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American Airlines Takes Flight with AI: Upskilling and Reskilling for a Smarter Future

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American Airlines, a global leader in the aviation industry, understands the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI). To stay ahead of the curve, the company recently partnered with Intel to equip its workforce with the necessary skills to navigate this new technological landscape. This initiative focused on upskilling and reskilling existing employees, empowering them to leverage AI for improved efficiency and innovation.

The cornerstone of this program was Intel Fellow, Dr. Melvin Greer’s development of a comprehensive data science and AI assessment tool. This assessment served a dual purpose: identifying employees with existing data analysis skills and gauging their potential for further training in AI. This data-driven approach ensured that the reskilling program targeted the right individuals, maximizing its impact within the company.

Building upon the assessment results, American Airlines, in collaboration with Dr. Greer, developed a custom, open-source, and asynchronous curriculum. This flexible approach addressed the diverse learning styles and schedules of the employees. Asynchronous learning modules allowed employees to learn at their own pace, while the open-source nature of the curriculum fostered a collaborative learning environment.


Transitioning from Development to Data Science. Our team is all geared up to construct the first AI model on Mount Whitney with Intel’s Engineering team. This strategic initiative underscores the organization's commitment to leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning to drive innovation. # Driving Innovation – noted Shalini Neelankavil, Senior Manager of Airport Technology

To reinforce the acquired knowledge and foster a sense of community, the program also incorporated four office-hour sessions. These interactive sessions, led by Dr. Greer, provided employees with the opportunity to ask questions, clarify concepts, and receive personalized guidance. This ensured that employees weren't just learning theoretical concepts but were also equipped to apply their newfound knowledge to real-world scenarios.


We have been extremely lucky to have Dr. Melvin Greer, Intel-Fellow and Chief Data Scientist, to share his wealth of knowledge with American Airlines Engineers and leaders. We were able to build that into a defined curriculum with the partnership of Shalini Neelankavil, Senior Manager of Airport Technology, to augment data science knowledge for our Engineering team to generate valuable business outcomes for American Airlines,” noted Vijay Premkumar, Sr.Manager, Cloud and Platform Engineering


The success of this upskilling and reskilling program is evident in its tangible outcomes. Armed with AI expertise, American Airlines' internal teams were able to develop an innovative AI solution to optimize plane turnaround times. This solution will utilize AI algorithms to analyze data on critical factors associated with workforce allocation. By identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement, the AI system paves the way for faster turnaround times, leading to increased operational efficiency and improved flight schedules.

Newly minted AA Data Science TeamNewly minted AA Data Science Team

American Airlines' commitment to reskilling highlights a crucial shift in the modern workforce. As AI continues to revolutionize industries, companies are increasingly prioritizing the upskilling of their existing employees. This strategic approach not only empowers employees but also fosters a culture of innovation, allowing businesses to leverage the power of AI to achieve greater success.

About the Author
Dr. Melvin Greer is an Intel Fellow and Chief Data Scientist, Americas, Intel Corporation. He is responsible for building Intel’s data science platform through graph analytics, machine learning, and cognitive computing. His systems and software engineering experience has resulted in patented inventions in Cloud Computing, Synthetic Biology, and IoT Bio-sensors for edge analytics. He is a principal investigator in advanced research studies, including Distributed Web 3.0, Artificial Intelligence, and Biological Physics. Dr. Greer serves on the Board of Directors, of the U.S. National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Greer has been appointed and serves as Senior Advisor and Fellow at the FBI IT and Data Division. He is a Senior Advisor at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, and Adjunct Faculty, at the Advanced Academic Program at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches the Master of Science Course “Practical Applications of Artificial Intelligence”.