• 14 DEC 2020


In October, six IAG tech graduates joined the Hangar 51 team. We have previously looked at the innovative, futuristic ideas of three of the graduates. We will now take a look at the ideas of Sreejith Sreekumar, John Bamford and Shuaib Katib.

Sreejith Sreekumar

Sreejith joined IAG Tech in September 2020 on the Tech Grad Scheme with a focus in Data Science. He has a strong interest in technology and is an avid boxing fan.


Image of Blockchain's distributed nature

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger in which data is stored on a public database. Blockchain does not rely on a single entity and instead uses multiple record keepers to agree the ledger via the use of a consensus algorithm. The power of blockchain comes from the fact that it is very difficult to change data without being picked up the consensus algorithm therefore the acts as append only. The system is decentralised so there is no single point of failure, the blocks of data are in chronological order, so it provides a timeline and the consensus algorithm prevents the risk of fraud.

There are some headwinds to the implementation of Blockchain technologies into the Airline industry, particularly with regard to regulation. The regulations can vary by region, but the platform will need to be able to meet requirements therefore an open dialogue maybe needed. An example of such regulation is GDPR which requires PII to be able to be deleted.

Overall, blockchain looks to be a promising new technology to overhaul outdated legacy data systems. The ultimate adoption into the airline industry will need to be done through working with regulators but also through industry leadership. This requires a party to incorporate the many stakeholders to agree the appropriate structure and rules of the platform. The final advantages also include the ability to incorporate with IOT, Robotics and provide smart contracts which may be worth the effort.

John Bamford 

John is an IAG Tech grad on the data science stream. He has a background in mechanical engineering and computer science, and enjoys long distance running.

Luggage Handling System

The luggage handling system (LHS) is a new way of handling the luggage of customers that gives them convenience to increase their satisfaction. Customers will have an LHS app which allows them to track their luggage and order LHS services. The use of automation and digitalisation will reduce staff in some areas. The LHS will generate revenue while increasing customer satisfaction as the customer can pay for some convenient services. An overview of LHS functions and services is given below:

  • Journey start arrangements
  • Track stages of luggage handling
  • Weight exceeding 23kg notification
  • Journey end arrangements
  • Lost luggage proceedings

Social distancing considerations:

  • With a drop-off location for luggage, customers will need to visit this only once and very quickly. From then, coming into contact or handling luggage that others have touched is eliminated.
  • If a customer’s luggage is too heavy, this will be handled digitally, though will need a single person to oversee it.
  • Upon arriving at the destination, there will be a large reduction of crowds at the collection point. Each customer has a collection time window.
  • If their luggage is lost, the proceedings will avoid contact with staff and handling hard copies of forms.

Shuaib Katib 

Shuaib graduated with a Forensic Science degree from De Montfort University. As well as having a keen interest in technology, he also loves football, photography and travelling.

Robotic Crew Members

During this covid pandemic we look at many ways we can reduce face to face contact for customer and staff safety. It is a difficult problem to overcome as cabin crew provide that service which makes the flight a unique and personalised one.

An idea which I have been looking at is using AI within the cabin to enhance customer experience and assist the cabin crew, not completely replace them. This robot could take food to passengers and would fit along the aisle for ease. It could also take orders and assist passengers with any queries they may face. The reduced cabin crew due to this would save costs which could then be reinvested into said robots.

The cabin crew would be trained on maintenance of these robots so a specialised team would not need to be on hand to help with this. These robots could also be programmed to deal with on flight maintenance of the aircraft by being integrated with communications with components on the aircraft. This also frees up a lot of time for cabin crew to ensure everything is perfect for each passenger.