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GE and Qantas join forces to drive efficiencies through data analytics & collaboration

October 11, 2016 Aviation No Comments Email Email

GE today celebrated the opening of its latest digital collaboration centre with launch customer Qantas. Through the partnership, data scientists, engineers and software designers from GE and Qantas will work together to distill some of the ten billion data points produced by the aviation sector annually into practical actions to help Australia’s national carrier reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions.

 The digital collaboration centre, located in Austin, Texas, is GE Aviation’s first in the United States. Similar centres opened in the past year in Dubai, Shanghai and Paris are connecting data, developers and Predix, GE’s cloud-based software platform for industrial applications. This includes rigorous analysis of flight paths, replacement cycles and engine optimisation to reduce operating costs and increase efficiencies across the industry. 

GE and Qantas last year announced a new agreement to explore engine data analytics, building on a long-standing relationship that sees GE supply and support around two-thirds of the engines in the Qantas Group’s fleet. Some of the potential benefits from the digital collaboration centre include more efficient take-offs and landings and better forecasting of weather impacts. 

Max York, regional executive for GE Aviation in Australia, New Zealand & PNG, said: “The aviation industry has incredible potential to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and we believe this digital collaboration centre will play a pivotal role in implementing game-changing results. 

“We believe in the transformative power of the industrial internet and are thrilled to be partnering with Qantas to help optimise their operations,” says York. 

Alan Milne, head of fuel and environment for Qantas, said: “We’ve seen that even small gains in fuel efficiency add up to big benefits and lower emissions when you multiply them across the hundreds of aircraft in the Qantas fleet. 

“The work we’re doing with GE is giving us more insight than we’ve ever had before into the way our aircraft operate, helping us find ways of flying smarter – and this is the next step in the partnership,” says Milne. 

The collaboration centre is located at GE Aviation’s Digital Solutions headquarters, employing around a hundred data scientists, engineers and designers. Initiatives in the pipeline could lead to a significant increase in employment in Austin for GE Aviation by the end of 2017. 

Today, nearly 100 airlines covering more than 10,000 aircraft are GE Aviation Digital Solutions’ customers for such services as flight and fuel analytics, navigation services, airline operations management and planning and recovery. 

“GE’s collaboration centre in Austin is home to software interface designers, data scientists and domain experts with specific analytics, flight-planning and engines background, depending on what we’re working on,” says Jim Daily, chief digital officer for GE Aviation. “Opening the centre with Qantas marks the commitment from a customer who really understands the value of using data across their operation.” 

GE’s Power of One Percent report has estimated that the global commercial airline business is spending about $170 billion per year on jet fuel. If Industrial Internet technologies – like what is being developed in the digital collaboration centre – can achieve only one percent in cost reduction, this would represent nearly $2 billion per year – or about $30 billion in fuel cost savings over 15 years for the aviation sector globally. 

“This collaboration is testament to Australia’s capacity to be an innovation leader globally. Qantas is the right partner – not only because of our long-standing partnership, but because they truly stand out as one of the most innovative airlines in the world,” says York.

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