04 December, 2023

Premium Hong Kong travel lifestyle brand Cathay collaborates with AWS to reduce IT infrastructure costs by 40%

Amazon Web Services - AWS has announced that Cathay, the premium travel lifestyle brand that includes Hong Kong's hometown airline Cathay Pacific, has selected AWS as its strategic cloud provider and is working with AWS to establish the Cathay Machine Learning Innovation Hub. 

The program combines AWS's broad set of cloud technologies and comprehensive cloud skills resources with Cathay's machine learning (ML) expertise to deliver companywide innovations across its global operations, unlocking business value and equipping employees with ML skills. As part of the company’s ongoing digital transformation, Cathay will also move the majority of its IT workloads to AWS.

Working with AWS, Cathay has already identified hundreds of ML use cases and successfully deployed more than 50 ML models. For example, Cathay and AWS developed ML models that accurately predict the demand for inflight meals, to help minimize food waste, and dynamically forecast available cargo space for each flight. The Cathay Machine Learning Innovation Hub will advance this work by leveraging AWS technologies to identify use cases and accelerate ML innovations for its travel, lifestyle, and cargo business lines. In the long term, Cathay plans to make industry solutions developed through the Cathay Machine Learning Innovation Hub, such as cargo revenue planning and aviation route prediction, available to other companies in the commercial aviation sector.

 AWS to reduce IT infrastructure costs by 40% and establish the Cathay Machine Learning Innovation Hub to automate operations and enhance air travel experiences

Cathay is already seeing the impact of ML innovations driven by its work with AWS. For example, Cathay is working with AWS to create an end-to-end natural language processing (NLP) service that automates the classification of customer feedback from online and offline channels across more than 100 comment categories. This automation improves the accuracy of comment classification and labeling, and it helps the customer service team respond faster, improving the customer experience. In addition, Cathay Cargo, the company’s cargo business, is using Amazon SageMaker, a full managed service to build, train, and deploy ML models, Amazon OpenSearch Service, real-time search, monitoring, and analysis of business and operational data, and Amazon Redshift, a cloud data warehouse, to build a revenue management model for its cargo business. The model allows the sales team to refine their revenue strategies, based on demand and availability, to increase profitability and customer loyalty.

AWS’s proven, secure, and highly resilient infrastructure allows Cathay to provide a stable and seamless experience for customers and enhance its operational performance. Running on AWS, Cathay can scale to meet sudden demands in peak travel periods, like summer and holiday seasons, providing customers with a faster and more reliable booking and travel experience. To date, the travel company has successfully migrated more than 50% of its legacy and mission-critical enterprise workloads to AWS, reducing IT infrastructure costs by 40%. Throughout its cloud migration journey, Cathay has maintained zero downtime.

In addition, Cathay is collaborating with AWS Skills Guild, a comprehensive cloud skills enablement program, to provide training and certification to its employees in technical and business areas, which will help their workforce gain new skills to innovate using the cloud. The company plans to upskill 1,000 employees, including its senior management team, in the next three years.

“AWS has been instrumental in Cathay's digital transformation journey. AWS not only supported us with the technology we needed, but they have also been a trusted partner in strengthening our change capabilities and innovation culture for the organization,” said Lawrence Fong, director of Digital and IT at Cathay. “The Cathay Machine Learning Innovation Hub will empower us to use the latest technologies, such as generative artificial intelligence, to enhance our customers’ travel experience and digital touchpoints. We believe the Hub will not only incubate Cathay's internal innovation across various business units, but also foster advancements in the wider aviation industry.”

“AWS has provided Cathay with the technology foundation and organizational readiness to integrate machine learning and generative artificial intelligence into every part of their business to optimize operations and elevate the customer experience,” said Massimo Morin, Global Head, Travel, AWS for Travel and Hospitality. “Thanks to our longstanding work with Cathay, the company is poised to become a global brand that powers what’s next in the premium travel lifestyle space.”