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Air New Zealand launches AI chatbot in Australia

Air New Zealand launches AI chatbot in Australia

Oscar initially originated on the airline’s New Zealand website to help customers with commonly asked queries

Air New Zealand has unveiled Oscar in Australia, taking the artificial intelligence-backed chatbot across the Tasman eight months after launching.

After first entering the market in February 2017, Oscar initially originated on the airline’s New Zealand website to help customers with commonly asked queries, designed to save time while offering a more personalised experience.

Oscar represented the company’s first foray into the field of AI and was launched in beta, allowing him to learn from the questions asked by customers so the airline could continue to build him to meet the needs of his users.

According to Air New Zealand chief digital officer Avi Golan, Oscar had a seven per cent success rate on his first day and is now able to provide the answers to customers’ questions 67 per cent of the time.

“While Oscar is still a bot in training, we’ve been delighted with the uptake which means we can increase his presence and introduce him online across the Tasman to help our Australia-based customers with their queries,” Golan said.

“We know customers generally turn to him when looking for quick answers on the day of travel and for booking flights, with hot topics including booking confirmation, baggage allowance and Airpoints queries.”

As reported by Reseller News, Oscar was initially launched as a help chatbot to assist with Air New Zealand Lounge, Airpoints and baggage queries.

“In the past 90 days Oscar has had around 55,000 conversations, typically receiving between 300 and 350 queries a day,” Golan added.

“On a busy day, he’ll receive more than 1,000 queries, with his peak demand times mirroring those of our call centre. In preparation for his promotion to Australia, Oscar has also been kept busy learning some distinctive Aussie lingo and sayings.”

As well as helping customers with their queries, Golan said Oscar can also “sing, tell jokes” and has also recently been launched on Air New Zealand’s mobile app to help customers on the go.


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