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Tuesday, April 21 • 11:45am - 12:25pm
From Impossible to Done: Transforming WestJet's Flight Schedule Data Publishing

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We replaced a year-long manual (pen, paper, spreadsheet and email) process with three hours of compute in our flight schedule graph model. The result is an incomparable increase in efficiency, accuracy, and work capacity. The Neo4j-based solution changed the game entirely.    

At WestJet Airlines, we prioritize Guest experience. On our website, the first step of our booking process is optimized by representing only reachable destinations from the selected origin. Without such an optimization, our guests would have only a one in four chance of choosing an origin-destination combination that is purchasable.

Identifying routable pairs of origins and destinations was simple to do when our flight network was small. But with a growing network of bases, seasonal destinations, additional code share partners, and ever-shifting commercial flight schedules, maintaining this data becomes a difficult problem. Historically, dedicated employees identified obvious connection changes in a tedious process involving pen and paper. Connection changes were communicated through a change-set spreadsheet via email to be applied to master XML files.

In this talk we'll describe how we used Neo4j to model our flight network from the commercial schedule and requisite minimum connection time rules. The result is a weekly process that ingests a stream of SSIM format schedule data to build a graph model from which we harvest our required data artifacts.


Dave Pirie

avatar for Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Software Engineer, Westjet

Tuesday April 21, 2020 11:45am - 12:25pm EDT
Room 3