Budget airline EasyJet has decided to jump on all the hippest tech trends, embracing 3D printing, drones and the Apple Watch.
The company isn’t simply going through a midlife crisis, but aiming to streamline its services, both internally and from the perspective of its customers.
The most interesting of these developments is the plan to use drones for speedier safety inspections, which will start taking place from 2016 onwards.
“We have made great strides on our work with drone technology having successfully tested automated drone inspections of our aircraft and we have agreed a new collaboration with Airbus for an inflight prognosis tool,” said EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall.
“Both of these support our aim of eliminating technical related delays.”
The compact drones will circle the aircrafts while sat stationary at gates, removing the need for slow, potentially dangerous human inspections.
3D printing has also been identified as a way to build replacement aircraft cabin parts. The next generation of engines to be used by EasyJet are set to be at least partially 3D printed too.
"The use of these emerging technologies frees up our engineering and digital teams to enable them to undertake more skilled tasks, keeping our costs down which in turn keeps our fares low,” said EasyJet's head of engineering, Ian Davies.
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Furthermore, EasyJet has developed a new iPhone app, Apple Watch app, and ‘digital self-managing tool’, which it says will enable customers affected by disruptions to book their own accommodation and flights.
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