Aviation

Meet Air New Zealand’s newest employee

The best of Air New Zealand is coming over to Australia – and we’ve got the goss.
Rejoice! Air New Zealand’s chatbot is finally in Australia!
The airlines first artificial intelligence-backed employee has shed his wings (sort of) and received his first international promotion – beginning work online in Australia.
P.S, his name is Bravo Oscar Tango (Oscar for short). Excuse us while we go ask him some questions (about Air New Zealand, obvs).
Oscar was launched in February 2017 initially on the airline’s New Zealand website to help customers with commonly asked questions, saving them time and offering a more personalised experience than scrolling for hours on end through a traditional Frequently Asked Questions section.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says Oscar had a seven per cent success rate on his first day and is now able to provide the answers to customers’ questions 67 per cent of the time, which is a great achievement for a young chatbot. 
“While Oscar is still a bot in training, we’ve been delighted with the uptake which means we can increase his presence and introduce him online across the Tasman to help our Australia-based customers with their queries. 
“We know customers generally turn to him when looking for quick answers on the day of travel and for booking flights, with hot topics including booking confirmation, baggage allowance and Airports queries,” he said. 
He was launched in beta mode (with training wheels on) allowing him to learn from the questions asked by customers so the airline could continue to build him to meet the needs of his users. Smart, right?
 
“In the past 90 days Oscar has had around 55,000 conversations, typically receiving between 300 and 350 queries a day. On a busy day, he’ll receive more than 1,000 queries, with his peak demand times mirroring those of our call centre.” 
“In preparation for his promotion to Australia, Oscar has also been kept busy learning some distinctive Aussie lingo and sayings,” Golan added. 
But forget helping customers with their queries and doing his job – Oscar can sing and tell jokes!
And if that’s not enough for you, he’s also been recently launched on Air New Zealand’s mobile app so he can help you on the go. Perfect for when you need help with flights – or just need someone to talk to.


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