group, creating the travel experience of the future is about developing solutions that will make the travel experience simpler and more personalized, notably by supporting the customer wherever they are. This means using mobile technologies. With the activation in April of Facebook Messenger on the Air France Facebook page, customers can contact an agent to obtain information, and automatically receive flight documents prior to their flight. Thanks to advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, Air France has moved up a gear and is rolling out dedicated customer service chatbots for support on baggage-related issues (tracking checked baggage, calculation of excess baggage fees, bags they may want to add, etc.). The system offers the customer an instant, personalized and adapted response.
At the same time, company agents can devote more time to more complex customer requests and provide an even better service.
Using new tools to assist and reassure customers
Air France is renowned for the welcome and service it provides children travelling alone. From now on, to make things even easier for parents, they can book their children’s trips online on the company’s mobile app. Air France is the first airline to offer this option. And there’s more – in addition to the famous pouch that young travellers wear around their neck, their travel experience is now fully digitized. Parents can now track the different stages of their children’s trip on their smartphone via the Air France app. Young globetrotters haven’t been forgotten with a digital pre-flight suitcase, sent by email seven days preceding their trip, as well as a selection of dedicated multimedia content for on board the flight including games, magic tricks and even relaxation exercises specially designed for children.
“Business immediate boarding” for a sensory experience
During the Viva Technology trade show, Air France-KLM is also inviting visitors to enjoy an exclusive virtual reality experience dubbed “Business immediate boarding”. Thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, visitors enjoy a virtual travel experience, from arriving at the airport, spending time in the Air France lounge, travelling on board a Business class cabin to arriving at their destination. This virtual trip embarks visitors on board a Company flight showcasing its in-flight services and comfort. A sensory experience with some stunning surprises in store for our travellers’ pleasure. Entirely produced using real-time 3D and photogrammetry techniques, the film allows visitors to interact with the services offered by the flight attendant in this virtual world. By combining spectacular animated graphics and impressive photo-realism, this experience also includes 4D volumetric video for a high-tech immersive experience.
Exclusively available in a dedicated area of the Group’s Lab, this virtual reality trip is also designed to promote the customer experience in travel agencies which will be equipped with virtual reality headsets as from November 2017.