XO Invests In AI To Improve Processes As Demand Grows

Credit: XO

XO, a global private jet travel provider based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to maximize its process and practices to make transportation more accessible to a larger group of customers. 

Its practices represent how much the industry has changed over the past decade as it continues to evolve at a faster pace than ever before. 

Using XO’s proprietary technology that monitors occupancy, aircraft positioning and demand, the company has provided insight on four co-dependent areas of its business in a recent report. The four areas include shared charter, instant booking with guaranteed pricing, a floating fleet and aircraft utilization, all of which are designed to increase the efficiency and accessibility of an industry sometimes perceived as being wasteful and inaccessible.

Shared charter practices could arguably be the most influential shift in how companies such as XO are changing the landscape of the industry.

“On average, we are placing 10 to 12 passengers on each shared charter, compared to 2.3 passengers on a traditional private charter” says Vinay Roy, chief product officer at XO’s affiliate company, Vista. “We have also seen a 100% increase in shared charter growth in 2021.”

A prominent example of this growth can be seen in the most popular private jet route in the world; the New York metropolitan area to and from South Florida. Lynn Fischer, XO’s chief marketing officer, says the company is now operating about 40 legs on this route per week on its fleet of CRJ-200 aircraft. In 2021, XO organized more than 1,200 shared flights, which the report estimates saved about 36,000 tons of CO2.

Next, XO’s instant booking component with guaranteed pricing has reduced the private aviation booking process by more than 98%, with the process now only taking seconds, it says. The 98% of the process that has been eliminated refers to the generation of soft quotes, and the multi-day, multi-touchpoint process these quotes needed to pass through to come to a final price and completed booking. With pricing guaranteed, and with the buying power XO is endowed with to ensure a price is honored no matter the repositioning needs, the bulk of the process is eliminated, the report says.

In addition, the benefits of XO’s floating fleet model has cut empty aircraft flying in half to 25%, according to the report. Traditionally a home-based approach left operators no choice but to return to their bases, as scheduling formerly was based more on round trip rather than one-way itineraries, which are now more commonplace. Roy attributes this improved statistic to the company’s AI’s predictive analytics, which help optimize routes, fleet, and crew.

Finally, there is XO’s aircraft utilization. Thanks to explosive demand starting in 2021, the report determined that XO’s dedicated fleet flies more than 1,000 hr. per year. On average, personally owned aircraft fly about 250 hr. per year. Given the constant use of the aircraft it flies, Fischer says XO’s top tier customers would benefit more from flying with XO instead of purchasing their own aircraft, unless an individual flies privately for more than 1,000 hr. per year. 

XO has about 350 aircraft under its management, with an alliance network consisting of another 2,000 aircraft. Based on the figures, the findings of the report are positive from an accessibility and efficiency perspective. It is noticeable how other companies with more traditional business models are adapting to the trends that are apparent in the report and could allude to the idea that this is the best time to be involved with private aviation.

Matthew Orloff

Based in Los Angeles, Matthew Orloff covers business aviation for Aviation Week Network.