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KLM and BCG bring to market a unique artificial intelligence-based set of solutions for airline operations

AMSTERDAM— KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) today announced the launch of a unique partnership aimed at improving airline operations worldwide by driving growth, accelerating innovation, and streamlining operations, to meet the demands of today’s customers worldwide.

This cooperation marks the first time a leading aviation company has joined forces with a top tier consultancy to bring to market a new service—a jointly developed artificial intelligence-based system of integrated solutions and tailored, proven tools.

Over the past 18 months, KLM and BCG have joined forces behind the common belief that operating as a cost center and serving a purely executional role must be considered a thing of the past. In an increasingly complex and busy environment, the reliability of an airline’s operations is a growing competitive advantage. KLM has the ambition to remain a frontrunner.

Deploying common teams made up of employees of KLM Operations Decision Support and Operations frontline staff, BCG's Airline practice, and members of BCG Gamma (an AI & Advanced Analytics entity of over 450 world-class data scientists, data engineers, and software developers), this KLM-BCG partnership has developed a state of the art solution based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced optimization that addresses all elements of airline operations.

With these tools, airlines will be able to tackle the most complex decisions pertaining to fleet, crew, ground services, and network, with a focus on breaking down the typical siloes across these departments, whether it concerns long-term strategic questions or disruption management optimization on the day of operations. This requires a deep understanding and optimization of tradeoffs across cost, operational performance, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. With the first set of successful solutions already operational at KLM, both KLM and BCG are ready to launch this service to the aviation industry worldwide.

Rene de Groot, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of KLM commented, “I am excited about this partnership with BCG. We share the vision that operations as a cost center and a purely executional role is a thing of the past. For KLM, this partnership also strengthens the digital-focused strategy we have developed over the past several years, and is a key move to becoming the most customer-centric, innovative, and efficient network carrier. In the fast-paced aviation industry, the successful companies will be those who build the right strategic partnerships to accelerate innovation, growth, and customer value.”

Nicolas Boutin, Head of BCG’s Airline practice commented, “Today’s announcement brings together two visionary industry leaders, with complementary cultures and track records for innovation. We have worked with KLM for many years. Our partnership will drive growth for both companies, stimulate a unique value for customers worldwide, and be an incredible innovation boost for the industry.”

About KLM

For 98 years, KLM has been a pioneer in the airline industry and is the oldest airline to still be operating under its original name. KLM aims to be the most customer-focused, innovative, and efficient airline in Europe, offering reliable service and top-quality products.

KLM carried a record 32.7 million passengers in 2017, offering its passengers direct flights to 165 destinations with a modern fleet of more than 160 aircraft. The airline employs a workforce of more 32,000 people worldwide. The KLM Group as a whole transported more than 41 million passengers in 2017. In addition to KLM, the KLM Group includes KLM Cityhopper, Transavia, and Martinair. The KLM network connects the Netherlands with all of the world’s key economic regions, and is a powerful engine driving the Netherlands’ economy.

For more information about KLM, please visit KLM.com, KLM Newsroom, Facebook, Twitter and the KLM Blog.

ABOUT THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with offices in more than 90 cities in 50 countries.

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