There has been some commentary recently about the airline / air travel business as a prime candidate for CEP. Firstly, Prof. David Luckam himself mentioned [*1] Air Traffic Control as an ideal CEP application of the future (as ATC is about all 3 of the key CEP characteristics: situation awareness, sense-and-respond, and track-and-trace). This is becoming increasingly relevant as the skies get more crowded, and routing to minimize fuel burn becomes more important.
Airlines’ operations are also taking notice of CEP: some TIBCO airline customers [*2] are using CEP to provide increased operational insight to their staff, allowing them to make better decisions, improve information to passengers, and reduce delays for passengers and cargo / baggage.
Typical scenarios requiring “better” / “more intelligent” (aka more predictive) processes by the airlines include:
* March Madness: especially any weather / game / other event that will impact handling the passenger load in any way
* the Jet Blue Scenario: re-assigning operations and ensuring customers are informed during worst-case catastrophes [*3]
Other airline business areas that benefit from CEP’s real-time analysis, real-time decisions prior to issues developing, and rapid integration into existing event systems are:
* aircraft maintenance handling
* cargo operations
* customer relationships through improved communications.
Airlines are finding their businesses becoming more and more aggressively competitive. Legislation/deregulation like Open Skies provides opportunity and threat, and new airlines continue to try and change the service level / cost balance. This is truely a changing, real-time business, that can benefit more from CEP technology to make better use of its “event cloud“.
 One public announcement is at http://www.tibco.com/company/news/releases/2007/press788.jsp