JetBlue Ventures invests $150 million in software that helps airlines plan flights

JetBlue Ventures invests $150 million in software that helps airlines plan flights

22 Sept Reuters - FLYR Labs, maker of software which uses artificial intelligence to help airlines price and plan flights, said on Wednesday it raised $150 million in equity financing for a company that uses AI to prepare for its flight.

FLYR CEO Alex Mans said the software uses available information among other data points to make pricing and scheduling suggestions. Most airlines still rely heavily on human analysts for this work, he said.

According to FLYR, for example, scheduled flights from the northeastern United States to Florida and Latin America will not meet demand in the upcoming holiday season, particularly morning and afternoon flights during the week of Dec. 13.

Airlines can use the information to add more flights or make other changes.

The San Francisco startup said it has over half a dozen airline customers including Air New Zealand Ltd and will have more than 10 before the end of the year.

By the end of this year, we're on track to manage approximately $800 billion in airlines revenues, Mans said, adding that the global revenue for the airline industry was about $14 billion in 2019. The goal is for $100 billion of revenue under management by the end of 2023. Mans said eventually FLYR will extend its service to rental cars, entertainment events, cargo and railways.

The latest round of funding was led by WestCap, a tech investment firm that invests in startups that have options to expand. JetBlue Technology Ventures, the investment arm of JetBlue Airways Corp, also participated.

FLYR declined to give its valuation.