KLM has launched a new artificial intelligence Messenger bot, enabling customers to book tickets “in a conversational way”.

The Dutch carrier describes the self-learning AI BlueBot service (BB for short) as “helpful, friendly, professional and edgy”, and stresses that it is supported by 250 human service colleagues who can take over when the bot is unable to help with queries.

KLM aims to expand BB’s skills to offer more services, and for it to be compatible with different digital channels including voice.

Commenting on the launch Pieter Groeneveld, senior vice president digital Air France – KLM, said:

“KLM is well known for its personal approach. On social media, we offer 24/7 service with our team of 250 human agents, handling more than 16,000 cases a week. Volumes will continue to grow.

“At the same time, customers require a speedy response. We have therefore been experimenting with Artificial Intelligence to support our agents to provide a personal, timely and correct answer.

“With BB, KLM is taking the next step in its social media strategy, offering personal service through technology, supported by human agents when needed.”

The airline recently unveiled a WhatsApp service, enabling passengers to receive flight information through the messaging app, and also launched a new interactive map of Amsterdam Schiphol, to help travellers locate facilities within the airport