Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Travel Technology

Ryanair and Lonely Planet Involved in New $100 Million AI Program by Amazon Web Services

8 months ago

The airline Ryanair and travel guide publisher Lonely Planet are taking part in a new $100 million program by Amazon Web Services to explore innovations in generative AI.

AWS announced the Generative AI Innovation Center on Thursday with four partners, which also include sales tech company Highspot and communications platform Twilio.

AWS said it is starting the program to connect its own AI and machine learning experts with client business to help them develop new generative AI products, services, and processes.

Chris Whyde, senior vice president of engineering and data science at Lonely Planet, said in a statement that — a common goal among companies looking to use generative AI for travel planning. 

“We are always looking for ways to tap into new technology and meet the demands of today’s travelers,” Whyde stated. “The AWS Generative AI Innovation Center, paired with expert-driven advice and Lonely Planet’s award-winning content, will enable us to provide more personalized travel recommendations, making travel more accessible for those around the world.”

The program will operate through workshops and other engagements to help AWS customers throughout the process of designing the best generative AI models for their businesses and implementing them at scale, the company said.

“The Generative AI Innovation Center is part of our goal to help every organization leverage AI by providing flexible and cost-effective generative AI services for the enterprise, alongside our team of generative AI experts to take advantage of all this new technology has to offer,” Matt Garman, senior vice president of sales, marketing, and global services at AWS, state in a statement. “Together with our global community of partners, we’re working with business leaders across every industry to help them maximize the impact of generative AI in their organizations, creating value for their customers, employees, and bottom line.”

Airlines

Lufthansa, Ryanair Sign Sustainable Fuel Deals Ahead of EU Mandate

1 year ago

The Lufthansa Group and Ryanair have signed significant new sustainable aviation fuel agreements ahead of an expected EU mandate aimed at boosting demand for the fuels.

Both airlines will take sustainable aviation fuel supplies from Austrian-based OMV beginning in 2023. Lufthansa has signed for 211 million gallons (800,000 metric tonnes) over seven years through 2030, and Ryanair for 53 million gallons over eight years. OMV will supply the carriers in Austria, Germany, and Romania. Both airlines cited their targets of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 for the new sustainable fuel deals.

(Lufthansa)

The EU is preparing to implement new sustainable aviation fuel mandates next year. If finalized under the proposed ReFuelEU standards, 2 percent of all aviation fuel in the bloc would need to be sustainable — or generate at least half the carbon emissions of standard jet fuel — by 2025, and 6 percent by 2030.

Both Lufthansa and Ryanair, however, will need to do more to meet the EU’s proposed sustainable fuel targets. The former used roughly 2.9 billion gallons of jet fuel in 2019; the new OMV supply deal represents just 1 percent of that fuel usage on an annual basis.

Airlines

UK Doesn’t Plan to Dispatch the Military to Airports to Ease Long Security Lanes

2 years ago

A few days after Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary called on the UK government to temporarily send the army to staff excessively long airport security lanes, UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps told the BBC Sunday he doesn’t envision the need to make such a move.

A file photo of passengers queuing at Heathrow Airport. Reuters

Shapps said steps have been taken to ease the administration of security lanes. But while taking a conciliatory tone at one point, saying the government will “work with the industry very hard … to make sure we don’t see a repeat of those scenes,” Shapps also said the airline industry’s staff cuts were too deep and it needs to take responsibility for resolving the situation, Reuters reported.

“The industry itself needs to solve it,” he said. “The government doesn’t run airports, it doesn’t run the airlines. The industry needs to do that.”

On Wednesday, leading up to the Platinum Jubilee, Shapps told airlines they should cease selling tickets for flights they can’t adquately support after seeing massive lines and delays at security lanes.

The issue isn’t limited to the UK, of course. On Saturday, KLM ceased boarding passengers heading to Amsterdam because of the chaos at Schipol airport.