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9 travel tech startups that can accelerate post-COVID-19 recovery for airlines and airports

The following article was published by Future Travel Experience
Here we highlight the nine forward-looking startups and scaleups that recently showcased their innovative solutions at FTE APEX Virtual Expo 2021. In partnership with the FTE Innovation &

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The following article was published by Future Travel Experience

Here we highlight the nine forward-looking startups and scaleups that recently showcased their innovative solutions at FTE APEX Virtual Expo 2021.

In partnership with the FTE Innovation & Startup Hub, the recent FTE APEX Virtual Expo 2021 provided an opportunity for some of the most forward-thinking startups and scaleups in the travel tech space to showcase their innovative solutions. From AI-based baggage identification and self-service tech to data management and sustainability solutions – see how these nine startups can help the industry bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, create additional revenue streams and enhance the end-to-end passenger experience.

BagsID Network

BagsID Network is a baggage identification solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and computer vision to build smarter baggage solutions for the travel industry. It can detect individual bags by their unique physical characteristics (including scratches, dents and other features) through the technology behind biometrics and photo recognition. The solution creates less waste, is better for the environment, is more accurate (99% read rate), and can create additional revenue streams through more efficient loading and forecasting. The solution can detect individual bags by their unique physical characteristics (including scratches, dents and other features), using biometrics and photo recognition, and is a promising replacement for barcode and RFID. “The idea of BagsID started pre-pandemic and we are very pleased that, despite these challenges, the airport and airline industry is still eager to make change and collaborate,” says Marlon van der Meer, founder and CEO of BagsID Network. “Legacy baggage identification solutions are in their final stage of their lifecycle and RFID is not taking off for obvious reasons. It is simply too expensive and applications are too limited. Data extracted out of images is the key for new possibilities. We are here to be that solution, and we are here to stay. Baggage has an enormous impact on passenger experience, revenue, and on the environment, yet it is often a deliberately overlooked part of the air travel industry. BagsID will change that.”

Plan3

Plan3 is a passenger-focused disruption management system that puts unrivalled ease of recovery in the hands of disruptions customer care operators. Developed by a team of aviation industry experts, Plan3 solves every aspect of passenger disruption events – flight rebooking, hotel accommodation, ground transportation, vouchers and refunds. With Plan3, airlines easily create and publish relevant options, and passengers can self-serve their way to a seamless onward journey. With zero system integration required to get started, and no set up or flat monthly fees, the solution is designed to provide a best-in-class customer experience while helping recover margins. The startup recently announced a new partnership with Icelandic carrier PLAY, which will utilise Plan3’s system to manage disruptions, delivering an enhanced passenger experience to customers in the eye of disruption events, such as volcanic eruptions, which can be common in Iceland.

Origen Air

Origen Air is a smart, living, air purification company that filters microscopic pollutants, bacteria, and viruses for enterprises operating within public spaces. The company has introduced the Sentinel, a plant-based, zero waste, autonomous air purifier, which includes Origen Air’s genetically enhanced Golden Pothos Ivy, virus-killing UV-C light technology and an ultra-high-definition digital display. Through subscription services and digital ad revenues, the company supplies and maintains air purification hardware, software, and air quality data.

UnDelay

US-based UnDelay has developed a proprietary technology that converts hundreds of radio conversations into text simultaneously. With this data, airlines, airports and travel companies can find out if a flight will be delayed before that delay is reported. The startup has received an investment from Georgia Tech and the Chris Klauss’ Fund to enhance aviation technology to reduce flight delays and improve overall air and ground traffic performance at airports. Referring to his participation at FTE APEX Virtual Expo 2021 on 25-26 May, CEO Safir Monroe, commented: “Attending the Future Travel Experience conference was a good platform to meet industry airline and airport executives, such as SunExpress, with whom we are progressing for a pilot project. UnDelay’s AI driven,  machine learning technology, is the fastest airline communication data aggregator that determines the cause of the aircraft delay. Unlike our competitors, it can determine in real time events such as bird strikes, plane pushback approval, taxi departure, engine problems or if there is an upcoming delay discussed before an official report is released. This enables a robust action response by respective ground operative departments to fix the cause of the delay faster.”

Elevation Software

Elevation Software, a high-tech Denver-based airport and airline-focused software company, is a fully owned and operated subsidiary of Blndspt Consulting. Together the two companies aim to bring cutting edge solutions to the aviation industry. More recently, the companies which are members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), have led the effort to architect and launch the new airport Common Use Self Service (CUSS) specification which is expected to advance the use of self-service at airports. “Through partnerships with thriving US carriers like Frontier Airlines, Elevation Software is now a pivotal mainstay in some of the largest airports in the country,” explains Steve Tate, Chief Technology Officer at Blndspt Consulting & Elevation Software. “The Elevation Suite enables airlines to process passenger loads well beyond that during pre-COVID-19 times. And with cutting-edge products now hitting airports, new and interesting mobile passenger experiences can finally emerge. Processing significantly more passengers through self-service mediums continues to allow expedited and safer journeys through crowded check-in lobbies.”

Global Travel Matters

Aviation consulting company Global Travel Matters (GTM) is renowned for its management expertise and hands-on collaboration across a number of operational disciplines, including ground handling activities, cost reduction strategies, resource optimisation, performance development and digital and self-service deployment projects. The UK-based startup focuses on helping its global portfolio of clients overcome a diverse set of challenges through problem-solving advice and specialised technical examination to improve their strategic positioning and financial efficiency. Leading the company is Owner & Founder Steve Tarbuck, who is a widely acknowledged aviation professional, having held management positions with low-cost carriers including Go Fly Limited, Ryanair and Sterling Airlines, as well as full-service carriers Qatar Airways and Brussels Airlines. He explains: “Our objective is to help companies become more financially and operationally efficient through design thinking, creativity, working smarter and doing more with less.” In the last five years since its inception GTM has worked on a number of extended assignments with Dublin-based PlaneConsult for Mexican ultra-low-cost carrier VivaAerobus, as well as Saudia and Irish regional start-up carrier Emerald Airlines who will be operating the Aer Lingus regional franchise from the end of 2022. Additional customers include WOW air, Flight Register, Ink Aviation, and many more. Moreover, as an IATA accredited instructor, Tarbuck delivers training and facilitates workshops focusing on re-imagining the passenger experience through service design thinking.

Fetcherr

Israeli startup Fetcherr has developed a ground-breaking artificial intelligence technology that tackles one of the biggest challenges for airlines – pricing and revenue management. Its AI-based demand prediction and continuous pricing system enables organisations to migrate to advanced continuous AI-based decision making. Fetcherr’s technology is highly innovative in the field of artificial intelligence and is based on models that are currently utilised in sophisticated markets such as algorithmic trading and financial markets. CEO and Founder Roy Cohen explains: “Fetcherr’s live product is probably the only real-time system today in the aviation market that proved to accurately predict demand and enable better decision-making abilities such as continuous pricing, fare filing and soon fare management.” The company has recently undergone a successful validation in the aviation market with a leading Asian carrier, in which the system demonstrated accurate six-month demand forecasting capabilities even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the validation, Fetcherr says that it currently has partnerships with 18 airlines in the pipeline, and it expects to make its product available for both legacy and low-cost airlines by the end of 2021.

ICARUS

Co-funded by the European Commission, the ICARUS project aims to deliver a novel framework and architecture that leverages big data to bring innovation and collaboration across currently diversified and fragmented industry players. Among the partners taking part in ICARUS is Athens International Airport, which has undertaken trials of various descriptive and predictive analytics to address core airport capacity challenges, such as flight delay prediction, capacity modelling, airport traffic forecasting and slot allocation. According to the airport, data analytics has allowed it to discover hidden patterns and implicit relations between operations and scheduling. Participating in the project is also IT company Cellock, which has utilised the platform to examine real-life scenarios, addressing two main airline pain points – predicting on-board sales and optimising tray loading. The analysis was conducted by using historical data from buy on board (BoB) retail and food & beverage (F&B) inflight sales, the number of passengers, airplane loading for F&B, flights discrepancies, as well as other related external data, such as weather data and flight status data. Haris Zacharatos, CEO of Cellock, explained that ICARUS has helped Cellock and especially its BoB product to provide unique new features to its customers. The second scenario that was put to the test was to predict profitable discounts and offers to increase inflight sales. For this purpose, Cellock trained a machine learning algorithm to predict the number of inflight product sales, aiming to optimise tray loadings, minimise in-cabin waste, and therefore reduce CO2 emission rates. The passenger experience was indirectly enhanced by providing product sales and bundle offers on F&B and duty free products already available on board, that were related to the travellers’ overall journey or destination.

Aeroficial Intelligence

Aeroficial Intelligence is a software company providing optimisation solutions to airlines, airports, civil aviation authorities and air navigation service providers. The startup’s Performance Cockpit data analytics solution has been designed to increase runway capacity and throughput, better utilise airport infrastructure, save emissions and costs in operations. The solution has been deployed by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority to enhance capacity and runway throughput at Hamad International Airport and help increase efficiency. The company has also recently introduced its latest product, called Queue Analyser, which aims to streamline departure processes and reduce emissions on the airside.

Remember, there is still plenty of time to explore the Virtual Expo platform, as it remains open as a resource until 23:59 BST on 25th June 2021. The exhibition hall remains open and is free to access for all. Access the virtual platform here.

Interested in joining the FTE Innovation & Startup Hub?

The FTE Innovation & Startup Hub brings together the most forward-thinking corporates, startups and scaleups in the air transport industry. It provides a unique platform, through our physical and virtual events, for them to share expertise, collaborate and deliver positive change, especially during these challenging times. Corporate Partners include the likes of Pittsburgh Airport, CVG Airport, Southwest Airlines, Marubeni Corporation and many more.

Interested in joining as a Corporate Partner or a Startup Member? Contact us to learn more >>

Article originally published here:
9 travel tech startups that can accelerate post-COVID-19 recovery for airlines and airports

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Government

Pentagon Boss ‘Clarifies’ Russia & China Pose Biggest Threats After Biden Says It’s Climate Change

Pentagon Boss ‘Clarifies’ Russia & China Pose Biggest Threats After Biden Says It’s Climate Change

On Wednesday, President Biden told US troops stationed in the UK that the Joint Chiefs told him "the greatest threat facing America" is…

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Pentagon Boss 'Clarifies' Russia & China Pose Biggest Threats After Biden Says It's Climate Change

On Wednesday, President Biden told US troops stationed in the UK that the Joint Chiefs told him "the greatest threat facing America" is "global warming" - a curious pivot from "white supremacy."

On day later, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 'corrected' Biden, asserting instead that the biggest threats facing the US are China and Russia, according to US News, (and who allegedly had a big role in scamming half of pandemic unemployment funds to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars).

"Climate change does impact, but the president is looking at a much broader angle than I am," Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a congressional panel Thursday morning in response to a question by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) "I'm looking at it from a strictly military standpoint. And from a strictly military standpoint, I'm putting China, Russia up there."

Milley then backpedaled a bit, saying "Climate change is a threat. Climate change has a significant impact on military operations, and we have to take that into consideration."

"Climate change is going to impact natural resources, for example," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee,adding, "It's going to impact increased instability in various parts of the world, it's going to impact migrations and so on."

When asked how his assessment that Russia and China pose the biggest threats, Milley said "This is not, however, in conflict with the acknowledgement that climate change or infrastructure or education systems– national security has a broad angle to it. I'm looking at it from a strictly military standpoint."

On Wednesday, Biden spoke to US forces at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall, where he recounted an alleged discussion which took place while he was Vice President with the Joint Chiefs in their cloistered "tank" meeting room at the Pentagon.

"This is not a joke. You know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming," he claimed.

In response to Biden's Wednesday comments, former President Trump issued a statement.

"Biden just said that he was told by the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Climate Change is our greatest threat. If that is the case, and they actually said this, he ought to immediately fire the Joint Chiefs of Staff for being incompetent," said Trump.

Tyler Durden Fri, 06/11/2021 - 19:20

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Spread & Containment

Middle-aged Americans in US are stressed and struggle with physical and mental health – other nations do better

Adults in Germany, South Korea and Mexico reported improvements in health, well-being and memory.

Middle age was often a time to enjoy life. Now, it brings stress and bad health to many Americans, especially those with lower education levels. Mike Harrington/Getty Images

Midlife was once considered a time to enjoy the fruits of one’s years of work and parenting. That is no longer true in the U.S.

Deaths of despair and chronic pain among middle-aged adults have been increasing for the past decade. Today’s middle-aged adults – ages 40 to 65 – report more daily stress and poorer physical health and psychological well-being, compared to middle-aged adults during the 1990s. These trends are most pronounced for people who attained fewer years of education.

Although these trends preclude the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19’s imprint promises to further exacerbate the suffering. Historical declines in the health and well-being of U.S. middle-aged adults raises two important questions: To what extent is this confined to the U.S., and will COVID-19 impact future trends?

My colleagues and I recently published a cross-national study, which is currently in press, that provides insights into how U.S. middle-aged adults are currently faring in relation to their counterparts in other nations, and what future generations can expect in the post-COVID-19 world. Our study examined cohort differences in the health, well-being and memory of U.S. middle-aged adults and whether they differed from middle-aged adults in Australia, Germany, South Korea and Mexico.

A middle-aged woman looking sad sitting in front of artwork.
Susan Stevens poses for a photograph in her daughter Toria’s room with artwork Toria left behind at their home in Lewisville, N.C. Toria died from an overdose. Eamon Queeney/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

US is an outlier among rich nations

We compared people who were born in the 1930s through the 1960s in terms of their health and well-being – such as depressive symptoms and life satisfaction – and memory in midlife.

Differences between nations were stark. For the U.S., we found a general pattern of decline. Americans born in the 1950s and 1960s experienced overall declines in well-being and memory in middle age compared to those born in the 1930s and 1940s. A similar pattern was found for Australian middle-aged adults.

In contrast, each successive cohort in Germany, South Korea and Mexico reported improvements in well-being and memory. Improvements were observed in health for each nation across cohorts, but were slowed for Americans born in the 1950s and 1960s, suggesting they improved less rapidly than their counterparts in the countries examined.

Our study finds that middle-aged Americans are experiencing overall declines in key outcomes, whereas other nations are showing general improvements. Our cross-national approach points to policies that could could help alleviate the long-term effects arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will COVID-19 exacerbate troubling trends?

Initial research on the short-term effects of COVID-19 is telling.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the fragility of life. Seismic shifts have been experienced in every sphere of existence. In the U.S., job loss and instability rose, household financial fragility and lack of emergency savings have been spotlighted, and children fell behind in school.

At the start of the pandemic the focus was rightly on the safety of older adults. Older adults were most vulnerable to the risks posed by COVID-19, which included mortality, social isolation and loneliness. Indeed, older adults were at higher risk, but an overlooked component has been how the mental health risks and long-haul effects will likely differ across age groups.

Yet, young adults and middle-aged adults are showing the most vulnerabilities in their well-being. Studies are documenting that they are currently reporting more psychological distress and stressors and poorer well-being, compared to older adults. COVID-19 has been exacerbating inequalities across race, gender and socioeconomic status. Women are more likely to leave the workforce, which could further strain their well-being.

A older women hugs her daughter.
Middle-aged people often have parents to take care of as well as children. Ron Levine/Getty Images

Changing views and experiences of midlife

The very nature and expectations surrounding midlife are shifting. U.S. middle-aged adults are confronting more parenting pressures than ever before, in the form of engagement in extracurricular activities and pressures for their children to succeed in school. Record numbers of young adults are moving back home with their middle-aged parents due to student loan debt and a historically challenging labor and housing market.

A direct effect of gains in life expectancy is that middle-aged adults are needing to take on more caregiving-related duties for their aging parents and other relatives, while continuing with full-time work and taking care of school-aged children. This is complicated by the fact that there is no federally mandated program for paid family leave that could cover instances of caregiving, or the birth or adoption of a child. A recent AARP report estimated that in 2020, there were 53 million caregivers whose unpaid labor was valued at US$470 billion.

The restructuring of corporate America has led to less investment in employee development and destabilization of unions. Employees now have less power and input than ever before. Although health care coverage has risen since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, notable gaps exist. High numbers of people are underinsured, which leads to more out-of-pocket expenses that eat up monthly budgets and financially strain households. President Biden’s executive order for providing a special enrollment period of the health care marketplace exchange until Aug. 15, 2021 promises to bring some relief to those in need.

Promoting a prosperous midlife

Our cross-national approach provides ample opportunities to explore ways to reverse the U.S. disadvantage and promote resilience for middle-aged adults.

The nations we studied vastly differ in their family and work policies. Paid parental leave and subsidized child care help relieve the stress and financial strain of parenting in countries such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Research documents how well-being is higher in both parents and nonparents in nations with more generous family leave policies.

Countries with ample paid sick and vacation days ensure that employees can take time off to care for an ailing family member. Stronger safety nets protect laid-off employees by ensuring that they have the resources available to stay on their feet.

In the U.S., health insurance is typically tied to one’s employment. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic over 5 million people in the U.S. lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs.

During the pandemic, the U.S. government passed policy measures to aid people and businesses. The U.S. approved measures to stimulate the economy through stimulus checks, payroll protection for small businesses, expansion of unemployment benefits and health care enrollment, child tax credits, and individuals’ ability to claim forbearance for various forms of debt and housing payments. Some of these measures have been beneficial, with recent findings showing that material hardship declined and well-being improved during periods when the stimulus checks were distributed.

I believe these programs are a good start, but they need to be expanded if there is any hope of reversing these troubling trends and promoting resilience in middle-aged Americans. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded that paid family leave has a wide range of benefits, including, but not limited to, addressing health, racial and gender inequities; helping women stay in the workforce; and assisting businesses in recruiting skilled workers. Research from Germany and the United Kingdom shows how expansions in family leave policies have lasting effects on well-being, particularly for women.

Middle-aged adults form the backbone of society. They constitute large segments of the workforce while having to simultaneously bridge younger and older generations through caregiving-related duties. Ensuring their success, productivity, health and well-being through these various programs promises to have cascading effects on their families and society as a whole.

[Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.]

Frank J. Infurna receives funding from the National Institute on Aging and previously from the John Templeton Foundation. The content is solely his responsibility and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

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Economics

Inflation In Context: A Liquidity Adjusted CPI Index

First, folks, please send your prayers, thoughts, good feelings, positive energy, miracles, healing touch, whatever you got, and whatever it takes to GMM’s beloved Carol K., who keeps battling, never giving up against a serious disease in Boston at…

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First, folks, please send your prayers, thoughts, good feelings, positive energy, miracles, healing touch, whatever you got, and whatever it takes to GMM’s beloved Carol K., who keeps battling, never giving up against a serious disease in Boston at one, if not the best hospital in the world.  Even in her critical condition, she contributed to this post — though she may not agree with all its final points.  She’s truly an amazing and incredibly strong human being.  Semper Fi and Godspeed, CK.  

We had a few requests to write up something about today’s hot U.S consumer price inflation data. So we put together a quick note in honor of our friend from down in the Land of Oz, GMac, one of the most decent human beings on earth. He is one proud father of a super studly 18-year son, who is an incredible surfer and someday wants to surf Mavericks.  God. Bless. His. Soul.

Let us preface our inflation note with one of our favorite quotes:

World War II was transitory – GMM

Recall our post in January, Ready For 4 Percent CPI By Mid-Year?, when we speculated the U.S. would be experiencing 4 percent inflation, possibly 5 percent by mid-year.  We were beaten down like a red-headed stepchild (I am at liberty to say that as I have been a ginger most of my life).

GMM was also one of the first to point out the base effects (12-month comps) would kick in April and May 2021 due to the deflation that troughed last year from the COVID crash.  But don’t be gaslighted the lastest few month-on-month core prints essentially negate the base effect excuse for high inflation as three-month core CPI is now running at 7.9 percent on an annual basis.

We don’t know for certain if inflation will stick and move higher or lower but as better folk we are taking the over, however.

Liquidity Tsunami

We do know the major global central banks have pumped in a shitload of high-powered money into the global financial system over the past year — as in around $10 trillion, close 50 percent increse of their collective balance sheets.   Here’s Dr. Ed’s excellent chart,

Moreover, banks now seem eager to start lending, thus creating more endogenous money on top of the trillions upon trillions of base money central banks have already injected.

Transitory?  Yeah, right.   

It’s not a question whether the Fed has the tools to reign it in, it’s do they have the ‘nads?  Given the multiple asset bubbles that would burst, and bust spectacularly, if the Fed draws it word,  we seriously doubt it. 

The following chart from Dr. Ed also illustrates not only has the digital printing press been working overtime, the credit system is just fine and dandy as deposits are expanding.  Don’t be confused by, yes, the base effect, as the money aggregates have a much large base to grow from they did a year ago before the pandemic.

Tough to beat comps after expanding over 25 percent 

Note, these are monetary aggregates, which include cash in circulation, bank deposits among near money and other short-term time deposits, not the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet, though it does hugely influence the data.  

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is yardeni.png

Big spurts from the digital printing press without a credit crisis and an impaired financial system — as was the case after the Great Financial Crisis — will almost always generate inflationary pressures.   Stimulating demand without production during a supply shock is not optimal unless carefully targeted to those who need it most.   

It’s very amusing to us to see the FinTweets, “peak inflation has arrived.”  True, if the financial markets crash.  But what do they base their conclusion on?  A warm feeling in their tummy?   

Show me the money data, Jerry.  

Banks Itching To Lend

Banks now seem eager to start lending, thus creating more endogenous money on top of the trillions of base money central banks have injected.  

Loans are “starting to pick up,” and there’s plenty of borrowing capacity because companies have unused credit lines, {BofA CEO Brian ]Moynihan said. Loan growth has been a challenge across the banking industry because many consumers and businesses are sitting on cash from savings and stimulus during the pandemic. – Bloomberg, June 6

This should send shivers up the Fed’s spine, but we are not so sure.  We are also not so sure they are not flying blind and will again miss the next big one just as they have in the past. 

The Chart: Liquidity Adjusted Inflation. 

It’s late and we want to present the chart in honor of GMac. 

We have taken the non seasonaly adjusted year-on-year change of CPI and subtracted a scaled up version of the Chicago Fed’s  National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI), which measures how loose or tight monetary conditions are in the U.S..  It’s has been running at an extreme historical low — i.e., very loose financial conditions.   

You can see the 105 indicators it is based upon here.

We are trying to give context to the inflation data of how loose and accomodative finnancial market and monetary conditions are currently.   As you can see, today’s year-on-year CPI print less the NFCI is at the highest level since November 1990, which was in the middle of the first Gulf war, Where the Fed was facing spiking inflation due to the run-up in oil and a recession.  

Prior to that our adjusted inflation index hasn’t been so high since the high inflation late 197Os and early ‘80s.  Gulp. 

Clearly, it is a different environment in today’s economy.  In fact, just the opposite – the economy is ready to roar for the next several quarters as consumers are flush with cash, the supply chain is still a mess due to the “bullwhip effect” (more on this in a future post), and new businesses should be looking for credit and loans to rebuild and start new ventures.    

Most of all, folks, the central banks still have their pedal to the metal and balls to the walls, and as we all know (well some of us),

Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output. – Milton Friendman 

The Upshot

Inflation is way too high given exremely easy financial and monetary conditions.  There will be blood. 

Finally 

Life is transitory. 

Inflation has eroded my purchasing power in my transitory life.  Bring back the $.35 Big Mac, which was only about 20 percent of the minimum wage.  Now?  About 40-50 percent.  Enough to spark a revolution. 

Finally, the Democrats should begin to worry.

Stay tuned. 

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