Airplanes can take you anywhere there’s a runway, but there are enormous and complicated systems behind the scenes that make it possible for millions of flights a year to go smoothly.
OAG is a big piece of the air travel data puzzle. The company calls itself the leading global provider of digital flight information, providing accurate, timely and actionable information to the world’s airlines, airports, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, consultancies and travel-related companies.
Mike Benjamin, chief operating officer of OAG, talked with RewardExpert about the company’s impact on the world’s skies — not to mention all of its travelers.
A well-crafted history
Benjamin said OAG has the world’s largest network of air travel data, including a database of more than 900 airlines and 4,000 airports. It handles more than 54 million records of flight status updates per year, processes 1.4 billion requests and delivers in excess of 35 million dynamic flight status updates daily.
The brand dates back to February 1929, when the “Official Aviation Guide of the Airways” was first published in the United States, listing 35 airlines offering 300 flights.
In 2015 OAG served 25 million flight status updates in a day for the first time. In 2014 it celebrated a decade of presence in China, expanding its user base in Asia.
“Starting as a provider of airline schedules for different regions through its hard copy Flight Guide, the company has evolved to become the definitive leader in schedules and flight status information, helping airlines, airports and companies throughout the travel ecosystem make smarter, more informed decisions,” Benjamin said.
Making aviation smarter
Being the industry’s largest network of air data gives consumers multiple reasons to choose OAG: Some want to utilize OAG’s network, reaching across the travel ecosystem; others want smart solutions through innovation; expertise involved in synchronizing data; precision based on time and accuracy; and trust in terms of industry-leading infrastructure and an 80-plus year track record.
Benjamin said it’s making the entire ecosystem smarter and better.
“We provide the most accurate, timely and trusted global flight status information available, with the largest historical database in the world,” he said. “Leveraging data from a variety of sources, we are able to provide a complete real-time picture and a single-source data stream that allows our customers to make informed decisions and proactively manage travel disruptions.”
Advice for flyers, and a glimpse into the future
Benjamin’s advice is for flyers to stay informed. He said flyers should consider on-time performance to book flights, or self-connecting if money is to be saved. That’s why services like OAG exist.
“Our data and analysis tools help our customers make the right decisions about product choice, customer service and communication; giving them the ability to enhance the travel experience, all of which in turn benefits the traveler, whether they are planning a future trip, are at the airport, inflight or on their way to their destination,” he said.
Getting data in a flexible way is the company’s continued goal.
Benjamin said OAG has strengthened its brand by building the world’s most comprehensive flight database, and it is using that information to aid organizations that use the data to drive growth. The company continues to expand its analytics and is launching a unique real-time flight schedule project.
Even if you don’t see OAG doing what it does, you’re relying on it whenever you travel by air.