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Govt launches upgraded version of AirSewa digital platform for air passengers

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 19, 2018  | 22:24 IST

(Eds: Adding more quotes after para 13) New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) Air passengers can now seek help of chatbots to resolve their problems and register grievances using social media, with the government Monday launching an upgraded version of AirSewa digital platform. Passengers will also have access to real-time flight status and schedule for both domestic and international flights with AirSewa 2.0, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry. Besides, the ministry plans to come out with the next generation of AirSewa 3.0 digital platform in the next few months, wherein air travellers can register themselves under DigiYatra initiative. DigiYatra seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. It is biometrics-based digital processing system for passenger entry and related requirements at the airport. AirSewa 2.0, the upgraded version of the web portal and mobile app, provides chatbot support for faster resolution and personalised traveller experience. Also, passengers can sign up using their Facebook and Google accounts. Generally, chatbots are computer programmes that interact with people through audio or text messages. Among other features, grievances can be registered using social media with hashtag '#AirSewa'. The AirSewa portal and mobile app were launched in November 2016. Since the launch, AirSewa 1.0 has helped resolve significant number of air passenger concerns, as per the ministry. Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, who launched the new version of the digital platform, said the third generation -- AirSewa 3.0 -- would be introduced in the next few months. Around 12,000 complaints have been dealt with through AirSewa, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said. "It is very very scalable and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven," he noted. The ministry also said that AirSewa would help the government capture air travellers' feedback for policy interventions. Registration of passengers under the DigiYatra initiative, airport digital maps and location tracking, BHIM payment integration, grievance escalation and transfer, among others, would be part of AirSewa 3.0, according to the ministry. While noting that quality of services is always a challenging issue, Prabhu said with AirSewa 3.0, a comparison can also be made between airlines in terms of their quality of services. "We can make comparison between two airlines about quality of service. You will not be sitting on judgement... depending on market response, we will say this airline qualifies to be in AAA or AA category, that will ensure that all airlines will constantly keep upgrading themselves," he said. The minister suggested that the Quality Control of India (QCI) can be asked to decide on the parameters in this regard. "... let them independently look at the complaints that they receive and based on the complaints let them give the ranking which will motivate all airlines to do better. "We will not be sitting on judgement, it will be an independent assessment and that would only make sure it is just a ranking in terms of what customer feedback is... We can work on that," he said. India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and the domestic traffic has been witnessing double-digit growth continuously for more than three years. PTI RAM MKJ

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