KLM uses AI to reduce inflight food waste – Business Traveller

KLM has begun using artificial intelligence as a tool to combat inflight food waste.

The AI technology is being employed to help determine the number of meals that need to be loaded for any particular flight, based on the fact that not everyone who has booked actually ends up flying.

The Dutch carrier said that “Depending on the class, between 3 and 5 per cent of booked passengers do not show up (on time) for the flight”, and it is therefore using the technology to predict the number of passengers that will board a flight “based on historical data”.

The Meals On Board System receives the expected passenger numbers per flight with separate forecasts for business, premium economy and economy classes, with AI technology TRAYS beginning predictions 17 days before departure and refining them up until 20 minutes before the flight departs.

KLM said the system “means the most accurate possible number of passengers is predicted for the entire catering process from purchasing to loading, thus preventing a surplus of meals”.

The airline said that the technology achieves up to 63 per cent less food waste based on the expected number of passengers per flight, saving 111,000 kg of inflight meals from being wasted each year.

More specifically KLM said that the largest improvement can be seen on intercontinental KLM flights from Schiphol, where 2.5 fewer meals (1.3 kg) need to be thrown away per flight.

The TRAYS technology is just one of a number of ways KLM is employing artificial intelligence in its operations. AI programmes are used to simulate predicted bad weather days, and to give customers personalised travel tips after booking a flight.

And last year KLM’s hub airport Amsterdam Schiphol announced a partnership with technology firm Pangiam, to explore how artificial intelligence could be used to speed up the process of baggage security checks.

Amsterdam Schiphol to explore use of AI to speed up baggage screening

Commenting on the news KLM’s CEO Marjan Rintel, said:

“Investments in digital technology are a priority for KLM. The application of artificial intelligence contributes enormously to improving our flight operations and making them more sustainable.

“Combatting food waste is a good example of this, resulting in tens of thousands fewer meals being wasted on our flights each year.”


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