Cirium, the aviation analytics company, has announced the acquisition of Migacore, a travel technology start-up.
Migacore demonstrates how applying advanced machine learning (ML) techniques to online data sources can help airlines stay ahead of changes in passenger demand.
It says that it has worked with some of the world’s most advanced carriers, such as Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, to translate data from online news, search, social media, events and exhibitions, into signals that can help predict real-world travel demand.
Cirium’s chief strategy officer, Kevin O’Toole, said: “The airline industry has been experimenting with new sources of demand data for some time, but the pandemic has now made this an absolute necessity. Past booking patterns today give virtually no guide to current demand.
“Migacore is not alone in looking for new demand signals, but it really stands out. Their airline partners were clearly impressed with how the team had taken time to understand and integrate with the highly automated workflow around revenue management. And we were impressed too.
“Integrating our forecasting capabilities into the Cirium portfolio will bring forward the new model that the market has needed for some time, allowing airlines to better forecast the intent to travel.”
After a series of successful airline trials, the Migacore team and technology are joining Cirium, which is part of RELX, to help to scale the capabilities.
The Migacore team will not only gain access to Cirium’s data and resources, but also to the group’s commercial reach across global aviation.
Airline demand models have traditionally been built around comparing current booking activity against historic trends, with the ticket offers raised or lowered to ensure that a flight is filled at optimum fare levels.
The search was already on to improve on this but has been accelerated by the “unprecedented collapse of flying during the pandemic”.
Migacore chief executive officer and co-founder Abheer Kolhatkar, added: “Ultimately that means better matching between market demand and the airline offer, which should be good for travellers and carriers alike.”
The plan is to scale the existing service under the Cirium brand and to make similar forecasting available to clients across air travel and into aerospace, aircraft finance and beyond.