The image above is BCIA and it is the largest airport in China, with passenger volume that exceeded 90 million in 2016. It is positioned as the international hub airport in the overall design of the Jing-Jin-Ji airports group. To date it serves more than 28 domestic airlines, and 74 foreign airlines, with 132 international routes, and 147 domestic routes. It is also the home base airport for China’s flag carrier Air China. In the SITA story section below we have more on the latest SITA self-service technology it employs.


AIRBUS

Vietnam’s FLC Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for up to 24 A321neo aircraft for future operation by start-up carrier Bamboo Airways. The agreements were signed in Paris by Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group and Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus during the official visit to France of Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Bamboo Airways is set to begin operations in 2019 with aircraft on lease from third party lessors before taking delivery of the aircraft covered by today’s MOU with Airbus. The carrier will focus on linking international markets to Vietnamese leisure destinations, as well as on selected domestic routes.


BOEING/All Nippon Airways

Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced the Japanese carrier has placed a new order for two 777 Freighters valued at $678 million according to list prices. While ANA is a major operator of the 777 passenger jet, it has grown its cargo operation with the medium-sized 767 Freighter. In adding the 777 Freighter – the world’s largest and longest range twin-engine cargo jet – ANA is expanding its cargo capabilities just as the air freight market keeps growing at historically high rates.

Last year, the global air cargo market grew 9 percent, more than double the long-term projected growth rate of about 4.2 percent. In January, the above-trend growth continued with an 8 percent increase in demand. Industry experts say the strong performance reflects global economic trade, fueled in large part by expanding e-commerce.

ANA says it plans to fly its new 777 Freighters on international routes, particularly to Asia, China, and North America. With this order, ANA will become the first airline in Japan to operate 777 Freighters.

The 777 Freighter is capable of flying 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). The airplane’s long range translates into significant savings as fewer stops mean lower landing fees, less congestion, lower cargo handling costs and shorter delivery times.

Boeing is the air cargo market leader, providing over 90 percent of the dedicated freighter capacity around the world.

BOEING/Singapore Airlines

Boeing and Singapore Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first 787-10 airplane, the newest and largest member of the Dreamliner family and a jet that will set a new global standard for fuel efficiency. About 3,000 people marked the milestone at Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina where the latest 787 model is manufactured.

Like the other 787 Dreamliners, the 787-10 is designed with strong, lightweight composites, the most advanced systems, and comfortable cabin features. The 787-10, though, features a longer fuselage which allows it to carry about 40 more passengers or a total of 330 seats in a standard two-class configuration.

With the additional capacity, the 787-10 provides airlines the lowest operating cost per seat of any widebody airplane in service today. Singapore Airlines plans to puts its 787-10s into scheduled service in May, with flights from Singapore to Osaka, Japan and Perth, Australia. Prior to the introduction of these services, the aircraft will be operated on selected flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes


SITA

Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), which handles more than 95 million passengers a year, has chosen air transport IT specialist, SITA, to provide technology to boost capacity. Asia’s busiest airport is using SITA’s self-service kiosks for passenger check-in services on all Air China domestic flights departing from Terminal 3. The new kiosks are designed to support the wide range of travel documents typically used by passengers on these flights. BCIA will use up to 70 SITA AirportConnect® Kiosks to help Air China process passengers faster, while freeing up airport and airline staff to focus on other aspects of the passenger experience. They feature boarding-pass and bag-tag printers; passport and Chinese ID card readers; and large user-friendly screens. Uniquely, they support a wide range of travel documents including those of Hong Kong/Macau and Taiwan residents traveling to mainland China, as well as ex-pats who reside in China permanently.

SITA/India

SITA continues to play a vital role in supporting the rapid growth of India’s air transport industry, providing key technology solutions to one of the country’s newest airports. The Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) has turned to SITA to provide passenger processing solutions for check-in and boarding, as well as baggage tracking. Air passenger numbers in India have consistently seen double-digit growth over the past few years, significantly outperforming the global average. The country is on target to become the third-biggest aviation market by 2025. SITA has long supported the industry in India and MIHAN joins a vast footprint of airports and airlines across India using SITA technology.

As part of the new agreement, MIHAN is deploying SITA’s common-use technology, enabling airlines and their handling agents to access their IT applications in real-time on shared common-use equipment. SITA’s Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and bag drop.

The airport will also deploy SITA’s baggage tracking solution. Worldwide, bags get mishandled every day which causes disruption for passengers and costs the industry billions of dollars but by providing real-time information on baggage status, SITA BagManager will allow MIHAN to accurately track passengers’ bags and significantly reduce the likelihood of them being mishandled.

MIHAN is the biggest economic development project currently underway in India. The project aims to exploit the central location of Nagpur and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The airport is expected to accommodate up to 14 million passengers once completed in 2035.

SITA Passenger Services System

Jeju Air, South Korea’s first low cost carrier, has extended its partnership with SITA for Horizon® Passenger Services System (PSS) to support its business growth. The new multi-year deal, with global IT provider, SITA, includes key components, such as pricing, ancillary revenues, passenger preferences, e-commerce channels and local language services. The airline is also adding SITA’s Horizon® Business Intelligence which offers comprehensive data analysis to identify, evaluate and act on trends, challenges and opportunities.

Jeju Air began its operations in 2005 and SITA’s PSS has been an integral part of the airline’s operations from the start. Since then, Jeju Air has grown and continues to grow exponentially, and is using extensive PSS functionalities to support their sales and distribution strategies. SITA’s PSS is well positioned to serve Jeju Air’s passenger management services and operations and is future-proofed to support the airline for the coming years.

SITA Smart Path

With its leading Smart PathTM biometric solution for ID management now rolled out globally, air transport IT provider SITA is well poised to deliver a seamless, paperless travel experience for passengers across India. SITA has already shown the benefits of using biometric technology to automate passenger identity checks at airports across the world – from the USA to Australia – and is well positioned to help unlock the full benefits of seamless, biometric travel across India.

SITA is already successfully helping airports and airlines incorporate biometrics into their existing infrastructure and government systems. According to Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution, a SITA report published this week, airlines and airports are increasingly investing in various forms of biometric technology. Over the next three years, 63% of airports and 43% of airlines plan to invest in biometric ID management solutions.

In the USA, SITA is using facial biometrics to help passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick to quickly board where all that is needed is a photo – no passport, no boarding card. The system integrates the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) and airline’s IT systems to authorize boarding while completing necessary US exit checks in a single process. SITA is providing a similar solution to JetBlue at Boston’s Logan Airport.

At Australia’s Brisbane Airport, SITA has introduced its Smart Path™ technology which allows passengers to register their biometric details at a self-service kiosk at check-in and then, when ready to board, use an automated boarding gate to be verified using face recognition technology to access the aircraft. Aadhaar, India’s biometric identity system, has over one billion enrolled members. Indian passengers have shown greater willingness to use biometrics to speed up their journey through the airport. Research published in SITA’s 2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey showed that 70% of passengers in India said they would definitely use biometrics if given the option, removing the need to show a passport or boarding card at key points in the airport. This was well above the global average of 57%.

SITA BagManager

The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages 126 airports across India, has expanded SITA’s baggage management solution to 15 airports. SITA’s BagManager will provide the airports with real-time information on the status of passengers’ baggage, significantly reducing the chances of baggage mishandling. This follows the implementation of SITA’s BagManager at Kolkata and Chennai Airports in 2015 and is in line with the AAI’s vision of rolling out standard airport infrastructure across all their airports to drive greater efficiency across the airport network. The implementation of SITA’s baggage solution will also help AAI’s customer airlines progress towards complying with IATA Resolution 753 by tracking bags across key points in the journey.

The 15 airports are Trivandrum, Calicut, Mangalore, Tirupati, Chennai, Madurai, Kolkatta, Goa, Lucknow, Jaipur, Amritsar, Leh, Chandigarh, Trichy and Ahmedabad.

Service Provider of the Year

SITA has been named Service Provider of the Year in the prestigious annual Air Transport Awards held in Dubai. The winners are voted for by the readers of Air Transport News and a jury of international aviation experts, chaired by Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission. The Service Provider of the Year award was given to SITA in recognition of its role in providing IT and communication solutions globally to the air transport industry. SITA’s unique role as the community provider – being owned by the industry – means it has an unprecedented understanding of the industry’s requirements, combined with dedicated teams around the world which deliver services needed to keep people flying. Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA said: “Being named as Service Provider of the Year at the 2018 Air Transport Awards is a significant achievement and a strong validation of our unwavering collaboration and contribution to the air transport community. To be selected by our industry peers for this award is testament that our continued focus on delivering real value to the community is both justified and valued by the industry. In recent months, SITA has taken the lead in the development of biometric solutions. This has included innovation solutions for airlines and airports as well as looking to the future uses of biometrics as the technology develops. A key innovation is SITA’s Smart PathTM solution which allows passengers to use their biometric identity every step of the way.

The Air Transport Industry Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.


OTHER NEWS

  • Want to see how to move a B-52 jet bomber … on the ground (Part 1)?
  • Heard about DoNotPay? They call it “automatic flight and hotel protection.” Now, the service has been updated with the ability to help customers get on the cheapest flight to their destination. Once booked, the app will check prices across the Internet (we hear 17,000 times a day!) And yes, it is legal! They say: “Flight and hotel prices change all the time. DoNotPay finds travel confirmations from past bookings in your inbox. When the price drops, our robot lawyer will find a legal loophole to negotiate a cheaper price or rebook you.” Check it out: DoNotPay
  • Atlanta Airport Wi-Fi has been turned off (as of 3/26/18) because of the SamSam ransomware hack. Noted CSO: “As for human resources, applications for new employment had been suspended; the Department of Corrections was manually processing inmates; and public Wi-Fi via the Department of Aviation had been “disabled out of an abundance of caution.” In other words, even if people were not from Atlanta, they could have felt the sting of the attack, as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was noted as being the “world’s busiest airport.” Aviation related computer attacks, especially airports, are getting worse
  • Of course light can be used in connectivity, and it might not be a signal source of aircraft interference data – Technology – pureLiFi

Airports Authority of India to use SITA BagManager to improve baggage handling at airports

Air Transport IT Summit, Jaipur, India | March 22, 2018– The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages 126 airports across India, has expanded SITA’s baggage management solution to 15 airports. SITA’s BagManager will provide the airports with real-time information on the status of passengers’ baggage, significantly reducing the chances of baggage mishandling.

This follows the implementation of SITA’s BagManager at Kolkata and Chennai Airports in 2015 and is in line with the AAI’s vision of rolling out standard airport infrastructure across all their airports to drive greater efficiency across the airport network. The implementation of SITA’s baggage solution will also help AAI’s customer airlines progress towards complying with IATA Resolution 753 by tracking bags across key points in the journey.

The 15 airports are Trivandrum, Calicut, Mangalore, Tirupati, Chennai, Madurai, Kolkatta, Goa, Lucknow, Jaipur, Amritsar, Leh, Chandigarh, Trichy and Ahmedabad.

As part of the expanded agreement, the AAI will also deploy SITA Airport Management Solution to two further airports – Goa and Lucknow airports – taking the total number of India airports using this technolgy to 12. SITA Airport Management Solution is a suite of integrated software applications designed to support and enhance airport operations from landside to airside, from landing to take off. With SITA Airport Management Solution, the airports will have access to real-time data to better anticipate, plan and control their operations.

Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman of Airports Authority of India, said: “As passenger traffic increases across India, we need to be smarter in the way we manage our airports and smart technology is the answer. SITA’s experience in India and its solutions make it possible to manage our network of airports in a more efficient and effective way, delivering a better service to our passengers while accommodating rapidly rising passenger numbers.”

The AAI continues to invest in new airport infrastructure and technology across India to meet growing passenger traffic. India is expected to become the third biggest passenger market by 2025 with more than 400 million passengers a year. This investment includes new development works at Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad airports.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “India has long been an important market for SITA. With our sharpened focus on delivering solutions at the airport – including passenger processing and baggage management – we are able to support AAI with new technologies that make it easier to operate their airports and deliver a great passenger experience.”

MIHAN opts for SITA’s common-use and baggage solutions

2018 Air Transport IT Summit, Jaipur | 23 March 2018 —SITA continues to play a vital role in supporting the rapid growth of India’s air transport industry, providing key technology solutions to one of the country’s newest airports. The Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) has turned to SITA to provide passenger processing solutions for check-in and boarding, as well as baggage tracking.

Air passenger numbers in India have consistently seen double-digit growth over the past few years, significantly outperforming the global average. The country is on target to become the third-biggest aviation market by 2025. SITA has long supported the industry in India and MIHAN joins a vast footprint of airports and airlines across India using SITA technology.

As part of the new agreement, MIHAN is deploying SITA’s common-use technology, enabling airlines and their handling agents to access their IT applications in real-time on shared common-use equipment. SITA’s Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and bag drop.

The airport will also deploy SITA’s baggage tracking solution.  Worldwide, bags get mishandled every day which causes disruption for passengers and costs the industry billions of dollars but by providing real-time information on baggage status, SITABagManager will allow MIHAN to accurately track passengers’ bags and significantly reduce the likelihood of them being mishandled.

V.S Mulekar, Senior Airport Director, MIHAN Airport, said: “MIHAN is the single biggest publicly-funded development project in India. It is essential we have the right technologies in place to make sure the airport’s operations are highly efficient from day one and that they are future-proofed for our growth. SITA’s technology has proven successful in other airports in India and across the world and I have no doubt it will ably support MIHAN’s requirements.”

MIHAN is the biggest economic development project currently underway in India. The project aims to exploit the central location of Nagpur and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The airport is expected to accommodate up to 14 million passengers once completed in 2035.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa, said: “SITA’s solutions will allow the airport to cater to increasing traffic without having to invest in building additional infrastructure. At the same time, they will be able to provide best-in-class facilities for airlines and passengers alike. This is part of our commitment to making India not only one of the biggest aviation markets, but increasingly more efficient and passenger friendly.”

 

SITA recognized for providing IT and communication solutions to the air transport industry at 2018 Air Transport Industry Awards

Dubai | March 26, 2018–SITA has been named Service Provider of the Year in the prestigious annual Air Transport Awards held in Dubai. The winners are voted for by the readers of Air Transport News and a jury of international aviation experts, chaired by Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.

The Service Provider of the Year award was given to SITA in recognition of its role in providing IT and communication solutions globally to the air transport industry. SITA’s unique role as the community provider – being owned by the industry – means it has an unprecedented understanding of the industry’s requirements, combined with dedicated teams around the world which deliver services needed to keep people flying.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA said: “Being named as Service Provider of the Year at the 2018 Air Transport Awards is a significant achievement and a strong validation of our unwavering collaboration and contribution to the air transport community. To be selected by our industry peers for this award is testament that our continued focus on delivering real value to the community is both justified and valued by the industry.”

Nearly every passenger flight in the world relies on SITA technology. SITA works with the industry to provide technology solutions that make a difference. It innovates collaboratively, while developing and managing solutions over the world’s most extensive network, one that forms the communication backbone of the global air transport industry.

In recent months, SITA has taken the lead in the development of biometric solutions. This has included innovation solutions for airlines and airports as well as looking to the future uses of biometrics as the technology develops. A key innovation is SITA’s Smart PathTM solution which allows passengers to use their biometric identity every step of the way.

The Air Transport Industry Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.

Largest airport in China chooses SITA kiosks for Air China passengers

Beijing | March 27, 2018– Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), which handles more than 95 million passengers a year, has chosen air transport IT specialist, SITA, to provide technology to boost capacity. Asia’s busiest airport is using SITA’s self-service kiosks for passenger check-in services on all Air China domestic flights departing from Terminal 3. The new kiosks are designed to support the wide range of travel documents typically used by passengers on these flights.

BCIA will use up to 70 SITA AirportConnect® Kiosks to help Air China process passengers faster, while freeing up airport and airline staff to focus on other aspects of the passenger experience. They feature boarding-pass and bag-tag printers; passport and Chinese ID card readers; and large user-friendly screens. Uniquely, they support a wide range of travel documents including those of Hong Kong/Macau and Taiwan residents travelling to mainland China, as well as ex-pats who reside in China permanently.

Ms. Li Lei, Terminal Management Department, Beijing Capital International Airports, said: “SITA’s technology plays an integral role in helping us realize our ambitions to implement a truly end-to-end self-service experience for our passengers. The new self-service kiosks with the Chinese card reader functionality is a big bonus for Air China’s passengers. Flexible technologies like this help us transform and improve the passenger experience across the airport.”

With rising passenger numbers, BCIA continuously looks to technology to maximize efficiencies. The development of end-to-end self-service has a particularly important role to play.

May Zhou, VP, and General Manager of SITA China, said: “We’ve had a strong relationship with both Beijing Capital International Airport and Air China for a long time now. It’s great to see SITA being recognized for its high quality daily operations and maintenance at the airport. These self-service kiosks will drive efficiencies at the airport and together they will process close to 20,000 passengers per day. Saving passengers’ time is a win-win for everyone.”

The self-service kiosks make use of the existing CUTE platform SITA has deployed at BCIA, making the implementation process labor- and time-efficient. Although primarily for use by Air China, the kiosks can also be used by other domestic airlines that use Air China ground handling solutions.

SITA automated boarding gates speed passengers through boarding using secure biometrics

Orlando, Florida | March 8, 2018– Passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick are enjoying a secure and seamless departure with new biometric boarding at the gate. A quick photo is all that is needed to board the international flight – no passport, no boarding card – thanks to innovative technology. SITA, the global air transport IT provider, integrated automated boarding gates with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and airline’s IT systems to allow the necessary checks and authorize boarding.

This is a joint initiative by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), British Airways and CBP to incorporate the US biometric departure (exit) check for passengers as smoothly as possible. SITA, using its extensive airline and airport expertise, has ensured fast and easy implementation for the airport and airline. By merging the usual boarding procedures with the CBP biometric exit check, SITA is delivering a smooth experience for passengers.  A quick photograph taken at the gate is used to confirm passengers’ identities and authorization to travel.

John Newsome, Chief Information Officer, GOAA, said: “This innovative boarding process is already proving popular with passengers. They simply look at the camera and within seconds the gate opens and they can board the flight. It is easy, fast and most importantly, secure. While we are currently using SITA’s gates for biometric exit with British Airways, they are common-use boarding gates so they can be easily used by other airlines at MCO.”

Raoul Cooper, Digital Airport Design Manager, British Airways, said: “Our customers are always our first priority and we want to make their journey as smooth as possible. Working closely with SITA at Orlando has allowed us to explore various ways of incorporating the US biometric exit check.  Together we have designed a really smooth and secure departure process for our customers, including children, as they leave Orlando. This complements the learning and insight we have gained in Los Angeles where a similar technology trial is under way.”

The option to board at Orlando by simply looking into a camera is available now to British Airways passengers on flight BA 2036 to London Gatwick. The trial will run for up to 90 days. Participation is optional and passengers can choose to provide their passport and other documents to an agent to board the flight. During the early days of the trial, the response from passengers has been very positive with nearly 100% of passengers opting to simply look in the camera and board the plane.

Diana Einterz, SITA President, Americas, said: “We are working closely with the US CBP, airlines and airports to test different ways of doing the US biometric exit check. This includes our recent award-winning work with JetBlue at Boston Logan International Airport, and British Airways at Los Angeles International Airport. We have designed this solution to meet the needs of all parties. It is based on industry-standard common-use gates so it can be used by any other airline at Orlando and by airlines at any other common-use airport.”

The use of biometrics is growing globally and SITA is a world-leader using biometrics to deliver secure seamless journeys for airline passengers. SITA Smart Path, which is in use in Brisbane Airport, Australia, provides a walkthrough experience from check-in to the aircraft door helping passengers fast-track through the airport.

SITA provides self-service solutions at every step of the passenger journey from check-in to boarding at airports across the world. More than 165 airlines use SITA’s passenger processing applications while its common-use systems board more than 100 million passengers per year. Today, SITA provides border management solutions to more than 40 governments across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Einterz added: “SITA is the global provider to the air transport industry and we develop our solutions for airlines and airports so that they are scalable and work in multiple environments worldwide. Our integration of the automated boarding gates is being investigated with US CBP, British Airways and Orlando International Airport for speed and efficiency of passenger processing as they do accurate border checks. Our performance analysis of this trial will help all our partners evaluate how best they can use biometrics to meet their individual operational needs.”

Greece | March 6, 2018– Responding to the ever-growing expectations and demands of the traveling public, Hermes Airports announces the introduction of a new online system, displaying the routes available to and from Larnaka and Pafos international airports; connecting the Cypriot airports with the rest of the world.

The mentioned service is available on Hermes Airports’ website, under the section “Flight Search” and the direct link:

http://www.hermesairports.com/en/larnakahome/destination-map-lca. Visitors to our website using this new service have the possibility to locate all the available routes offered from/to any destination around the globe, both through direct and connecting flights.

By simply adding the travel dates and desired destination via an automatic research, the system displays all the possible options or routes available to the public and transfers the user directly to the linked airline and its website in order to either to book a ticket or to further explore his/her choices, based on the airline’s specific flight schedule.

With this new service, Hermes Airports website is upgraded, offering a complete platform of information to the public which includes a lot of useful information regarding departures and arrivals, options concerning the airlines and their routes and also a variety of information regarding the services offered by Larnaka and Pafos airports and material regarding the tourism product of Cyprus.

 

New York | February 12, 2018– SITA has won the respected Aviation Technology Achievement at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards. The award was given for SITA’s work with JetBlue and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deliver a new secure, paperless and deviceless self-boarding process, using biometric technology.

This was the world’s first biometric boarding system using just a facial scan to board passengers while also completing the US customs and border exit checks. Working with JetBlue and the CBP, at Boston’s Logan International Airport, SITA demonstrated that biometric technology can reduce friction points in the airport experience including at boarding, where integrating checks with government systems is one of the hardest challenges to solve. The technology eliminates any boarding pass scanning and passport checks. Passengers just need to simply look into the camera for a quick photo and they are on their way. The integration of the airline and government systems by SITA showed how passengers can enjoy a seamless experience, while demonstrating how airlines and government border agencies can work together to enhance security.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, said: “Our vision is to make air travel easy, for airlines, airports and, ultimately, for passengers.  Integrating biometrics with the industry’s existing infrastructure, IT systems and processes, along with multiple security and border control systems, can be complex but it delivers a remarkably simple solution. Our work with JetBlue and the US CBP shows how SITA delivers secure and seamless travel to the industry today.

“The ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards recognize excellence in the air transport industry, looking in particular at outstanding performance, innovation, and superior service. I am very proud that the innovative work of the SITA team has won this award and would like to thank our partners, in particular JetBlue, for recognizing our expertise to develop this technology for them.”

The ATW Awards will be presented at The Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland on 27 March 2018.

SITA infrastructure supports more than 11-million customer interactions every year

Frankfurt, Germany | January 15, 2018– Lufthansa InTouch, responsible for managing customer service across the Lufthansa Group, has again selected SITA to manage its service center communication network and key infrastructure elements, ensuring that more than 11-million customers are connected to service agents every year.

SITA, a long-standing partner to Lufthansa InTouch, will continue to manage and maintain its service center communication network and key infrastructure to meet the airline group’s constantly evolving needs. SITA supports more than 500 local numbers in more than 90 markets, efficiently delivering traffic via a global IP network across seven service centers managed by a team of 2,230 staff speaking more than 30 languages.

The service provided by SITA has transformed how customer calls to Lufthansa Group airlines are handled. A close integration between SITA’s global voice network and Lufthansa InTouch’s Genesys contact center platform, ensures a caller – regardless of their location – is automatically and directly routed to a consultant best equipped to meet their specific requirements. These calls are allocated according to the routing policies defined by Lufthansa InTouch on their Genesys platform.

Through this optimization, Lufthansa InTouch has benefited from savings in transmission costs of up to 20% as well as significantly improved call quality, notably by eliminating forwarding of calls between sites.

SITA’s Unified Communications portfolio has allowed Lufthansa InTouch to consolidate voice, data and audio into one platform while effectively connecting the airline to its far-flung destinations.

Erik Mosch, CEO of Lufthansa InTouch, said: “Our customer service consultants at Lufthansa InTouch are the main point of contact for all our passengers across Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian airlines. They represent the airline and are there to assist passengers 24 hours a day – whether by phone, email, chat or social media. Supporting this fast-moving organization requires a partner we can rely on. SITA is such a partner, ensuring that our customers are quickly connected to an agent that can assist them in their own language in every market we fly to.”

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “We have leveraged our global experience and footprint to provide a service that is able to meet the evolving needs of Lufthansa InTouch. We understand that technologies change, new destinations are added and passengers shift the way they communicate. Our strength is to meet those changes with the most efficient communication infrastructure that supports an effective interaction with each of their customers.”

Welcome back to IFEC in 2018, and thank you for following us throughout 2017. Having said that, this coming New Year ought to be one of the most interesting years for our technology, and almost everything else for that matter. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we wanted to pass along a short 2018 New Year message from Joe Leader, CEO of APEX and IFSA: “As we launch into 2018, APEX celebrates its 40th year of serving the passenger experience industry with every major airline in the world. The year ahead will see ancillary revenue tying into more facets of new products. In addition, we expect that this is the year that in-flight Wi-Fi surpasses 50% of available seat miles worldwide. It’s going to be an incredible year with major advancements.” We have a feeling he is right on track for this industry and he said it – the IFEC future will be a big deal in 2018, and we certainly agree – with inflight Wi-Fi becoming the passenger necessity. Furthermore, we agree with Mr. Leader’s comment that over 50% of available seat miles will have access to inflight Wi-Fi this new year, with the result being  new innovations that will generate both passenger and flight revenue. Thanks Joe!

Next, we thought it be interesting to delve into some specifics for 2018, as we do almost every year with some reported IFExpress efforts from last January 2017. One prediction that stood out was from an “un-named” provider who said: “The exponential growth of cabin Wi-Fi usage within the confines of the same aircraft will lead to more congestion in the cabin – passenger data to-and-from aircraft will more than quadruple in 2017.” Along the same lines last year, Joe Leader of APEX sent similar predictions: “Connectivity announcements and deployment will hit a new high for the industry and In-flight entertainment continues its expansion with more global IFE system installations and upgrades.” We knew that something like this was coming as well, but what’s new (or what’s news) is the speed at which this is happening. Perhaps, data quadrupling 2017 from 2016 may be a push; however, lets look at what the folks at Inmarsat say today: “Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionizing passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience. That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat …Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60% of all passengers say that inflight Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. The majority (61%) of global passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline.” The report went on: Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.””

Last year in IFExpress we wrote about the value of messages and that connectivity was the solution for doing so – what we said then is even more relevant today: “While 2016 may have a few techno-changes from 2015 and summary numbers differ, we are riding the same messaging train! Since technology and media have grown so much (at least in the US) folks are spending more time on it than sleep or work (Business Insider), there appears to be plenty of opportunity time for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) but messaging will be even bigger. If you don’t believe it, just watch the ‘head down time’ at a public function where time is spent on devices – it’s less invasive and non-interruptive. Why is this a boom time for messaging, you might ask? The answer must lie in new, portable communication technology for one. If, as some writers predict, we spend over half of our waking day with media and technology, and because the devices and connectivity mediums are there, plain and simple, we will text. From a broader perspective, time on major digital activities will increase, and has done so for each year, for the last 5 years.” Needless to say, we do not expect the demand to diminish as far as passengers expectations for messaging real-time inflight, in fact, we anticipate the demand to grow exponentially.

Another couple areas of predictive interest last January were Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. We noted in our IFExpress predictions: “Maintenance of aircraft will see more outsourcing, new technology products like AI and voice technology used in maintenance products, and more consolidation in the MRO world (Maintenance Repair Overhaul).” A recent IATA meeting in November 2017 featured speakers on both subjects – Finnair’s Rogier van Enk talked about using “Artificial Intelligence to assist customer service agents in managing the increasing volume of interactions with customers over social media channels,” while SITA’s Wayne Matrose shared knowledge of predicting disruptions with the use of “Neural Networks, to try and better predict the likelihood of a disruption to an airline’s scheduled movements. What data was used and how it was sourced? The importance of data quality and cleansing to make it both usable and useful. What can be predicted and what are the current limitations found with this technology (e.g. Black Swan events) – Ultimately, what changes are required to maximize the operational value of accurate predictions”

Another area we covered was seating and while we were on target for smaller seating, there was on area we missed. Here is what we said in early 2017: “Narrower aircraft seats are coming in 2017, especially in newer low class offerings where only certain sized carry-on baggage will be permitted – smaller and surely less comfortable as well. We already know United Airlines has a new low cost Basic Economy package that will be copied by others. The rub will be what limitations will be placed on passengers who do not have the airline reward travel card! Hey, many folks can travel short flights and put up with almost anything. It is all a function of what they have to take with them. And yes, cheaper seats will be located in the back of the plane.”

What we missed for 2017 was the new “beyond” Basic Economy package rolled out this past year with these extreme lack of features : even lower cost seats, seat selection and upgrades are not available, group and family seating is not available, full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted, one personal item is allowed, flight changes and refunds are not allowed, certain MileagePlus and Premier member benefits are not available, and they are the last boarding group. However, United notes: Basic Economy fares provide most of the same inflight services and amenities that are available with standard Economy — such as food and beverages, United Wi-FiSM and inflight entertainment.

One area where IFExpress fell short in our forecast for 2017 was company employees. We predicted the following for 2017: We fear aviation manufacturing layoffs”…While employee data is a little shaky because of the multitude of companies within a large corporation; we predicted a decline in employees from 2016 to 2017. When we looked in 2016, Boeing had 150K+ workers – today, it is around 174K. Airbus is also up.

We should also note that there are a lot of industry changes (not aviation) that will affect IFEC in the coming year. Video on Demand/LiveTV will surely eventually affect inflight entertainment and connectivity. Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain may as well. In 2018 blockchain will move beyond standard banking applications to money transfer, insurance, digital identification and even insurance, it will be on the aviation near horizon. Similarly, edge computing (near the source of data to reduce transmitted data) could be at the heart of aviation control, monitoring and data communication. With the airplane a trove of unanalyzed data and passengers desire to send and receive more data, connectivity, IFE, and TV, data will be the new connection from the air to the ground and vise-versa – not to mention smart bag issues, power-at-a-distance charging systems; as well as, increased satellite payloads ($11B – 2017 to $18B – 2022) and service providers.

Anyway, another year has passed and IFExpress is now in its 26th year and we still love the craziness of this entertainment and connectivity based aircraft show, albeit, it is getting harder to stay current with all the ups (and downs) of technology, connectivity, seat shrinkage, increased baggage payments, super long haul travel, passenger biometrics, security, and political impacts on the rights and preferences of travelers. There are even bigger changes coming: Net Neutrality and it’s effect on aviation and connectivity neutrality, higher prices coming, airport and possible airplane biometrics, Wi-Fi vs embedded IFE, prospective “splitter” customers, younger airline customers, and even Amazon in the business! However, because each year we are surprised, entertained and enlightened by the creativity and brilliance of many of the industry engineers, marketeers and developers, we again will close with the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Enjoy the MAGIC!

Editor’s Note: Just in case you feel like quitting this year, watch this — and NEVER GIVE UP!

Vision-Box has just implemented a paperless biometric self-boarding
solution to expedite passenger flow and improve traveler experience


Princeton, NJ | December 20, 2017–
Los Angeles Airport is trialing an advanced biometric self-boarding solution by Vision-Box to clear travelers flying out of the USA in a contactless, quick and secure way.
The new passenger flow solution allows travelers to board their aircraft in just a few seconds simply by looking into a high-resolution face capture system at the traveler- friendly flow-control gateway. No need to present their travel document or boarding pass anymore. The system deployed by Vision-Box captures a live, high quality image of the traveler’s unique biometric facial traits, for US Customs and Border Protection to match it against the passenger’s file containing the digital facial token captured at the initial immigration process. This process permits as well to virtualize the process of sending the boarding-pass details to the Airline Departure Control System, using face as a token to reconcile the passenger and his flight. After assuring the identity and eligibility of the passenger on that specific flight, the gateway then opens and the traveler can swiftly board the aircraft.

The solution combines an effective human-factor centric design along with key security features, such as biometric data capture of superior quality in a complex environment in seconds. This combination consequently delivers high-performance reliable match against the authorities’ biometric database, pre-processed by Vision-Box anti-spoofing and liveness checks technology. In spite of the fact that the solution is ready to rely solely on biometrics, it accommodates other possible workflows that include boarding-pass scan, seat re-assignment or multiple additional verification modalities.

Security, safety, efficiency, and a unique, traveler-centric experience are the cornerstone of the project developed in the scope of a partnership between LAX and Vision-Box, supported by US Customs and Border Protection Agency under the umbrella of the US Biometric Exit trial program. British Airways was the first airline to begin expediting boarding procedures using the new contactless technology.

Justin Erbacci, chief innovation and technology officer at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the airport oversight and operations department, said, “This industry-first deployment of innovative solutions from the US Customs and Border Protection and Vision-Box, shows the amazing potential of using biometrics to speed up the boarding process while maintaining safety and security. We have been very impressed with the results thus far, and love to see the passengers’ excitement at being some of the first in the world to use facial recognition”.

Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Vision-Box explained the reasons for success: “Vision-Box made use of state-of- the-art biometric technology, able to deliver high quality data that drastically enhance matching accuracy, sustained by in-house developed Deep Machine Learning engines for superior facial capture. The results present a solution that addresses current security, efficiency and flow-control challenges in a relevant, revolutionary way. We are very proud to have come up with an industry- changing solution that all stakeholders involved in the process rely on. In the end, it’s about collaboratively raising the security and efficiency standards while eliminating obstacles from the traveler’s way, offering frictionless interactions and the best experience to guests until they’re comfortably seating in the aircraft.

The new contactless platform has been installed on three stands of Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles Airport and will be tested by a number of other airlines after New Year’s Eve.

December 5, 2017–Further enhancing aviation safety and efficiency in Brazil’s airspace, air navigation service provider, the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA), is working with SITAONAIR to expand ATS datalink services for main airports in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Following previous successful datalink installations, DECEA is expanding ATS datalink services for departure clearance (DCL) and digital ATIS (d-ATIS) for control towers at both Santos Dumont and Campinas airports.

The announcement marks an important step in the country’s role as the regional datalink pioneer, and will play a central role in the wider transformation and modernization program currently taking place across Brazilian airspace and airport infrastructure.

The latest upgrade program follows SITAONAIR’s successful introduction of datalink technology across 23 Brazilian airports in preparation for the World Cup and the Rio Olympics. Since then, Brazilian airlines such as TAM, GOL and Azul are leading the way, representing nearly 91% of total generated traffic. In total, more than 3.5 million d-ATIS and DCL messages are transmitted every year.

Brig. Luis Ricardo Nascimento, Head of Operations at DECEA says: “Following the major success of our existing airport datalink services, we are pleased to be working with SITAONAIR again to further expand services to important regional and international aviation hubs at Santos Dumont and Campinas airports.

“Our relationship with SITA, and now SITAONAIR, stretches back to the deployment of an ACARS VHF system in 1985, and we are very happy to continue making use of SITAONAIR’s vast aviation experience today.

“The latest expansion of ATS datalink services with SITAONAIR underlines both the strength of our relationship and our commitment to make flying in Brazil even safer, more reliable and more efficient.”

François Bardin, Director Air Traffic Solutions at SITAONAIR, added: “SITAONAIR is delighted to work with DECEA as it continues its transformation program, and we hope that this will encourage other ANSPs in the region to adopt a similar strategy.

“As well as the benefits to DECEA itself, the latest announcement marks another important step in the region’s connected aircraft revolution, allowing airlines and passengers in Brazil an even greater level of safety and efficiency.

“By improving the accuracy of their communications and allowing information to be transmitted at any stage of the flight, workloads for both air traffic controllers and pilots will be reduced – ultimately delivering an improved service for the ever-increasing volume of passengers in the region.”

To find out about SITAONAIR’s connected aircraft portfolio, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact or submit an enquiry form online.

Gogo

Gogo announced today that Air Canada is now the first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers. Each year, Air Canada recognizes its most frequent flyers with Altitude status and offers them the ability to choose select privileges to personalize their travel experience. Beginning later this year, the airline will offer Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members the opportunity to select complimentary 6- and 12-month unlimited use passes, respectively, for inflight connectivity on board Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights. Members will be able to choose this Select Privilege as part of the 2018 Altitude benefit year. The passes will also be eligible for use on Gogo’s 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.


AIRBUS

Following an intensive flight test campaign performed in less than a year, the A350-1000 has received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines.

The EASA A350-1000 Type Certification document was signed by EASA’s Certification Director, Trévor Woods, and the FAA A350-1000 Type Certification document was signed by FAA’s International Section Manager, Bob Breneman. Both certificates were handed over to Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion. “Receiving the A350-1000 Type Certification from EASA and FAA less than one year after its first flight is an incredible achievement for Airbus and for all our partners who have been instrumental in building and testing this superb widebody aircraft,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft. “The A350-1000 benefits from the maturity of its successful brother, the A350-900, which has translated into excellent right-on-time performance. We now look forward to deliver the first aircraft to Qatar Airways by the end of the year.” The Type certification is a requirement for the aircraft to enter commercial service. This milestone comes after an intensive flight test trials that have taken its airframe and systems beyond their design limits to ensure the aircraft successfully meets all airworthiness criteria. The three A350-1000 flight test aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce engines successfully accumulated over 1,600 flight hours. Of these 150 flight test hours were completed with the same aircraft in an airline like operational environment to demonstrate its readiness for entry into service. Hi-resolution images of the A350-1000 are available at AirbusNewsroom .


Siemens-Airbus-Rolls Royce

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership which aims at developing a near-term flight demonstrator which will be a significant step forward in hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft. The three companies together announced the groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together some of the world’s foremost experts in electrical and propulsion technologies, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. The E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven.

“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” said Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ Chief Technology Officer. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.”
The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. The program also aims at establishing the requirements for future certification of electrically powered aircraft while training a new generation of designers and engineers to bring hybrid-electric commercial aircraft one step closer to reality. As part of the E-Fan X program, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens will each contribute with their extensive experience and know-how in their respective fields of expertise:
– Airbus will be responsible for overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls.
– Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo-shaft engine, two megawatt generator, and power electronics. Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce will also work on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor.
– Siemens will deliver the two megawatt electric motors and their power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. This comes on top of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration between Airbus and Siemens, launched in 2016, which aims at development and maturation of various electric propulsion system components and their terrestrial demonstration across various power classes.

And lastly, Airbus has appointed Eric Schulz now ex-Rolls Royce
exec as Exec. VP – Chief of Sale, Marketing & Contracts for Commercial Aircraft (new John Leahy) in early 2018.


SITA

Flights are now operating at Terminal 4, Cancun International Airport, Mexico’s newest airport terminal. The airport’s operator, ASUR, has used innovative technologies from SITA, the global provider of IT to the world’s airports, to ensure a great experience for the more than 21 million passengers that pass through the airport each year.

Cancun International has experienced rapid growth over the last 10 years with passenger numbers doubling as the Caribbean resort’s popularity has risen. It is now Mexico’s busiest airport for international passengers. In a multi-year agreement, SITA is providing technology which enables ASUR to expand Cancun Airport’s capacity and to provide flexible services to meet the needs of the 47 airlines that use it.

The new terminal has 36 SITA AirportConnect® self-service check-in kiosks and a further 104 common-use workstations for check-in and boarding. The passenger systems will run on SITA AirportConnect Open, the common-use platform that allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk. This allows the airport to organize passenger processing most efficiently. SITA’s Airport Management solution is already used at Cancun and will now manage operations across all four terminals. This solution provides ASUR with real-time data to better anticipate, plan and control operations, assigning assets and resources more effectively.

SITA AirportVision, the dynamic media rich flight information display system will also be used in Terminal 4 to provide real-time updates to passengers throughout the check-in and boarding areas.

ASUR operates 10 airports across Mexico and the Caribbean that together serve close to 30 million passengers a year. Cancun International is the largest of the ASUR airports and in September was named ‘Mexico & Central America Leading Airport 2017’ at the World Travel Awards.

Air Senegal SA has become the latest airline in Africa to introduce SITA’s passenger services system (PSS) to manage every aspect of their operation – from reservations and pricing to ticketing and departure control. The airline is one of a growing number of carriers on the continent that have turned to SITA to provide technology solutions to better manage their passenger operations. Already 15 airlines and ground handlers in Africa use SITA’s Horizon® Passenger Management and Distribution solution while 100 airlines and ground handlers around the globe have used it to board more than 123 million passengers and check in 158 million travelers each year.Horizon offers the most comprehensive, integrated range of passenger management services available today. Its infrastructure is built on a flexible platform of core systems required by every airline, allowing each carrier to customize the system to meet their specific business requirements and to accommodate future growth. Air Senegal, the west African country’s new national airline, has turned to SITA to provide a full suite of services – including reservations, ticketing, airfare distribution and departure control – that will support the launch of the airline’s first flights later this year.


Rockwell Collins

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) and its Vetrepreneur magazine have named Rockwell Collins one of the top 25 United States-based companies dedicated to veterans — earning the distinction as a 2017 Military Friendly® Supplier Diversity Program. Rockwell Collins received the honor for its continued incorporation of veteran-owned businesses into its supplier diversity programs. NaVOBA stated that companies who are chosen to be awarded are companies who realize that doing business with veterans isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s simply a smart business decision.


More Aviation News

Aviation hacker do exist and here are three web locations for the stories from Milton Security that you might have missed:

Polish Airline Shut Down For a Few Hours by Hackers – Milton Security

Cyberhijacking an Airplane Is Impossible – Milton Security

Report Outlines How Airplanes Can Be Hacked From In-Flight WiFi – Milton Security

The US Department of Transportation puts out a monthly report on airlines flight delays, mishandled baggage, complaints, and incidents reports. Want to know the most reliable airline last month – here is the answer! Air Travel Consumer Reports for 2017 | US Department of Transportation

Need some chip sized speakers for those inflight devices? Here is one source…and yes, they have noise cancellation! MEMS Design Shrinks Speakers to Chip Scale | EE Times

The folks at Destination Tips have listed 12 things that you would think are permitted on a plane. Gel innersoles for shoes surprised us! 12 Surprising Things Not Allowed On Planes These Days – Destination Tips

Well, this is not necessarily aviation but it could be in any presentation. 5 Data Storytelling Tips for Creating More Persuasive Charts and Graphs

Travelers expect mobile services and biometrics to speed up their journey 

Mumbai | November 23, 2017–As passengers in India become more familiar with the use of technology – particularly mobile – they expect to use it more on their airline journey. This is according to the 2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a global survey released by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air Transport World.

While the use of technology among Indian airline passengers remains high at check-in (87%) and booking (52%), 2017 saw tremendous growth in usage at other points in the journey. The research showed while adoption remains low, self-bag drop usage climbed to 21% from 12% in 2016.

Passengers are also demanding new mobile services with 83% saying that they would definitely use flight updates on their mobile. And they would use their mobile for baggage services too: 82% would report mishandled bags and 79% would track their bags in real-time. This comes as no surprise with more than one billion Indians using at least one mobile device in 2016 of which 300 million are using a smart device[1].

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “In India, travelers are increasingly demanding the use of self-service and mobile technology in the airport to speed up their journey. This expectation, in many cases, is running ahead of availability in Indian airports today.”

The research shows 54% of passengers would rather opt to use self-bag drop than go to an airline check-in counter, compared to 33% globally and well ahead of current usage.

Jaikrishna said: “This is good news for the industry as it provides airports and airlines the opportunity to fully benefit from technology to speed up the journey and drive operational efficiencies, helping them meet the demands of rapidly growing passenger numbers across the country.”

India is expected to see passenger numbers grow by 337 million over the next 20 years to 2036, more than tripling from the 141 million passengers in 2016.2

Another area that is gaining the attention of passengers is the use of biometrics. India’s national biometric identity system is the largest in the world with over one billion enrolled members and Indian passengers have shown greater willingness to use biometrics to speed up their journey through the airport. In 2017, 70% of passengers in India said they would definitely use biometrics if given the option, removing the need to show a passport or boarding card at key points in the airport. This was well above the global average of 57%.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is working with the air transport industry to create a “digitally unified flying experience” where citizens’ national biometric identification cards and foreigner’s passports are optionally linked with the databases of airlines, airports and other stakeholders to deliver a seamless, paperless travel experience at every step in the journey.

Jaikrishna said: “Many travelers are comfortable with the use of biometrics and see the benefits of using them on their travels. This aligns perfectly with the need to find more efficient ways to manage rising passenger numbers with current resources. There is little doubt that technology is the key to resolving India’s constraints on airport infrastructure.”

The survey was conducted across seven Indian airports, representing 71% of passengers in the country.

Air Senegal becomes the newest airline to use SITA’s Horizon

Kigali | November 13, 2017–Air Senegal SA has become the latest airline in Africa to introduce SITA’s passenger services system (PSS) to manage every aspect of their operation – from reservations and pricing to ticketing and departure control.
The airline is one of a growing number of carriers on the continent that have turned to SITA to provide technology solutions to better manage their passenger operations. Already 15 airlines and ground handlers in Africa use SITA’s Horizon® Passenger Management and Distribution solution while 100 airlines and ground handlers around the globe have used it to board more than 123 million passengers and check in 158 million travelers each year.

Horizon offers the most comprehensive, integrated range of passenger management services available today. Its infrastructure is built on a flexible platform of core systems required by every airline, allowing each carrier to customize the system to meet their specific business requirements and to accommodate future growth.

Air Senegal, the west African country’s new national airline, has turned to SITA to provide a full suite of services – including reservations, ticketing, airfare distribution and departure control – that will support the launch of the airline’s first flights later this year.

Philippe Bohn, CEO of Air Senegal, said: “We have an ambition to establish Air Senegal as a key carrier in West Africa and make our presence felt across the continent. In order to achieve this ambition, it is important that we have a passenger management system that takes care of every aspect of operating the airline and delivers a smooth experience for our passengers every step of the way. SITA is a key partner in providing this technology and we are in the process of implementing this solution ahead of our launch flights later this year.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “The air transport industry in Africa is emerging as a major growth market in terms of passenger growth. Our presence and experience on the continent, together with the real business value offered by Horizon, has placed us in an ideal position to support both the continent’s emerging and established airlines, using a passenger management platform that can accommodate airlines of any size, fleet or operating model.”

SITA Lab publishes research findings

London | November 8, 2017– SITA Lab, the research team of the air transport industry’s IT provider SITA, today revealed the learnings from research it carried out with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport into ‘smart contracts’ residing on a blockchain.

Blockchain has been heralded as a transformational technology for many industries. While several use cases have been identified for the air transport industry, the opportunity of using ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data by airlines and airports is one which promises real benefits. SITA Lab today issued FlightChain, a paper outlining the findings of its research conducted with its airline and airport partners.

The air transport industry is highly-connected and there is a need for ‘single source of truth’ for various data used by different stakeholders. Control of shared data is a key concern for all. Blockchain offers potential to share data in a controlled way. SITA recognizes, however, that there is a need for research so the industry can take the right approach, to ensure governance, standards, compliance, security and more.

This research project was initially established by SITA Lab with Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (HAL) and International Airlines Group (IAG) with Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport participating. Called FlightChain, it was devised to investigate a single source of truth for flight data.  The “flight data problem” is a well-known issue in the industry – namely, there is no single source of the truth and the data that does exist, is not easily accessed by all parties.

While there are many cases of airlines and airports collaborating to share flight data, this data still resides in separate silos. When there are flight delays, this results in differences between passenger apps, airport FIDS, airline agents. FlightChain ensures all stakeholders have the same information.

Jim Peters, CTO, SITA, said: “Our FlightChain project has demonstrated that blockchain is a viable technology to provide a single source of truth for data for airlines and airports, specifically for real-time flight information. While there are other technologies available for sharing data, the use of blockchain, and smart contracts in particular, provides ‘shared control’ and improves the trustworthiness of the data. This research with our partners shows the potential of blockchain for sharing data across the air transport industry.”

FlightChain was established as a private permissioned blockchain (implemented on both Ethereum and Hyperledger-Fabric) that stores flight information on the blockchain, using a smart contract to arbitrate potentially conflicting data. British Airways, Geneva Airport, Heathrow and Miami International Airport provide flight data that is merged and stored on the blockchain. During this project more than two million flight changes were processed by the smart contract and stored on FlightChain.

Stuart Harwood, Heathrow Automation and Innovation, HAL, said: “Heathrow’s participation in FlightChain with SITA Lab has been very valuable. We are still early in the blockchain technology cycle and more research is required but FlightChain has shown the opportunities for shared control of data with our industry partners.”

Peters, added: “In a real-world network, it will be important to manage the changes to the smart contract as it affects all participants. Industry bodies such as ACI and IATA, working with SITA as the neutral IT provider to the air transport community, could be involved in the establishment of the contract. In fact, we can imagine a future where industry standards are written directly as smart contracts instead of published as PDF documents.”

Glenn Morgan, Head of Digital Business Transformation at International Airlines Group (IAG), said: “Now we’ve proven the technology, we are really excited by the opportunities that blockchain can create in the industry. We will work with IATA and ACI to ensure the best practices are in place.”

The research paper published today details key lessons learned regarding governance, smart contracts, system security and system performance, scalability and reliability. Along with a view on the use of public versus private blockchain networks for the air transport industry.

Download the full Report

flydubai’s network in Russia to grow to 11 points served by 47 weekly flights

 Dubai | October 25, 2017–

Dubai-based flydubai today announced the start of its new daily flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) from 29 November. This will increase the airline’s frequency to the Russian capital to double daily with the existing service to Vnukovo International Airport (VKO).

flydubai first started operating to Moscow in 2014 and has grown its network in Russia to 11 unique points.  Makhachkala, Ufa and Voronezh being the latest additions with operations commencing in October 2017. Along with these newest points on flydubai’s network the airline operates direct flights to Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow (VKO), Rostov-on-Don, Samara and Yekaterinburg.

Commenting on the launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said: “We are excited to be offering our passengers more options to access two different points of the Russian capital. The launch of our new daily flights to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is based on the increase in demand for more affordable and reliable direct links to the UAE and beyond.”

The airline, which recorded a 45% growth in passenger numbers to Russia in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and is the first carrier to operate direct flights to Sheremetyevo International Airport from the UAE. The airport is one of the three airports serving the city of Moscow, along with Domodedovo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport, and is one of the largest airports in Russia.

Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) for flydubai, said: “Russia continues to be a very important market for flydubai. We have been committed to opening up underserved markets and adding frequency based on demand across our network.  Our commitment is demonstrated by the increase of our operations to 11 points and 47 weekly flights to the Russian market. We are also looking forward to increasing our frequency to 52 weekly flights from mid-December which provide our passenger with more convenient timings and options for travel to and from Dubai.”

flydubai operates flights to more than 95 destinations in 44 countries offering passengers from Russia greater opportunity to connect onwards on the flydubai network to popular routes like Male (Maldives), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Zanzibar (Tanzania) via Dubai’s aviation hub. Business Class and WiFi are available on flydubai’s flights to Russia.

Early this year, the UAE Cabinet granted citizens of the Russian Federation entry visa on arrival valid for 30 days for the first time, renewable one time only for another 30 days, which has contributed to the increase in passenger numbers from Russia as per Dubai Airports reports.

Flight Details

Flights between Dubai (DXB) and Sheremetyevo (SVO) will start on 29 November 2017 with flights on sale from 25 October. flydubai’s FZ 917/918 will operate daily between Dubai International, Terminal 2 and Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Business Class return fares will start at AED 5,050 and are inclusive of all taxes and 40kg checked baggage. Economy Class return fares from Dubai to Sheremetyevo will start at AED 1,250 including 7kg hand baggage.

Flights can be booked through flydubai’s website (flydubai.com), Contact Centre in Dubai on (00971) 600 54 44 45, the flydubai travel shops or through our travel partners.

Euro Air Transport IT Summit, Hamburg | October 18, 2017–The air transport industry has cybersecurity as a top priority with 95% of airlines and 96% of airports investing resources into major cybersecurity programs or pilots over the next three years. Yet research released today from global IT provider SITA shows there is still room for improvement with only one third of boards at airlines, and a fifth at airports, having fully integrated cybersecurity into their business plans.

Speaking today at a gathering of European air transport industry leaders, Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, highlighted that while cybersecurity is the number one priority for almost all airlines and airports, it demands more attention and must be higher on industry board agendas.

Dalibard said: “Recent global cyber attacks demonstrate the risks and the need for a proactive approach. The air transport industry is highly connected and reliant on partners. We must work as a community to fight the global threat to cybersecurity. While we are pleased to see a 46% increase in the number of airlines prepared to deal with major cyber threats over the past year, there is still more to be done. The industry should move from dealing with common cyber threats to being prepared for major ones. As the technology provider owned by industry members, SITA is committed to invest in, and lead, the community effort to maximize cybersecurity. Together we can ramp up the industry’s defenses and ensure we remain one step ahead of any threat.”

SITA has conducted in depth research into the level of cybersecurity maturity at airlines and airports in the fight against this global threat. The results show that there are very high levels of security awareness among staff at airlines (82%) and airports (85%). This year, beyond cybersecurity protection, the industry is focusing on threat detection and response management. Already CIOs at 69% of airlines and 47% of airports are implementing security events and correlation monitoring, while security incident response management is being put in place at 77% of airlines and 60% airports.

Dalibard added: “Airlines and airports are building their critical defenses and preparing to deal with common threats but we must all bring it to the highest level and integrate cybersecurity at executive and board level. Together we must identify, detect and react to cyber threats and protect the industry’s assets from attack.”

Having identified the challenge, SITA earlier this year partnered with Airbus to address the air transport industry’s distinct concerns and created a unique CyberSecurity Aviation Security Operations Center (SOC). It acts like a cyber control tower with an integrated combination of processes, people and technology to detect, analyze, respond to, and report on cybersecurity incidents.

Markus Braendle, Head, Airbus Cybersecurity, said: “The air transport industry has unique cybersecurity challenges because of the varied and increasing use of smart end points across a largely distributed infrastructure. Digital transformation is enabling the air transport industry to deliver better services to its customers, but raising its threat exposure. Together SITA and Airbus CyberSecurity bring expertise and solutions to help airlines and airports monitor their digital assets to detect and respond to incidents.”

The SOC is part of a broader portfolio of SITA products and services that help airlines and airports identify threats and protect against, detect and respond to cyber attacks.

SITA also operates the Community Cyber Threat Center, a security information sharing service run on behalf of SITA’s more than 400 air transport industry members. It enables actionable information on cyber threats to be shared in a timely manner among key industry stakeholders.

These initiatives are part of SITA’s commitment to lead the air transport community fight against cyber threats and to improve the integration of cybersecurity into business plans at board level at airlines and airports.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.

SITA technology will allow airlines at one of the world’s biggest airports to track bags at every step

Istanbul | October 9, 2017– İGA, contractor and designated operator of Istanbul New Airport, has appointed SITA to implement its innovative baggage tracking solution at what will be one of the world’s largest airports, allowing airlines to meet IATA Resolution 753’s baggage tracking requirements from day one.

The airport, due to open in 2018, will have capacity to accommodate 90 million passengers a year. Upon completion of all four phases, the passenger capacity will reach over 200 million passengers annually and will be required to track more than 75,000 bags an hour. The potential for bags to be mishandled in such a busy environment will be significantly reduced with SITA’s baggage solution by providing information on where every single bag is on its route through the airport.

SITA’s baggage solution provides the IT infrastructure that makes it possible for airlines to track bags at key points in the journey, including check-in, transfer and arrival. Airlines will also be able to receive updates on where their baggage is at each step of the journey, allowing them to comply with IATA Resolution 753.

Yusuf Akçayoğlu, CEO of İGA Airports Construction said: “We fully understand that having the right technology will be essential to the successful operation of the new airport and future-proofing it for decades to come. It is also critical to ensuring our passengers fully benefit from our new, world-class facilities by providing innovative systems that make the journey through the airport enjoyable and effortless. We are confident that we will conclude this cooperation successfully.”

Ersin İnankul, CIO of İGA Airports Construction said: “In building a new facility, we have the opportunity to implement technology or capacity to accommodate new technologies. One of the technologies that will become a must-have is baggage tracking to meet the June 2018 deadline of Resolution 753. As a service to our airlines, we have partnered with SITA to implement the technology to meet the requirements from day one of operation.”

Jihad Boueri, SITA Vice President Airports for Middle East, India and Africa said: “Baggage is one key area where technology is improving the passenger experience. Increasingly airlines and airports are helping to relieve the anxiety of waiting for bags to arrive by providing real-time information on the status of their bags to passengers. At the same time, by understanding where a bag is at any point in its journey, airlines will be able to act proactively to ensure that a bag is correctly allocated to a flight, ensuring it arrives with the passenger at their destination.”

SITA’s Baggage Report 2017 showed that baggage management by airlines globally improved again in 2016 as the industry focuses on technology investments. According to the report, the rate of mishandled bags was 5.73 bags per thousand passengers in 2016, down 12.25% from the previous year and the lowest ever recorded.

As airports strive to find new ways to optimize operational processes and operating margins, the power of intelligent data analytics is presenting a new business opportunity for airport management. vb dashboxTM is a new Vision-BoxTM application that leverages operational data streams to transform everyday passenger data into meaningful business intelligence.

Lisbon, Portugal | September 6, 2017– Throughout the past decade, modern international airports have faced mounting challenges, from ensuring regulatory compliance, reducing traveler risk, enhancing passenger safety, facilitating flow capabilities, and optimizing its operating margins in a highly competitive industry. While the multiplying numbers of electronic passenger clearance touchpoints are easing some of these pressures, the amount of raw data these systems provide to authorities are exposing a new business opportunity for a more efficient and expedient airport environment.

In announcing the release of vb dashboxTM, Vision-BoxTM, the worldwide leader in passenger experience and border control solutions, is addressing this opportunity with a powerful new application that reshapes and reframes the way airports manage real-time passenger data intelligence streams, transforming them into a holistic airport passenger travel and behavioral information data center. vb dashboxTM accomplishes this by improving the everyday decision-making process, operational performance, and cost control of airport management by enhancing the granular detail of the information streams and providing practical tools to drill-down into metrics and key performance indicators of all airport and passenger data.

Integrated into the OrchestraTM Management Platform, the new and innovative web- based vb dashboxTM analytics application is designed to harness, analyze and give meaning to this raw data, giving all airport stakeholders the ability to manage and communicate business challenges more effectively and achieve better operational results. Together with OrchestraTM, vb dashboxTM extends the overall value of Vision-Box’s biometric solutions portfolio by offering an aggregated informational view of the entire airport walkthrough process, giving stakeholders a detailed view of passenger metrics and displaying the data in smart, penetrating graphics, available on all laptop, tablet and mobile platforms.

vb dashboxTM optimizes this viewing experience by allowing users to customize their personal performance flow analytics display. The visualization is customized using a widgets library, offering the user the capacity to create a tailored and personalized dashboard suited for individual data needs and offering particular insights into airport operations. This provides a live operational monitoring of the entire passenger clearance process with remote process control and a holistic view of data in clear, easy-to-read, interactive, and real-time charts.

The simple to use, browser-based, drag-and-drop interface uses a highly responsive design that gives any non-technical user an effective and dynamic experience, instantly responding to changes in parameters by applying different filters to assist in narrowing down the results to get to the core of the smart data. This can include business intelligence parameters, technical solution performance and passenger flow statistics among a myriad of other capabilities.

Highly secure, vb dashboxTM utilizes a privacy-by-design role-based control of the analytics and management of the data, with access and visualization restricted to authorized users. With 24/7 access to in-depth quality data intelligence, including passenger trends, solution performance, and full operational control across multiple locations and devices, vb dashboxTM offers key stakeholders the ability to share files and charts across the business network via robust reports with powerful filtering and drill-down capabilities.

“Vision-Box’s mission has always been to assist stakeholders in the aviation sector to achieve a higher level of airport operational efficiency while providing a safe and effective product, reduce risks, and improve operating costs”, says Miguel Leitmann, Vision-BoxTM CEO. “With this powerful new analytical tool, Vision-Box is delivering on this mission in giving airport authorities the ability to leverage their data into actionable business intelligence and optimize their processes through better utilization of information.”

The vb dashboxTM powerful integrated tools enable airport authorities to harness intelligent data capabilities to drive operational processes and business decisions. The availability of real-time data overview enables authorities to stay on top of complex passenger relationships and processes, providing a live real-time system performance overview to drive better decision making, real-time corrective actions, operational and quality of KPIs, plus much more, with seamless data analytics.

Cyber security, cloud services and passenger self-service top three priorities for air transport industry

Geneva | September 5, 2017– Airlines and airports are estimated to spend nearly US$33 billion on IT this year, according to the SITA 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights released today. And they are focusing their technology investments on similar priorities. Top of the agenda for CIOs at both airlines and airports, are investments in cyber security and cloud services. In addition, they are prioritizing investments in passenger self-service.

SITA’s research of the world’s airlines and airports shows that IT spend remains strong. Airlines’ spend as a percentage of revenue will rise to an estimated 3.30% or US$24.3 billion[1] in 2017. For airports, the rise is to an expected 5.05% for this year or US$8.43 billion. Looking ahead to 2018 over 70% of airlines and 88% of airports are expecting IT spend to increase or remain at the same levels as today.

As IT spend increases, both airlines and airports agree that the number one priority for their investments is cyber security. Nearly all of them – 95% of airlines and 96% of airports – plan to invest in major programs or R&D on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. This shows alignment across the industry on the importance of investing in this area.

Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said: “The air transport industry is going through digital transformation and focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers; making it more efficient; and improving the passenger experience. Cyber-attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry so building solid defenses is essential. Cloud services provide important efficiencies which play a key role in keeping costs down. Investments in self-service improve passenger satisfaction as they welcome the independence and efficiencies it delivers.”

Gutlin continued: “When it comes to IT investment, airports and airlines are aligned to provide better, more secure service to customers. The interdependencies built into air transport systems mean investments and improvements in all these areas, by airlines and airports alike, will continue to contribute to a strong global industry.”

Antoine Rostworowski, Director, Airport Customer Experience and Technology, Airports Council International (ACI), said: “SITA’s research, which was co-sponsored by ACI, reveals valuable insights for our industry. It is encouraging to see the alignment of investment priorities among airports and airlines, which reflects the collaboration between ACI and IATA on best practices. ACI and IATA have joint initiatives such as Automated Border Control, end-to-end baggage tracking (Facilitation), Data Exchange, Common-Use (Airport IT) and Smart Security. Industry partners such as SITA and others are also involved in these initiatives to make airports more efficient and to improve the passenger experience.”

Cloud services are another top investment priority with 95% of airlines and 85% of airports planning to invest over the next three years, continuing an upward trend that SITA has recorded since 2015. The third key area of investment that was highlighted by both airlines and airports is to provide extra self-service options to passengers.

Airlines are focusing on providing mobile services. Today the vast majority of airlines provide check-in (73%), boarding (70%) and flight status notifications (68%) via mobile and by 2020 more than 97% plan to do so. A key area of growth will be providing real-time flight updates over social media which will jump from 31% of airlines doing so to 92% in the next three years.

Providing a seamless experience is key to the airlines. In total, 94% rate streamlining services into a single app as a priority, with 58% rating this as a high priority. Mobile app capabilities and usability are developing quickly and an increasing number of airlines plan to use mobile as a customer service tool, including at times of disruption.

At airports, self-service processes at check-in, bag drop and boarding are increasingly popular with passengers and 89% of airports are investing in these processes. Airports operators have a keen focus on improving the journey through the terminal and are looking to new technologies such as the Internet of Things, beacons and sensors, to support their goals. SITA’s insights show that 80% are investing, or planning to invest, in these technologies over the next three years. Nearly three quarters, 74%, are investing in way-finding solutions and 68% in solutions to improve personalization for the passenger.

SITA’s IT Trends are well established as the global benchmark research for the air transport industry. Senior IT executives at the top airlines and airports took part in the research earlier this year. The 2017 results once again provide a clear insight on the air transport industry’s IT strategic thinking and developments.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights were released today and are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.

With vacations and pre-show quietness, our IFExpress search and discovery for news and industry input is lightweight this week; however there are some stories that we found so lets get started with a couple of news pieces from Rockwell Collins – and no, we have no more on a potential UTC buyout.

Rockwell Collins
The company will showcase business aviation solutions for the Latin American market, including flight deck, connectivity, cabin and service solutions at the 15th Annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Expo, from Aug. 15-17.

“This year we are showcasing even more of our business portfolio at LABACE to meet the needs of our customers in the region,” said Fernando DosSantos, director of sales and marketing, Americas for Rockwell Collins. “We are committed to increasing our footprint here in Brazil with broader avionics, cabin, service and connectivity offerings.”
At the company’s exhibit (booth #2016), experts from Rockwell Collins will be available to discuss the following key offerings:

  • Venue cabin management system: Our leading, most reliable and innovative cabin management system on the market, now equipped on more than 1,000 business aircraft cabins
  • Stage content service: Total content delivery solution that enables passengers to stream media, including digitally-protected movies and TV shows, to their personal devices from an easily refreshed, robust onboard server through wireless access points
  • CASP: Three levels of service, all delivering superior customer support, budget predictability and consistent aircraft availability for all the Rockwell Collins components on board your aircraft
  • ADS-B Out compliant solutions: Regulatory agencies across the globe are mandating implementation ADS-B Out, as well as other airspace mandates, as part of overall airspace modernization programs. ADS-B technology enables aircraft to continuously broadcast GPS derived aircraft position, heading and velocity information to ground stations connected to air traffic control

Next, TCS World Travel has installed Rockwell Collins’ CabinConnect wireless in-flight connectivity system on its custom-configured Boeing 757, operated by TAG Aviation. The fully operational system was launched on August 9, 2017 when 50 guests departed for a 23-day trip across Eurasia. “Our brand is about redefining luxury travel by providing highly personalized, enriching experiences for our guests from the comfort and convenience of our private jets,” said Shelley Cline, TCS World Travel president. “We chose Rockwell Collins for cabin connectivity because we needed a dependable solution that will keep our guests connected almost anywhere in the world.”

Through the new service, TCS World Travel guests can use an aircraft-provided iPad or their own devices to check email or browse the internet in flight, as well as access news, sports and weather information with a reliable connection that is similar to the quality and speed they experience when on the ground. The TCS World Travel system includes Rockwell Collins’ Airshow Mobile for Browsers, a 2D moving map system that keeps pace with guests wherever they fly. “Rockwell Collins was able to customize the system to interface with our onboard lecture system,” continued Cline. “This allows our guests to receive a live presentation from a travel expert about an upcoming destination that is broadcast to interested guests via the provided onboard iPads.”

“As a leading aircraft communications and service provider, we worked closely with TCS World Travel to understand their individual needs and requirements, and were able to outfit their aircraft with an operational system in just seven months,” said Alexis Hickox, head of Business Development, Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “Bringing together our aviation expertise with our knowledge of the Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) network has enabled us to provide TCS World Travel with a service that is very much in line with their mission of creating unforgettable travel experiences for their guests.”

Astronics
Astronics Corporation , a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Astronics PECO, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation fuel tank access doors (FTAD) for the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. In addition, Astronics PECO received a follow-on award for its FTAD product for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new 787 and 777X fuel tank access doors will utilize the latest in fuel tank door structural materials and designs for carbon fiber composite wing technologies. The doors will be manufactured by Astronics PECO in Clackamas, Oregon. These awards are in addition to a previous award in which Astronics PECO was selected to provide passenger service units (PSUs) for the 777X.

SITA
Lanseria International Airport is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines. Using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter. In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units. Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service. Using SITA’s Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, the airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey. The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

US MOBILE
A US wireless carriers going to launch unlimited access in aircraft from 120 countries and with some 20 airlines, so they say. We understand unlimited pricing of $10/ month for inflight Wi-Fi and with global coverage! The founder noted, ”Customers will also enjoy in-flight connectivity on all the major airlines at a more affordable price than what the airlines and other comparative services are offering. This Unlimited Wi-Fi plan is a game-changer when you travel abroad. Instead of paying for international roaming, which can be quite costly, you have a whole network of hotspots ready to be used anywhere in the world.” Stay Tuned!

Aircraft Interiors Expo – Long Beach CA.
In February, Reed Exhibitions and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) announced a long-term strategic co-location agreement for the fall expo event in co-ordination with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). This year’s event will take place from 26-28th September 2017 at the Long Beach Convention Centre, California, and is the only fall event dedicated to the Passenger Experience Industry. The events will welcome more than 300 exhibitors from a wide range of renowned companies exhibiting at AIX Long Beach and APEX, including Acro Aircraft Seating, Avio Interiors, Diehl, Gogo, Inmarsat, Isovalta, Panasonic, Geven, Thales to name just a few. Over 30 unique airlines such as; Etihad Airways, American Airlines, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and many more from across the world are already confirmed to attend with many more expected to register in the run up to the show. Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibitor Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “To have virtually all of the exhibition space already sold is testament to the growing popularity of the fall event dedicated to the passenger services industry. “AIX Long Beach brings together APEX, IFSA and AIX into a powerful partnership and to have generated so much interest already gives us great confidence that it is quickly becoming established as the must-attend event for the passenger experience industry in the fall.” The co-located passenger experience event is the largest in the fall, showcasing the latest innovation, technologies and products in the industry, such as galleys, lighting, cabin management systems, IFEC and passenger services.


MORE

SITA enables Miami Airport app users to quickly tap and clear immigration and customs

Miami International Airport (MIA) is the first airport in the world to bring the convenience of Mobile Passport Control, the fast entry process into the USA, into its own airport app experience. US citizens and Canadian visitors arriving into Miami can now use the MIA Airport Official app to submit details to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and simply receive a barcode on their phone to present for clearance.

This convenient service, developed by global air transport IT provider SITA and certified by US CBP for Mobile Passport Control, speeds up the entry process into the USA. As an integral part of MIA’s official app, the new mobile service builds on the personal travel assistant experience already being offered to Miami’s passengers.

“The goal of our mobile app has always been to put as many services as possible in the palm of the traveler’s hand,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “Now, with the help of SITA’s innovative technology, in addition to easily finding your way to all you need at MIA, North American passengers can now also breeze through passport control with the same customer-friendly travel app.”

Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other US airport. It is America’s third-busiest airport for international passengers, with more than half of its 44.6 million passengers on international travel.

SITA offers the service as an SDK (software development kit). The SDK has been authorized by CBP for airports, airlines and other travel app providers to incorporate the entry process into their own mobile app.

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “We are very pleased to be a technology partner with MIA as they become the first to incorporate the convenience of US CBP Mobile Passport Control into their airport application. Passenger satisfaction increases when technology solutions, like SITA’s, make it easy for passengers to manage their journey using just one convenient application on their own smartphone or tablet.”

SITA’s innovative design ensures the CBP requirements are met, which reduces the certification process for app developers. It enables eligible travelers to use an airport or airline’s app on their mobile device to submit their passport information and answer CBP inspection-related questions prior to CBP inspection. The convenient service does not require pre-approval and is free to use.

Today the SDK from SITA is available to any international airport in the USA or any airline flying passengers to the USA. SITA is also in discussions with other governments who are looking to digitize their landing card, customs and border clearance procedures. Providing such services via mobile devices enables direct communication with travelers which supports secure pre-clearance and helps streamline the passenger journey.

After a successful tendering process launched in December 2016, Vision-Box is now ready to unleash one more world-premiere: a ground-breaking Automated Border Control solution will be delivered, further securing the country’s borders and providing a seamless biometric-driven experience to arriving passengers.

Canberra, Australia | July 27, 2017–Vision-Box has today entered into a contract with the Australian Government to deliver the world’s first automated ‘contactless’ traveller clearance processes for people arriving in Australia by air at all international airports.

This contract was celebrated in the scope of the Seamless Traveller program and will expand Vision-Box’s successful presence in Australia initially sustained by its important work on the project that began in 2015 after the Australian Government selected the company to provide biometric border control SmartGates at all Airports’ departures.

This three-year contract will deliver the next generation of Automated Border Control passenger-processing technology. Vision Box’s latest innovations will assist the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection to collect and verify biometric data from all passengers arriving at Australian International Airports.

It will also deliver a new capability that will enable known travellers to self-process through the border without the need to physically use a passport (contactless), entirely relying on facial recognition technology.

Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder of Vision-Box said that “This contract represents an unparalleled milestone in the history of automation at the border, since it is the first time a government will implement biometric identification through contactless services. We are permanently investing in R&D to bring innovation at the service of more secure and frictionless border control solutions. By selecting Vision-Box, the Australian Government once again puts its trust onto us, to build their leading ambition, which is an amazing recognition to our commitment to society in this respect. This is the result of our long-term dedication and the teamwork we have been able to nurture with the DIBP, and I am very proud of what our people have achieved for our customer and how they feel being part of something bigger: making the world a better place”

New SITA services includes South Africa’s first self-bag drop and mobile boarding

Johannesburg, South Africa | July 26, 2017– Lanseria International Airport is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines. Using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter.

In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units. Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service.

Using SITA’s  Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, Lanseria International Airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey.

The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

Gavin Sayce, Chief Operating Officer of Lanseria International Airport, said: “Our passengers and airlines have always valued the ease of use when travelling through Lanseria International Airport. The investment in new technology – together with new infrastructure such as the multi-storey parking we are building – is aimed at maximizing this convenience. We want this airport to remain the airport of choice for both airlines and their passengers.”

Lanseria International Airport, north of Johannesburg, has established itself as a favored low-cost hub for passengers to quickly and conveniently connect to South Africa’s other main cities. FlySafair recently joined Kulula and Mango in operating flights from Lanseria to Cape Town, Durban and now George. The airport handles over 2 million passengers a year and the existing passenger terminal is being extended to accommodate more airlines and flights.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “Our research shows that an overwhelming number of passengers prefer to use technology rather than a human interaction when in the airport. They value the control and convenience that self-service options such as self-bag drop and mobile boarding provide. This is the case with Lanseria International Airport where passengers are accustomed to a smooth passage through the travel steps.”