• Long-standing partnership expanded as Finnish airline introduces NetLine/Ops ++ operations control solution

Kelsterbach, Germany | August 26, 2015– Lufthansa Systems today announced that the Finnish airline Finnair has opted for its NetLine/Ops ++ operations control solution. This innovative IT solution from Lufthansa Systems will enable Finnair to make its flight operations more efficient and lower its costs. The two companies recently signed a five-year contract which further expands their long-standing cooperation.

Punctuality is very important to flight operations. This is why it is essential for airlines to manage schedule changes – both planned and unplanned – in a way that minimizes their effect on passengers. In the event of disruptions such as delays and cancellations, NetLine/Ops ++ will put Finnair in a position to significantly lower the costs arising from positioning flights or hotel rooms for passengers, for example. The IT solution offers unique features for Management by Exception. This means that while other solutions display all of an airline’s flights, NetLine/Ops ++ only shows ones that have encountered “problems” and need a decision to be made. The solution’s functionalities facilitate information management, enable a higher degree of automation and provide better decision-making support, thus supporting improvements in on time performance.

“Punctuality and reliability are crucial for Finnair, as the majority of our passengers are transfer passengers. NetLine/Ops ++ is one part of our continuous drive to ensure world class operations,“ says Janne Tarvainen, Head of Operations Control Center, Finnair. “The long term cooperation we have had with Lufthansa Systems supports this target, and the work we do every day to ensure operational excellence.”

Lufthansa Systems has been supplying Finnair with IT solutions since 1997. The airline relies on the expertise of the aviation IT specialist in the areas of flight planning, codeshare management and revenue accounting, among others. “By opting for NetLine/Ops ++, Finnair is now nearly using the full range of solutions from our NetLine product line,” said Søren Reinholdt Key Account Manager at Lufthansa Systems. “We are very proud that we can support Finnair on so many levels with our products and services.”

Finnair is a network airline specialising in passenger and cargo traffic between Asia and Europe. The geographical location of Helsinki provides Finnair with a structural competitive advantage, since the fastest connections between many European destinations and Asian megacities fly over Finland. Finnair’s vision is to offer its passengers a unique Nordic experience, and its strategic objectives are to double its Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 level, to deliver a unique customer experience and achieve world-class operations, and to create shareholder value. Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance.

Air transport industry technology leader also announces governance changes and launches additional benefits for members

Brussels: 2015 Air Transport IT Summit | June 18, 2015– SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions which is 100 percent owned by the air transport community, today announced 2014 revenues of US$1.7 billion. This consolidated group revenue, a rise of 4.3 percent from 2013, continues the organization on its growth trajectory.

The results, confirmed at SITA’s Annual General Assembly (AGA), show the company’s solid business performance and growth. These were enhanced by strong sales performance, a sound cash balance, a low level of debt and continued favorable customer feedback and loyalty scores highlighting the focus SITA places on its community and customers.

Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA, said: “SITA is stronger due to our long-term strategic vision and the investments made in recent years. We have made advances in the critical areas of portfolio developments, service excellence and collaborative innovation with our members and the wider air transport community. SITA continues to invest in our operations, service quality and our people, which together position us to reach our strategic 2020 vision.”

In addition, the SITA AGA approved a number of changes to SITA’s governance to build on the company’s success and position it well for the future. These changes follow a comprehensive review by a special Governance Review Committee (GRC), formed following the June 2014 AGA, composed of 13 SITA Council Representatives and Board Directors led by Council President Jappe Blaauw from KLM.

This review of the effectiveness of SITA’s governance was provided for in 2011 when Members unanimously supported recommendations to retain SITA’s air transport community ownership, strengthen the company’s hybrid cooperative-commercial model and create the SITA Council. The two-tier governance structure of the SITA Council and Board was one of the main questions explored in the 2014 review.

The review found that the principle of the two-tier structure was fundamentally sound and appropriate for the needs of the SITA membership. However, a number of refinements were proposed. Highlights of the approved recommended changes include strengthening the powers of the 34 member SITA Council on matters concerning SITA’s structure and strategy, major transactions and substantive membership issues. The composition of the Board was also refined allowing for up to 11 Directors affiliated with Member companies – an increase from the previous 10. The maximum number of Other Directors was reduced to two from the previous four. Greater transparency over changes in SITA leadership and the specifics of Board and Council nomination and representation as well as streamlining the AGA process were also approved.

Jappe Blaauw, SITA Council President, said: “The comprehensive governance review and agreed recommendations are a testament to the strength and maturity of SITA’s culture where Members with diverse views can come together and constructively debate with open minds improvements that will benefit SITA, its members, and the Air Transport Community.”

As a member based organization that is working collaboratively to transform the air travel experience, SITA is always looking for ways to provide enhanced offers to its 430 members. Today, additional member benefits were revealed which will help with efficiency, profitability and adoption of new services more easily. The four new member offers are:

  • SITA Air Traffic Control (ATC) messaging service access – This messaging service enables airlines to exchange air traffic control related messages with ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) efficiently. It simplifies the process by removing the complexity and cost of connecting and adapting to several ANSPs. This offer makes the ATC messaging service available to members with no associated annual subscription.
  • Introduction to BagJourney for members seeking IATA Resolution 753 compliance – BagJourney enables airlines to track bags as required by the forthcoming IATA Resolution 753 (effective 2018). SITA will be introducing a rolling program of free evaluations of BagJourney for qualifying SITA members, with preferential member terms when contracting for on-going service.
  • Network application performance and service management consulting – SITA provides consultancy, with the use of specialized analysis tools, to enable airlines to optimize the performance of applications over their networks. Members contracting for new consulting engagements of this kind that are valued at $50K or greater will be entitled to a discount in the cost of the consulting activity.
  • Introduction to FLIFO API – SITA’s FLIFO API (application programming interface) enables rapid development of new applications by providing easy access to structured, accurate flight information for application developers. This offer will provide qualifying members with free access to the API for three months, with preferential member terms when contracting for ongoing service.

The offers announced today will be rolled out to members during Q3 2015. Additional member offers will be announced later in the year.

SITA has worked with its air transport industry partners to define next-generation technology for more than 65 years and is proud of its history. At this year’s AGA, SITA recognized the membership of its valued customers, celebrating 50 years of partnership with Royal Jordanian and Lebanese Air Transport and 60 years of partnership with Ethiopian Airlines.

  • Kiosks Securely Process Passengers in 60 seconds

Abu Dhabi, UAE | February 2, 2015– Passengers travelling to the United States can now pre-clear U.S. Customs and Immigration at Abu Dhabi International Airport using new automated passport control (APC) kiosks from air transport and government IT specialist, SITA. Introduced in December 2014, the self-service kiosks use advanced biometric technology to streamline border control procedures and process passengers securely in less than 60 seconds.

The new kiosks in Abu Dhabi enable passengers to provide their travel documents, biometric data and customs declaration prior to speaking to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. This increases efficiency by off-loading work from the immigration counters to the kiosks. SITA collaborated with the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency as well as Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, on this project.

Richard Hill, Etihad Airways’ Chief Operations Officer, said: “Since its opening in January last year, U.S. preclearance has been extremely popular with passengers flying from Abu Dhabi to the United States where they arrive as domestic passengers. The process has been greatly enhanced by the introduction of automated passport control kiosks which allow passengers to pass through border controls quickly and seamlessly, significantly improving their travel experience.”

Hani El-Assaad, President, SITA Middle East, India and Africa, said: “SITA is pioneering solutions in self-service border technology all around the world. Our APC kiosks use the latest biometrics to facilitate fast, accurate and secure passenger processing at the border. This ensures that airports, airlines and governments can provide a warm welcome, while still providing a high level of border security. For airports like Abu Dhabi which are experiencing strong passenger growth, these kinds of automated solutions are becoming increasingly important to help manage greater volumes of passengers securely and efficiently.”

Passengers from the United States, Canada and the 38 countries that are part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program can use the kiosks in Abu Dhabi for self-service immigration. The whole process takes less than 60 seconds. Passengers simply scan their passports to identify themselves, provide their fingerprints and a camera on the kiosk captures their face biometric. The passport and biometric information captured is then cross-referenced to verify the passenger is who they claim to be and then checked against government watch lists. There are several immigration questions the passenger needs to answer on the kiosk touch screen, and once cleared, the kiosk prints out a receipt to show as they exit the customs hall.

SITA is a world leader in providing border control technology and has developed its border control solutions in close collaboration with border agency partners worldwide, as well as airlines, airports and industry groups. Around 30 governments globally use SITA’s iBorders® systems and capabilities to keep their borders secure and transform their border security operations.