Business challenge

This leading airline must plan hundreds of routes for short, medium and long haul journeys each day, keeping flightpaths free from the disruption caused by turbulence, thunderstorms and other extreme conditions.

Transformation

The airline uses advanced weather data and customized briefings to route flightpaths around areas of bad weather, helping to deliver a smooth, seamless passenger experience, 365 days a year.

Results

Provides

advanced warning of weather hazards affecting routes

Enables

flight dispatchers to plan safe flightpaths bypassing hostile conditions

Helps

to ensure a comfortable passenger experience

Business challenge story

Sky-high safety standards

For this leading global airline, providing the highest levels of passenger safety and comfort is the top priority. Each year, millions of passengers take advantage of the airline’s multi-award-winning services to fly to destinations across the globe.

A spokesman for the airline, begins: “As a company, we are determined to go above and beyond the regulatory standards that govern aviation safety. Everyone at the airline, from our pilots and flight stewards to our maintenance teams and dispatchers, is committed to delivering safe, smooth journeys for our customers.”

For the flight dispatch teams, adverse weather can form a significant threat to passenger safety and comfort levels. When planning flightpaths, the dispatchers must factor in the risk of diverse weather hazards such as thunderstorms, low temperatures, low visibility and turbulence – all of which can severely impact the passenger experience.

Atmospheric conditions are at the center of the flight planning processes. On many of its routes, the airline can encounter turbulence or fog patches, and on others it could face more unusual hazards. For example, the airline flies to many destinations where hurricanes are common and active volcanoes can emit ash clouds that can cause engine failure.

Accurate weather data helps the airline to track hazards and determine whether they will impact on flight routes. It can then take steps to plan the safest flightpaths to bypass hostile weather.

An additional challenge is that the airline often flies to locations where the information about local atmospheric conditions is not adequate. and pilots need insight into the weather situation as quickly as possible. In response, the airline started to search for a new weather data provider that could deliver precise local area forecasts fast.

Transformation story

Deploying in-depth Aviation Weather

To help steer its flights away from hazardous conditions, the airline deployed data solutions from The Weather Company, an IBM Business. The solutions feed into its main flight following system, which displays the data and enables dispatchers to identify potentially disruptive weather.

The spokesman explains: “One of our partner airlines recommended The Weather Company, and when we met the consultants we were instantly impressed with their understanding of the challenges we faced. We also liked the tools and services they offered, so we were confident that they would meet our requirements.”

The data provides the airline with relevant information on weather and airspace conditions on its routes. Armed with advanced insight into conditions, flight dispatchers can quickly take action to prevent any impact on the passenger experience.

In particular, the airline receives a Daily Briefing Service from The Weather Company’s forecasters, at 04:30 and 12:30 each day. The forecasters deliver an in-depth breakdown of potential hazards, including turbulence, hurricanes, and volcanic activity, across the entire route network.

As soon as the flight dispatch team receives the customized briefings from The Weather Company, it factors them into its routes for every flight, and can plan the amount of fuel required to complete each journey.

The Weather Company also provides regular scheduled and ad hoc Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs), as well as a Risk Outlook Service that keeps dispatchers informed of emerging hazards forecast for the next few days.

The Risk Outlook Service provides insights into conditions for today+1 to today+4 at the airline’s key hubs, including data on visibility, temperature levels, and the prospect of storms. The data is presented on a dashboard with red, amber or green warnings, making it simple to understand for users, and enables them to begin making contingency plans if required.

Results story

Smarter routes for a first-rate passenger experience

Supported by The Weather Company, the airline’s flight dispatchers are planning safe routes, free of disruption for passengers. Whenever adverse conditions are on the horizon, the airline receives advanced warning and can help pilots to bypass hazardous weather, giving customers a smoother, more comfortable flight.

For example, the hurricane season has a major impact on many of the airline’s routes. During the events of Hurricane Maria, the accurate data and daily briefings from The Weather Company meant the airline received early warning of adverse conditions such as when wind-speeds were reaching critical thresholds at impacted airports. The airline knew then that it needed to take timely action, including planning alternate routes and closing airspace to ensure passenger safety.

Scheduled and ad hoc TAFs from The Weather Company are also helping the airline to stay well-informed of atmospheric conditions, even when local meteorological services cannot provide accurate insights. Whenever there is inadequate data on local conditions, the airline can request a TAF from forecasters at The Weather Company to gain a detailed picture, and within five to ten minutes, the forecasters will deliver the information required.

The airline sees high-quality weather data specific to their operations as playing an important role in achieving its goal of delivering an exceptional customer service. As a result of its weather data strategy, the company is more confident in its ability to lift flight safety and comfort levels to new heights for millions of passengers.

About Leading global airline headquartered in Europe

This leading global airline is headquartered in Europe and offers domestic and international passenger and cargo services, and transports millions of travelers every year.

Solution components

  • Weather Solutions & IOT Platform

Take the next step

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, helps people make informed decisions and take action in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate  forecasts globally with personalized and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers, as well as thousands of marketers and businesses via Weather’s API, its business solutions division, and its own digital products from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com).

The company delivers around 25 billion forecasts daily. Its products include the world’s most downloaded weather app, a network of 250,000 personal weather stations, a top-20 U.S. website, one of the world’s largest IoT data platforms, and industry-leading business solutions.

Weather Means Business™. The world’s biggest brands in aviation, energy, insurance, media, and government rely on The Weather Company for data, technology platforms and services to help improve decision-making and respond to weather’s impact on business.

For more, visit business.weather.com.