The airline maintenance industry is currently facing intense and uncertain challenges, such as information lags and isolated data islands caused by the use of manual job cards. These challenges can create inefficiencies and delays, and may hinder the ability of maintenance teams to make informed decisions in a timely manner. China Southern Airlines has been a leader in digitalisation within the industry, and this case focuses on the digital transformation of their maintenance system. Students will learn how digital transformation occurs in enterprises, which is a complex project requiring systematic thinking, especially in an industry where safety is a priority. Wang Jinshen, leader of the company's technical arm, proposed TAOIX (Touchless, Adaptive, Optimised, Immersive, eXtensible) as the future requirements for the system, representing the fundamental path of enterprise digital transformation. The case explores how business requirements must be at the centre of transformation progress, and discusses data assets, business models, and long-term effective collaboration for innovation. The case concludes by examining the need to create a new organisational model for cooperative innovation between state-owned and private enterprises.

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RSM Case Development Centre
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Li, T., & Li, C. (2023). Flying into the Metaverse: China Southern Airlines’ Digital Transformation Journey. RSM Case Development Centre. Retrieved from