Finnair to recruit 70 new digital professionals and leverage digitalization in future customer experience development

Finnair to recruit 70 new digital professionals and leverage digitalization in future customer experience development

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Finnair will speed up its digital transformation and hire approximately 70 software developers, project managers, service designers and other digital professionals into its new digital team. The new recruitment drive will strengthen the airline’s capability to improve processes and enhance the customer experience with digital solutions.

Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by digitalisation is the next step in Finnair’s accelerated growth strategy.

“Mobile applications and applying data will be increasingly visible in the work of Finnair employees across the organisation. We are taking the first mobile apps into use in our aircraft maintenance in the beginning of next year,” says Katri Harra-Salonen, Finnair’s Chief Digital Officer. “We are also seeking new business opportunities enabled by the digital development, and we will invest in innovation at Finnair.”

Finnair’s mobile app recently received the coveted Red Dot award, and Finnair’s Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal was awarded as the industry’s best in-flight connectivity solution by APEX. Finnair’s digital team will also develop solutions for internal use, and utilize IBM’s iOS Enterprise solutions.

“Working in our digital team is an opportunity to create something new in the fascinating and continuously evolving airline environment and for over 10 million of our international customers. Service development is strongly based on open and agile development culture across the organisation, to get the products and solutions faster to the market. This is a unique working environment in Finland, and our aim is to build the best agile team in the Nordic countries,” Harra-Salonen says.

Finnair’s entire long-haul fleet will be Wi-Fi enabled in the spring of 2017, while Wi-Fi installations for the short-haul European fleet will start gradually as of next spring. Wi-Fi connectivity on board will also bring new opportunities to develop the in-flight customer experience such as enhancing shopping and retail opportunities.

Finnair is targeting accelerated growth and has already recruited approximately 800 new employees this year, the majority of which are cabin crew personnel and pilots. Finnair’s fleet will grow in 2017 with new A350 and A321 aircraft. In 2016, Finnair opened new routes to China, Japan and Europe, and the airline’s network will continue to grow in 2017.

Finnair Adopts iOS Enterprise Apps from IBM to Accelerate Digital Transformation
Finnair and IBM nnounced a first-of-its-kind agreement to utilise iOS enterprise apps from IBM to support the airline’s overall digital transformation.

Finnair is focused on Asia-Europe traffic, carrying over 10 million customers annually and connecting 70 European destinations with 17 Asian mega-cities and three North-American cities via its Helsinki hub. In preparation for growth, Finnair has recruited more than 500 employees, rolled out new aircraft and launched new routes this year. Now, Finnair seeks to improve its processes and enhance the customer experience through digital transformation.

“Our collaboration with Apple and IBM is an important building block in our digital transformation,” says Katri Harra-Salonen. “We want to link our employees with the insights they need to make better decisions. This collaboration enables a user focused, high quality, yet cost effective way of developing digital solutions, helping us to improve the way we operate as an airline.”

First applications from the collaboration will be deployed in Finnair Technical Operations in aircraft line maintenance in early 2017.

“We see a wealth of opportunities for improving productivity as well as adding value to the work flow of our employees, by improving real-time visibility and transparency across the entire maintenance process,” says Jari Huhtinen, Head of Finnair Technical Operations. “Our mechanics team participated in the application creation work with Apple and IBM to ensure the best possible design, user experience and fit into our organizational processes.”

Finnair is the first organization to take advantage of IBM’s new app design and development model for clients that plan to adopt multiple iOS apps, called Mobile at Scale for iOS. This integrated approach, unique to IBM MobileFirst for iOS, increases the speed, efficiency and quality of how iOS apps are designed, developed, deployed, enhanced and maintained over their lifecycle.

The airline has a team in the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Garage dedicated to rapidly executing Finnair projects. The MobileFirst for iOS Garage operates as a global hub for the development of iOS, enabling Finnair to tap into the world’s largest concentration of Swift developers, design, integration and iOS device expertise along with consulting services. The Garage team can deliver initial apps in weeks that are tailored to meet Finnair’s enterprise needs and the user requirements of its employees This integrated approach brings consistency to the project, saving 25 percent of development effort, cost and time.

The apps will be managed and hosted on IBM Cloud allowing Finnair to implement multiple apps at speed and at scale, transforming everyday tasks for employees across the organisation. The apps combine simplicity with the power of analytics to generate insight for more informed decision-making and better management.

“Finnair is innovating and setting an example – not just for its industry, but for all enterprises. Rather than using mobile in silos, the airline is looking to IBM’s industry expertise and solutions to digitize the entire airline,” said Raimon Christiani, global industry leader IBM Travel & Transportation. “Finnair has access to IBM’s full portfolio of MobileFirst for iOS apps and if there’s something else it needs to empower employees and provide Finnair passengers a more seamless travel experience, we can build it.”

The first apps to be rolled out within the agreement are:

  • Inspect & Turn provides aircraft mechanics with digital task cards and documentation with analytics-driven recommendations to complete work assignments to ensure the safe upkeep of aircraft and achievement of on-time arrival and departure targets.
  • Assign Tech provides aircraft mechanic supervisors a clear overview of fight schedules, maintenance process and mechanic availability. Using advanced analytics, the app recommends optimal shift assignments and incorporates the skills and certifications of each mechanic. Push notifcations also alert supervisors to fight delays process issues, so they can easily make changes on the fly. 

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