Swiss has declared a success its trial of using artificial intelligence to count passengers during boarding, and will adopt the process formally from next year.

It plans to replace manual counting on short-haul flights in the third quarter of 2024 and on long-haul services from the fourth.

“Once the new [artificial intelligence-based] procedure is adopted, there should be no further need to conduct manual passenger counts on board,” says the carrier.

The airline has selected Berlin-based company Vion AI as its technology partner for the change.

“Use of artificial intelligence will help make the boarding process faster and more efficient,” says head of operations Oliver Buchhofer.

“This in turn will reduce waiting times and give our guests a more pleasant travel experience. The new digital count will ease the workload on our cabin crews, too.”

Swiss Airbus-c-Swiss

Source: Swiss

Swiss will introduce the procedure initially on short-haul flights from the third quarter of 2024

Buchhofer claims the new procedure will also “eliminate” the “irregularities” which can emerge from manual counting.

Swiss had disclosed earlier this year that it was carrying out a trial of the procedure. The three-month trial involved compiling video footage of boarding under various conditions, and with different aircraft types.

This video assisted development of an initial software prototype which was then tested and found to be reliable.

Vion AI will work with the carrier to refine the software, and manual passenger counts will continue over this period. Swiss says the video-only recordings taken during boarding will be treated in accordance with data-protection regulations, with no personal identification, and deleted afterwards.