Dubai-based flydubai today signed an agreement with IIIT-Hyderabad for setting up flydubai’s Aviation Co-Innovation Lab at the institute in Hyderabad. The announcement was made alongside flydubai’s Air Travel BotHack, which was organised in partnership with Hyderabad-based tech start-up HackMania, on 25 and 26 March 2017. This further deepens the airline’s commitment to enhancing air travel and customer experience.
The agreement was signed by Ramesh Venkat, flydubai’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and P.J. Narayanan, IIIT-Hyderabad’s Director. As part of the agreement, flydubai’s domain experts and engineers will work together with faculty and researchers of IIIT-Hyderabad, where the latter will provide deeptech inputs in the areas of data mining and extraction, natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This will enable research from labs to come closer to addressing real world problems that the industry is facing. flydubai’s Aviation Co-Innovation Lab will work on three levels of engagement:
- Commissioned research: IIIT-Hyderabad’s research centre will work on flydubai’s research challenges
- Co-innovation: flydubai’s engineers will work on aviation challenges with deeptech inputs from IIIT-Hyderabad’s research labs
- Prototyping new technologies from start-up ecosystem: Mentorship and deeptech support will be provided to the winner of flydubai’s Air Travel BotHack
The winner of the BotHack, Team Bot Alina, will receive mentorship to incubate their ideas, an internship at flydubai’s Develoment Centre in India (IDC) in Hyderabad and tickets from flydubai. The BotHack was organized following the success of flydubai’s Air Travel Hackathon held last year. Eight teams pitched their ideas and received guidance from a panel of experts from flydubai’s IT Team as well as veterans in the technology sector. A boot camp was also organised on 13 March 2017 to further engage with the technology community in Hyderabad and provide greater insights to the developers on strategic areas in air travel where technology plays a significant role.
Commenting on the announcement, Ramesh Venkat, flydubai’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), said: “The flydubai team is committed to constantly enhancing our product offerings. We are delighted to partner with IIIT-Hyderabad and work closely with bright minds to develop meaningful customer centric products. We look forward to a fruitful association in incubating ideas and building full-fledged products. It is indeed overwhelming to see the response that we have received from the developer community in Hyderabad through the BotHack and we look forward to a deeper engagement with them.”
Sharing his thoughts on the collaboration, P.J. Narayanan, IIIT-Hyderabad’s Director, said: “We are excited about this partnership with flydubai. We look forward to collaborating in areas like natural language processing, machine learning and data mining to solve problems in the aviation industry”.
“We are proud to be facilitators of the BotHack that encourages young coders from across India to develop solutions for the air travel industry. We have received an extremely positive response from the tech community due to the mentorship they receive from flydubai’s team and other industry experts,” added Rajat Shahi, Founder and CEO of Hackmania, while speaking on the BotHack.
Last year, flydubai launched its open Application Programming Interface (API) to allow business partners, consumers and the developer communities to build a customised booking experience and create their own apps. flydubai also continues to invest in technology and currently offers WiFi, Live Television and over 1,000 hours of non-stop entertainment on board through its touch-screen In-Flight Entertainment system.
flydubai currently operates 5 flights a week to Hyderabad from Dubai in addition to flights to seven more destinations in India including Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. The airline operates a single type fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737 800 aircraft. It has built a network of 90 destinations served by more than 1,700 flights a week operating out of Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC).