• JetBlue invests in local startup that claims to predict flight delays

    By: Blair Miller

    Updated:

    We're about to enter one of the busiest times of year for air travel, which often means long delays that can be frustrating for both passengers and airlines.

    Lumo, a startup company in Boston, just got a big boost that could help passengers avoid a flight delay long before it even happens. It's all based on algorithms that process airline habits or weather forecasts.

    They claim five to ten percent of all delays can be predicted weeks or even months out.

    The brainchild of the operation, CEO Bala Chandran, told Boston 25 News his goal is to work with all airlines. 

    "What we're hoping to bring to them is to make their operations more efficient," said Chandran.

    And it couldn't come at a better time.

    MORE: These are the world's most punctual airlines for 2018

    According to the federal department of transportation, the worst month for airline delays is the month of June.

    And it's expensive.

    On average, delays cost U.S. airlines $62,000 a minute in operating expenses. Chandran says Lumo can change that.

    "We're hoping that our presence will make the entire air travel experience not just better for the passenger, but the entire system," said Chandran. 

    Some of the airlines are already buying into it, including JetBlue, which considers Boston Logan a focus airport. JetBlue's investment group partnered with other companies, dumping more than $2 million into Lumo.

    But the goal is beyond one airline.

    Lumo hopes their predictions dramatically change how airlines do business.

    "The airlines should be focused on delivering service and we don't see that piece being taken away. What we do see is fewer customers they need to deal with because they just missed their connection which is something that everyone could benefit from," said Chandran.

    JetBlue isn't the only big name to support this company. NASA has given money to Lumo to also look at airspace efficiency. 

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