For Japan Airlines, building a smarter airline through technology means delivering a totally new experience for the customer journey.

Takayuki Okamoto,, Manager of the Web Sales Department,, Japan Airlines

Business Challenge

In the air travel industry, convenient interaction—in every stage of the customer’s experience—is a pillar of competitive strength, and it’s getting more important all the time.Over the past few years, JAL has gradually stepped up its AI initiatives, which have largely focused on the use of chatbot agents to augment customer communications and preemptively identify active, specific customer concerns.


Japan Airlines has embarked on a mission to set a new standard for customer service: personalized travel recommendations based on customer information provided to the airline. The airline decided to start with one of its premier travel destinations – Hawaii. Its Makana-chan personal assistant, powered by IBM Watson AI technology, provides recommendations and information from the time the customer begins searching for a flight. More than 80 percent of Makana-chan users would recommend it to others – an indication that Japan Airlines has hit on a formula for success and differentiation in a crowded travel market.


Solution Category

  • AI/Watson