6 Real World Use Cases for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Aviation

RPA implementation is tantamount to hiring a digital workforce, which can take over the routine, monotonous tasks that your human employees most often dread. Consider processes such as file archiving, data downloading, data entry into an ERP system, preparation of compliance reports, etc.

Software robots mimic the actions of human employees, and can be trained with similar instructions. They have virtual workstations where they can read the screen electronically. Deploying RPA in order to assist your human workforce can lead to 40% cost reductions for your company, service provision improvements, ROI achievement within the first year after implementation, and many other benefits.

However, what exactly can robotic process automation in aviation do? The short answer is that it is conducive to better, faster, and cheaper processes, or else, to increased operational efficiency. RPA improves the consistency and accuracy of the operations you perform, because it reduces mistakes and omissions caused by human error.

In fact, operational efficiency is especially a vital ingredient of progress nowadays, during the tough pandemic times that we’re going through. This is why as many as 84% of the companies across the industry spectrum plan to take action in the direction of accelerating automation initiatives, according to a Bain & Company report. You can find more details about how RPA can help you post-COVID-19 in our article about conquering the ‘new normal’.

Data in a Gartner report from late 2020 substantiates claims that, despite economic pressures due to COVID-19, the RPA market is expected to continue its impressive double-digit growth rate up to 2024. Benefits such as the above-mentioned seem to have increased entrepreneurs’ interest in RPA during the pandemic.

“Gartner predicts that by 2022, 90% of companies will have resorted to RPA in order to digitally empower critical business processes. The worldwide RPA software revenue is expected to reach 1.900 millions of US dollars this year, which means a growth of 19.53% compared with 2020.”

Common use cases for robotic process automation in aviation

After having seen the good prospects of RPA across the industry spectrum, let’s now focus on airline process automation. This is very important, since airline companies are part of the travel industry, which is one of the most heavily impacted by the pandemic. In line with our pragmatic approach to technologically-supported business, we will look at some relevant factual information about RPA use cases in aviation.

1. Creating work packages for various departments

Manual performance of this task requires concerted efforts from several engineers each day. This makes it repetitive, dull, and time-consuming – the kind of task that puts a lot of pressure on engineers, eats away their job satisfaction, and makes them more prone to errors.

RPA deployment for package creation requires only one engineer to supervise the process and to handle potential exceptions. The results? Man-hour savings, improved workload management, reduced cycle time, and increased service.

2. Identifying revenue leakage

Plugging revenue leaks requires that the airline company be synchronised with the travel agents. Using RPA in aviation helps to streamline synchronisation. What do you get out of this? In the first place, error detection becomes much quicker, covering all the synced elements.

This allows for more insight, and thus it raises the likelihood of making appropriate decisions with respect to revenue recovery and protection. Ultimately, recovering lost revenue and curbing leakages via automation boils down to significant savings for the airline company.

3. Retrieving files from old systems

Traditionally, file extraction would be done either by increasing employees’ workload with manual performance of this task, or by asking the software developer to modify the system. Both are time-consuming and costly.

Software robots can perform it much better, faster and more accurately, making sure that all files in the system are downloaded in due time, and moved to the new system. RPA can thus take the place of outdated and inefficient IT systems that prevent growth and innovation. All this with minimal human intervention. This means that RPA can make it such that the human effort is better utilised, for higher value jobs.

4. Updating travellers

Attended RPA robots and chatbot solutions can be deployed to keep travellers informed with respect to flight schedules and booking status. Chatbots can also respond to travellers’ queries, always providing the right answer, and thus making them more satisfied with the services provided by your company. This use case for robotic process automation in aviation is the perfect example to show how RPA is conducive to increased customer satisfaction.

5. Data management

Software robots can search for input missing data in other airline applications, and identify the relevant data bits. Subsequently, they can also carry out relevant checks and tolerance ranges. The appropriate data records can then update or approve specific process steps. And this is not all.

When exchange coupon numbers are not reported properly, bots can identify the correct data value. They can then compare the documents and decide when those need to be reissued.

6. Crew scheduling

Robotic process automation (RPA) can help you assign duties within your team, and better handle duty requests. Automating notification messages allows the notification of crew members about any changes. And you should not forget that the pandemic makes it even more likely that changes do occur, so preparedness to handle them efficiently is an asset that you don’t want to let go of.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that it may sound paradoxical, airline process automation is a technological solution that makes people really matter, empowering both employees and customers. Automation of repetitive tasks requires staff deployment only for the final checks. This gives the employees more time and psychological energy to engage in front-line jobs, like providing higher-value customer service.

The result? More satisfied employees and customers, a higher standing for the airline company, and increased personnel retention. All these significantly reduce processing time and costs. What’s more, distributed RPA use across multiple departments facilitates airline companies’ expansion. All in all, robotic process automation is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed in the attempt to recover from the effects of coronavirus.

Finally, if you’re from the APAC region, you might have a broader understanding of RPA solutions if you downloaded our whitepaper, based on more than 2000 responses of economic leaders about how they’re leveraging automation.

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