Data revolution in aviation

The aviation industry is now entering into its next revolution: connected, fully-digital aviation. Like past revolutions, it will bring with it new business models to further improve customer experience, sustainability and efficiency. Airbus “Skywise” platform is designed to fully exploit the potential of big data in aviation.

Did you know? In just the past two years, more data have been created than in the entire history before. However, today, this enormous “digital potential” is mainly untapped with less than 0.5% of the available data being used and analyzed by industrial companies.

Let’s take an example of the aviation sector. The latest Airbus A350 has 50,000 sensors on board collecting 2.5 terabytes of data every day. Most of this data is however not used. Figuratively speaking, the aviation sector is sitting on a true goldmine, but misses the tools to explore it.

Airbus Launches New Open Aviation Data Platform Skywise

This data goldmine is growing every day because of two new factors. The first is exponentially accelerating technologies such as computing power, artificial intelligence, broadband connectivity and sensors. Second, new digital business models emerge such as individualized on-demand service, end-2-end customer experience and asset sharing. The convergence of these two factors – new technology and business models – brings radical change for the aviation industry.

To grasp these digital opportunities, Airbus presented its new digital platform “Skywise” at the Paris Airshow in June 2017. Skywise will be the cornerstone for a fully connected aircraft fleet, bridging the supply chain and laying the foundation for future new concepts leveraging even more data. Put differently, Skywise is a server that connects different stakeholders – airlines, manufacturers, suppliers, etc – on a digital server to exchange and analyze data from different environments – the shop-floor, inflight operations, maintenance, and others – to give the tools to explore the “data goldmine”.

Skywise offers greater aircraft performance to:

  • fly greener (less noise, reduced emissions, …) with permanent in-flight optimization for each flight;
  • fly cheaper (routes, weather, fuel burn, …);
  • fly with more passenger comfort

Airlines benefit from better operational performance and aircraft availability, while manufacturers and suppliers can continuously improve efficiency and new services. The early adopter airlines today are EasyJet, Emirates, AirAsia and Peach.

The European Commission identified the potential of digital growth and published its Communication on the “European Data Economy” in January 2017. Airbus is working with the European institutions to conceive a fair and balanced access and data reuse for all stakeholders to successfully grasp the new digital opportunities. For this, Airbus as industrial manufacturer is particularly well positioned to connect the entire digital aviation ecosystem to get ready for the ongoing digital revolution.

Learn more about Skywise and Flight Operations


From engineering and maintenance to flight operations, Skywise allows every aviation stakeholder to make the most accurate decisions and disclose the best opportunities for growth. Read less Read more


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