Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, is famous for saying that the best way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start off as a billionaire. There was a time when airline service, like telephone service, was strictly regulated. Prices were high, and flying was a luxury, but airline financial security was all but guaranteed. No major U.S. carrier had ever gone broke. Today, airlines ride a roller coaster of wide open competition, unpredictable fuel prices, and layers of security that were unimaginable in the early years of the jet age. The road is littered with the remains of airlines that couldn’t handle the change.

At the same time, it’s clear that the airline industry has no intention of giving up the fight. In conjunction with aircraft manufacturers, airlines are developing and applying every technological trick conceivable to increase efficiency and expand their meager margins. The newest jet engines will be far more fuel efficient than they have ever been, able to provide greater thrust in a lighter body, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual operational savings for every aircraft. Airplanes are also being made out of lighter composite materials, in addition to being more aerodynamically designed. These and other design and operational changes promise to keep the industry safely in the air, although airlines that are slow to adapt will be quick to fold.

One of the most revolutionary, and yet simple to incorporate ideas, comes from Airline Intelligence Systems. The company has come up with a way to use advanced computer processing to apply sophisticated mathematical algorithms, effectively solving one of the most challenging problems faced by airlines, the timely production of comprehensive business plans. It’s an issue that has vexed the industry for decades, due to the difficulty of accurately processing all of the rapidly changing and interactive variables involved in airline operation. The business planning process could take weeks or even months to complete, by which time everything could have changed.

Already being tested by a major airline, AI System’s jetEngine BPS offering now makes it possible for anyone to generate a complete and accurate airline business plan in only minutes, with the potential of saving the airline industry an estimated $20 billion annually.

For additional information, visit the company’s website at

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