New SITA kiosks to speed passenger processing at airports while boosting national security

Mexico | April 10, 2018– The Federal Government of Mexico is strengthening border control by automating the entry process with the introduction of SITA’s Automated Border Control kiosks. The new kiosks will use biometric technology to capture fingerprints to verify passengers’ identities and improve national security.

SITA has rolled out 100 kiosks across three major airports. These international airports, in Mexico City, Cancun and Los Cabos, are operated by three airport companies – Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (AICM), Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP). SITA is the systems integrator across the project delivering to the needs of all the Mexican authorities and the private enterprises in the various locations.

Enrique De la Madrid, Secretary General, SECTUR, the Mexican Ministry of Tourism, said: “As visitor numbers at international airports grow, the need for migration agents grows as well, but we have the technology to help us overcoming that challenge. This automation will ensure security and facilitate the arrival of visitors to the country.”

Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, Secretary General, SCT, the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation, said: “The installation of these kiosks represents another example of the implementation of state-of-the-art technology in Mexico, aimed at preserving the safety of people and their goods, as well as facilitating activities related to aviation. Automating the entry of domestic and foreign passengers who do not require a visa is achieved by capturing biometric data (fingerprints, photography and scanning of the passport), which quadruples the capacity of passenger attention for each migration agent.”

Elbson Quadros, SITA Vice President, Latin America, said: “This is an exciting development in Mexico. The country is well known for its tourism and our automated border control kiosks will improve the experience for passengers at these key airports. As with most border management operations, making this improvement involves many government agencies working together with various airport operators. SITA is the integrator working with all parties, drawing on our decades of border automation experience with more than 40 governments worldwide, to deliver a secure and seamless passenger journey in Mexico.”

Initially, the SITA automated border control kiosks will be used to securely identify passengers as they enter the country. In time, they will facilitate the full admission process for Mexican citizens and those non-citizens who do not require a visa for entry. Arriving passengers will use the kiosks to provide standard travel information to the authorities, place their hand to be scanned for fingerprints and then once their identity is verified against the INM (National Institute of Immigration) database they will be given the all clear to enter the country.

Automating the entry process will help speed up passenger processing while maintaining high levels of security. SITA border technology enables governments to clear large numbers of passengers in record time. Travelers from up to five SITA iBorders® BorderAutomation ABCKiosks can be managed from just one immigration counter and these kiosks have been shown to reduce the time passengers spend in line by as much as 40%.

Gerardo Garcia, Commissioner to INM, the National Institute of Immigration, said: “Automation increases security and efficiency. Increased numbers of low-risk passengers are processed quickly, conveniently, and cost-effectively while we maintain the security and integrity of our border.By automating the arrival process using SITA’s world-class biometric kiosks, we will improve the speed and accuracy of checks of passengers arriving in Mexico.”

The full rollout across Mexico City, Cancun and Los Cabos International airports is now complete and the 100 SITA kiosks are expected to securely process close to eight million arrivals in the first year.

 

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

South Korea’s first low cost carrier to continue using flexible PSS as it grows business

Jeju Island, South Korea | March 22, 2018– 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.

Seok-Joo Lee, CEO, Jeju Air said: “Renewing with SITA is good for our business because Horizon PSS provides us with a flexible and value-based passenger services system. I have no doubt that it will continue to allow us to expand internationally while remaining aligned to our core values, because it is an agile solution that fits our business model well.

“The new advanced business intelligence services will help us find new opportunities to improve the passenger experience, while making intelligent decisions on strategic and operational issues. On top of that, the strong working relationship and support from the SITA local team is very much appreciated.”

Jeju Air has a fleet of more than 30 Boeing 737-800s, with plans to expand to 50 over the next two years as demand for low cost travel increases, both within South Korea and across the region. As the airline grows, its IT infrastructure will also need to expand to ensure it continues to be efficient and cost-effective.

Sumesh Patel, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting Jeju Air as it grows and that’s a role we’ll continue playing. As well as the Horizon PSS functionality that we’re already providing, the Horizon Business Intelligence will enable the airline to unlock the value of its data. Looking ahead, we can also add further modules, such as self-service applications, social media connectivity and other upgrades. In this way Jeju Air can be confident that we will support their evolving business needs.”

Leveraging India’s Aadhaar system will create the world’s most efficient travel system

Air Transport IT Summit, Jaipur, India | March 22, 2018– 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.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa, speaking at the Air Transport IT Summit in Jaipur, said: “Leveraging India’s national Aadhaar biometric identity system – one of the biggest in the world – together with our proven common-use and Smart PathTM technology, SITA will be able to deliver a seamless biometric experience across all airlines and airports – both domestic and international – in India. This would allow passengers to use their biometric identity no matter where they travel.”

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.

SITA’s vision for the future strongly supports India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation’s decision to work with the air transport industry to create a “digitally unified flying experience”. Citizens’ national biometric identification cards and foreigner’s passports could be linked with the databases of airlines, airports and other stakeholders to deliver a seamless, secure travel experience at every step in the journey.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa, said: “In many respects, India is leading the way with the use of biometrics in all walks of life. We feel this presents an opportunity for the Government of India to work with the air transport industry and lead the way to drive new efficiencies in passenger processing and establish India as the world’s most efficient travel system.”

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%.

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

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, according to IATA’s 20-year Air Passenger Forecast.

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.”

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.”

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.

Wireless connectivity at the gate will allow the aircraft to connect to vital aircraft, airline systems

Port Louis | February 8, 2018– SITA is providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly.

In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR – SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft – has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

Donald Li Ying, Vice President – Information Systems at Air Mauritius, said: “As Air Mauritius begins to introduce a new-generation of connected aircraft such as the Airbus A350, it is vital that we have a partner that can support the transfer of data both in the air and on the ground. This is vital to leverage the full benefit that connected aircraft can bring to the airline and our passengers.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “The continued growth in connected aircraft such at the Airbus A350 is opening new possibilities to enhance the passenger experience on board as well drive new efficiencies in how these aircraft are managed.”

“These new aircraft have become flying data centers which rely on world-class connectivity in order to exchange information on everything from engine data, passenger requirements to updates at the destination. This requires reliable, fast connectivity no matter where the aircraft finds itself. At SITA we are working with airlines globally to support that connectivity and ensure that the full benefits of connected aircraft can be unlocked.”

A total of 30% of airlines are already operating connected aircraft within their fleet and 73% of airlines will either operate or have taken delivery of connected aircraft in the next three years, according to SITA Air Transport IT Insights 2017.

Air transport IT specialist names top global executive to drive organization in the Americas

Atlanta, Georgia | January 18, 2018–SITA, the global provider of IT and communications to the air transport industry, has announced the appointment of Diana Einterz as SITA President, Americas. She will be responsible for developing and driving the strategic direction for SITA in the region leading SITA’s team that manages the delivery of solutions to hundreds of airlines, airports and governments across the Americas.

A highly experienced global leader, Diana comes to SITA from Orange Business Services (OBS), a key SITA partner, where she was Executive Vice President of the French Major Clients Division. While there, she held a series of global leadership roles during her 11-year career, including Senior Vice President for the Americas region.  Diana also spent seven years with Equant where she led customer services, field operations and integration services. Prior to Equant, Diana served in a variety of executive posts for AT&T.

Barbara Dalibard, SITA, CEO, said: “Technology is transforming the air transport industry and SITA is partnering with airlines, airports and governments across the Americas during this transformation. Diana’s depth of experience delivering technology and network solutions to support businesses as they evolve and meet competitive challenges will be instrumental in this role. She will lead our team in the Americas as we continue to drive greater efficiencies and create a more seamless passenger experience for our customers throughout the region.”

Diana was born and raised in the United States. She expanded her international leadership journey when she attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she completed her studies in Mathematics and Computer Science. She will be based at SITA’s Americas’ headquarters in Atlanta, USA

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.”

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.”

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.

Using the new mobile service, agents can trace and rebook bags faster and on the spot

Euro Air Transport IT Summit, Hamburg | October 17, 2017–Airport operator Fraport has significantly speeded up the repatriation of delayed or mishandled bags to passengers at Frankfurt Airport, with the introduction of SITA’s WorldTracer® Tablet.

WorldTracer® Tablet provides a fast, mobile way to trace and return mishandled bags at arrivals and during period of disruption. Agents can roam the baggage hall, capturing details of missing bags in front of the passenger, delivering a better passenger experience and avoiding queues at traditional baggage desks.  Passengers are provided with a printed receipt from mobile printers or sent electronically to SMS or email addresses, on the spot. Agents can also log and print new “rush” bag tags and quickly get mishandled bags onto flights to their intended destination during periods of disruption, eliminating potential delays.

The service is an extension of SITA’s WorldTracer®, a global reporting and matching service of found bags to passenger lost bag reports used by more than 460 airlines and ground handlers in more than 2,800 airports globally.

Anke Giesen, Executive Director Operations at Fraport, said: “Losing one’s bag while traveling is never a pleasant experience and one we at Fraport have worked hard to avoid. However, in those rare situations where bags are delayed or mishandled, it is important that we find and return the bag as quickly as possible. WorldTracer® Tablet allows our agents to respond faster and in a proactive manner. That is having a profound impact on customer satisfaction.”

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “Technology has played an instrumental role in halving the number of mishandled bags over the past 10 years. Yet there are still occasions where bags are delayed due to weather or other disruptions. This is where WorldTracer® Tablet can add tremendous value in making sure that passengers are quickly and effectively reunited with their bags.”

WorldTracer® Tablet’s intuitive interface runs on top of the WorldTracer® Management Module. The service uses standard iPad tablets, which are connected to handheld scanners and Bluetooth printers for faster passenger processing.

SITA’s local presence, combined with reliable global service, provides the airline with flexibility

Montreal, Canada | October 4, 2017–Air Transat, Canada’s number one holiday travel airline, has turned to SITA to support its route development in airports across the Caribbean, South and Central America. A fast time to market is key to the airline’s success and SITA delivers communications network services at new destinations quickly.

Air Transat faces challenges to uniformly connect and equip its staff across all destinations. Regardless of where it flies, it must have reliable network connectivity to access its applications. Over the next three years, SITA will provide Air Transat with network connectivity in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico and Panama.

Many smaller and low-cost airports do not have common-use equipment and hardware has to be provided by the airline. However, it is not easy to transport computers in and out of countries quickly or have support staff available immediately to service the equipment; it’s also costly to store equipment in the off-season when not needed. SITA will provide end-user computing services to manage this challenge, allowing Air Transat to add new seasonal destinations quickly and smoothly.

Martin Lachance, Director, IT Solutions, Air Transat, said: “SITA has delivered a solution tailored exactly to our business needs. This is a combination of SITA’s network connectivity with global presence and local support, simplified billing, and fast streamlined implementation across our ever-changing seasonal network. SITA’s uniform global service—driven by a comprehensive service level agreement with standardized equipment and processes—controls costs and simplifies billing, giving us the flexibility we demand in our business.”

SITA has solved both problems of equipping staff and providing connectivity wherever Air Transat flies. Its global presence at airports and relationships with local governments enabled SITA to provide a turnkey solution. This included everything from customs clearance of laptops; deployment of the equipment once on-site; remotely supporting the equipment; maintenance and repair; spares provision; decommissioning; storage in the off-season if needed; and Internet/network connectivity. SITA’s global team of engineers have specific air transport industry and end-user computing experience and knowledge that allows them to efficiently support the Air Transat team in every location.

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “SITA is excited to partner with Air Transat to deliver services that support the flexibility this dynamic business requires. The combination of our end-user computing services and reliable network availability allows Air Transat to save time and control costs while ensuring high levels of service and site management.”

Air Transat is a Canadian leisure airline based in Montreal, Quebec, operating scheduled and charter flights that serve about 60 destinations in 26 countries. In 2016, Air Transat was named Best North American Leisure Airline for the fifth consecutive year by Skytrax. In 2017, the airline is celebrating its 30th anniversary in business and its 30th year as a SITA member.

Atlanta | September 19, 2017– SITA, the technology company that provides JetBlue’s biometric exit checks at the boarding gate, today announced the success of its innovative technology used in the trial in Boston Logan International Airport and that it continues to work with the airline and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in this program.

The program, which started in June on flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport, has proven hugely popular with JetBlue customers. When given the option, the vast majority choose to “board in a snap” by simply stepping up to a camera without having to show a boarding pass, passport or any other papers.

SITA’s biometric scanning technology has proven to be very accurate with close to 100% match-rate contributing to an efficient, pleasant and seamless experience. With this improved boarding JetBlue customers enjoy a better overall customer experience.

Joanna Geraghty, Executive Vice President Customer Experience, JetBlue, said: “SITA’s role as our technology partner helped us bring this innovative approach to boarding from an idea to reality. SITA was able to quickly and effectively support both our requirements and the specification of CBP. We could not be happier with the results of this trial and hope to work with SITA in future iterations of our self-boarding program.”

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “SITA’s collaboration with JetBlue and CBP has resulted in this unique integrated biometric exit check and self-boarding solution. The results to date have been very positive with the vast majority of JetBlue customers choosing to use it. This acceptance is in line with our experience and the results of 2017 SITA Passenger IT Survey, which shows that not only do passengers prefer to use technology but when they do it boosts satisfaction rates.

“The accuracy and speed of the system shows how SITA’s technology can provide a new way for airlines to bring value to their customers. Over the coming months we will work with JetBlue and Government agencies to extend the use of this innovative and passenger-friendly technology. We look forward to continued progress together.”

John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said: “Working with industry partners like JetBlue allows us to explore the best use of technology to implement biometric exit checks while improving the passenger experience. The integrated and frictionless solution devised with the airline and SITA is proving a success for everyone – the airline, the passengers and CBP. We look forward to continued work with JetBlue and SITA.”

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 its passenger processing applications and 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.

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.

Demaël will steer strategy, transformation and innovation aimed at accelerating SITA’s growth

Geneva | August 29, 2017– SITA today announced that Jacques Demaël has joined the organization as SVP Strategy & Business Support. Reporting directly to CEO Barbara Dalibard, Demaël will be based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Working together with the CEO and the Executive Team, Demaël will drive SITA’s overall strategy as well as several key strategic initiatives. He will be responsible for leading a transformation program to align the organization, processes and skills to support SITA’s ambitions and will help define the organization’s technology and innovation roadmap.

Barbara Dalibard said: “SITA offers a remarkable value proposition for its customers across the air transport industry. I look forward to working with Jacques in delivering a transformation plan that will provide a clear roadmap to boost the next phase of SITA’s growth, capitalizing on our unique market position at the center of our industry.”

Jacques joins SITA from Bryan Garnier, an independent investment bank dedicated to growth companies. Jacques has also been an advisor to several private equity funds, investors and governments in both EMEA and the US, specifically in technology, media and telecommunications. He has worked with technology start-ups and other emerging leaders to explore new opportunities in areas such as artificial intelligence and connected life.

Prior to this Jacques had a long career at France Telecom/Orange, holding various executive roles in both consumer and business markets, in London, Paris and Geneva.

Jacques Demaël said: “It is an exciting time to join SITA. The air transport industry is thriving and SITA is in a prime position to advance this growth by providing a portfolio of products and services that help the industry become more efficient and passenger focused. With the right focus and team behind us, I see tremendous potential for SITA to build on its existing credentials as a trusted supplier and partner to the industry.”

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.

SITA’s new common-use equipment speeds up passenger processing
Victoria | July 12, 2017– Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, will be introducing SITA’s state-of-the-art common-use passenger processing systems (CUPPS) at Seychelles International Airport from today. This investment provides greater flexibility for international airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment for check-in and boarding.

The airline – which provides ground-handling services to airlines operating from Seychelles International Airport – is currently upgrading its technology to ensure a smooth travel experience every step of the way. The upgrade is being performed in partnership with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and SITA, a global technology provider to the air transport industry.

The new systems will optimize the use of terminal facilities, speed up the flow of passengers and improve service levels for all international travelers flying from Seychelles International Airport.

Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “The new common-use terminal equipment will enable Air Seychelles to connect to various Departure Control Systems used by other airlines operating to Seychelles, providing more flexibility to our ground handling operations.

“Even more importantly, it will enable us to streamline the check-in and boarding process for all the international travelers that are handled at Seychelles International Airport, making sure they have a smooth experience. This development from SITA follows the long list of innovative technological solutions which we have implemented to ensure an improved guest experience.”

Gilbert Faure, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Introducing cutting-edge CUPPS infrastructure at Seychelles International Airport puts us on par with some of the most modern airports in the world. Having a standardized system for handling passengers will improve the airport experience for all international travelers, irrespective of the airline they are flying with, which is a fantastic achievement. We have developed a strong relationship with both Air Seychelles and SITA and are pleased to have worked together to install this new technology.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “Our common-use systems bring new efficiencies to Seychelles International Airport for both Air Seychelles and other operators. This in turn will have a dramatic impact on passengers who will benefit from a smooth and seamless travel experience.”

2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey shows tech is making a difference at every step of the journey
Geneva, Switzerland | June 27, 2017– Passenger satisfaction is higher during the airline journey when self-service technologies are used, particularly at bag tag and collection, and passport checkpoints. This is according to the 2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a global survey released today by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air Transport World. The survey shows that passengers rate their journey very highly with an overall satisfaction rate of 8.2 of out 10 but this is boosted even further when technologies such as mobile services and biometrics are used.

Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said: “Passengers are increasingly comfortable with the use of technology in their everyday lives, and they are demanding more services as they appreciate the benefits technology can bring to their journey. Airports and airlines can take note that technology solutions can boost passenger satisfaction every step of the way.”

In the global air transport industry, identity checks are a vital element of the passenger journey. SITA’s survey shows that technology, such as biometrics, can support security while offering a better passenger experience. Automated identity checks at passport control and boarding increases passenger satisfaction.

A total of 37% of travelers surveyed by SITA used automated ID control on their last flight. Of these, 55% said they had used biometrics at departure security, 33% for boarding and 12% for international arrivals. Looking forward, 57% of passengers said they would use biometrics for their next trip.

Passengers who use biometrics are highly satisfied. In fact, they rated the experience 8.4, well above the ratings for face-to-face transactions at passport check (8) and boarding (8.2), demonstrating passenger acceptance of this secure technology to deliver a seamless journey.

Baggage collection is another area where technology is improving the passenger experience. Airlines and airports are helping to relieve the anxiety of waiting for bags to arrive by providing real-time information to passengers. On their last flight, more than half (58%) of passengers who checked in bags received real-time bag-collection information upon arrival.

These passengers were happier than those who did not receive any information, rating their experience 8.4 out 10. Passengers are even more satisfied when they receive the information to their mobile devices. SITA’s survey shows that this bumped up satisfaction levels by an extra 10%.

Technology is also driving passenger satisfaction for baggage management earlier in the journey as more airlines and airports offer self-bag tagging. The use of this technology increased satisfaction to a rating of 8.4 out of 10. Nearly half (47%) of all passengers took advantage of a self-service tagging option on their most recent trip, which is a healthy increase from 31% in 2016. As more self-bag tag options are made available we can expect passenger satisfaction at this point of the journey to increase.

This year’s survey also highlights that as passengers become more familiar using technology during travel, the more likely they are to switch to newer, more efficient platforms. They are increasingly using smarter, mobile-enabled websites to book and check-in. Airline and airport apps, meanwhile, meet passengers’ desire for new services to help them better manage their journey. They want personalized information about their flight, their baggage and how to find their gate directly on their mobile device.

The appetite for new services using technology is high: three quarters (74%) of passengers say they would definitely use flight and gate alerts pushed to their mobile devices; 57% would use airport wayfinding; and 57% would use biometrics to smooth identification each step of the way.

Gutlin said: “Passengers aren’t deciding anymore whether they should use technology but which technology to use. They want to make each step of the journey as easy as possible. Tech adoption will be driven by both context and usability. For this reason, a clear focus on the end-users’ demands should shape the services airlines and airports offer.”

This is the 12th edition of the SITA/ATW Passenger IT Trends Survey. It was conducted with more than 7,000 passengers from 17 countries across the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa representing almost three-quarters of global passenger traffic.

2017 Air Transport IT Summit – Barcelona, Spain | May 24, 2017– SITA, the IT specialist that is transforming air travel through technology, today rolled out several community innovation demos with an eye toward the future at this year’s Air Transport IT Summit. These forward-looking innovations are part of SITA’s 2016 multi-million investment across five main focus areas to explore new solutions to some of the air transport industry’s most pressing challenges.

The five areas are; new baggage tracking capabilities to meet IATA’s Resolution 753; identity management to enable secure and rapid passenger flow through airports; the facilitation of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC); an industry-wide disruption warning system; and enhancing cyber security across the industry.

Demos shocased included the innovative WorldTracer Ground Delivery Baggage Tracking App which allows airlines to track delayed bags until they reach their final destination and Travel Identity of the Future, a new approach to identity management to enable secure and rapid passenger flow through airports. The multi-million dollar community innovation investment is over and above SITA’s continued investment in new products. It is aimed at looking further into the future of promising technologies or new ways of doing things that could have a big impact and significant benefit to the air transport community.

In addition, SITA announced seven new member benefits to enhance nine offers made available in 2015. The offers, exclusive to SITA’s 400 plus members, consist of free trials and preferential contract terms for services. These include SITA’s Mobile Boarding Pass API, which gives airlines flexibility to easily create and distribute mobile boarding passes and SITA’s sophisticated baggage services BagConnect and WorldTracer Tablet. Members can also benefit from free consultancy services for SITA’s cloud services and Horizon solutions along with preferential terms for messaging services SITATEXT Online and the new MessageIntelligence Archive.

Jappe Blaauw, President of the SITA Council, said: “SITA is a member-driven organization and these offers are designed to offer value and support in the areas that we know our 400 plus members are interested such as improved baggage management, driving the adoption of mobile self-service and taking advantage of cloud services. These exclusive offers will allow our members to quickly evaluate and adopt new and efficient technologies across the air transport industry.”

The Air Transport IT Summit, which is attended by more than 400 air transport industry professionals, also provides SITA with the opportunity to recognize its valued members. Working with its air transport industry partners to define next-generation technology for more than 65 years, SITA recognized numerous milestone members including 60 years of partnership with Air Serbia, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines and Qantas Airways. And 50 years of partnership with Adria Airways, Arabian Airlines, Libyan Airlines, Meridiana Fly, Saudi Arabian Airlines and United Airlines.

First payment solution to support secure payments on common-use platforms now available

Brussels, 2017 Air Transport IT Summit | May 24, 2017– SITA has launched the first payment solution which addresses the need for airlines to be able to accept payments securely at airports when using a shared IT infrastructure. SITA AirportConnect Common Use Payment Service enables payment transactions by multiple airlines on a single payment terminal. Importantly, this is possible with any, and all, of the departure control systems the airlines choose to use.

Airlines use common-use or shared IT infrastructure at airports around the world and this ground-breaking solution has been developed by SITA to support airlines that wish to accept payments at common-use check-in desks, kiosks and bagdrop areas for baggage fees, upgrades and other ancillary charges. SITA’s new solution uniquely combines point-to-point encryption (P2PE) technology, with Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant chip card payment terminals, applications and processes, to allow multiple merchants to use the same terminal while meeting PCI security standards.

SITA has implemented this service with a major European airline at a common-use airport where rigorous testing proved the effectiveness of the encryption technology for chip, magnetic stripe and contactless card payment transactions.

SITA’s common-use payment service meets the unique operational challenges of airlines. It allows airlines to share the same point of sale (PoS) and PIN entry devices (PEDs) at the airport, while continuing to use their preferred payment service providers and banks. This maximizes the benefits of the airline’s existing commercial relationships. Importantly, the service is also designed to minimize fraud risks by implementing encryption with EMV card readers and provides support for a secure payment solution aligned with credit card brand approvals.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “This new service, integrated with our SITA AirportConnect platform, allows airlines, airports and other air transport industry stakeholders to accept credit card payments in a common-use environment in line with Payment Card Industry standards. Our service features point-to-point encryption to provide a powerful, flexible solution for all stakeholders to ensure the protection of customer data.”

P2PE in SITA AirportConnect Common Use Payment Service delivers significant benefits including making account data unreadable by unauthorized parties. It “de-values” account data because it cannot be abused – even if stolen. In addition, P2PE can simplify compliance with PCI DSS (Data Security Standard) requirements for airlines and airports by reducing the number of addressable requirements during a PCI security assessment.

SITA AirportConnect Common Use Payment Service further enhances the community values that are central to common-use across the industry. It is the culmination of work with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Common Use Working Group in collaboration with various payment industry leaders, including Verifone, Thales and Smart Technology Solutions.

Peter Galvin, Vice President Strategy at Thales e-Security said: “Thales’s extensive expertise and leadership in the payment security market, enriched by our long-standing partnerships with leading payments processing vendors, allows us to help innovators such as SITA deliver the high levels of performance and security required for payment processing.”

The payment terminals available as part of SITA’s service are capable of supporting PCI compliance requirements for an airline’s passenger credit card data handled through SITA’s CUTE/CUPPS/CUSS system. PCI compliance certification, however, still requires an end-to-end security review by each airline of its own full payment process.

Initially available for SITA AirportConnect workstations, the service will be rolled out to support SITA’s common-use kiosks and bagdrop stations over the coming months.

<strong>Early research with Microsoft HoloLens shows potential of mixed reality

Air Transport IT Summit 2017, Brussels | May 23, 2017– A new world of mixed reality is emerging and SITA Lab, the research arm of air transport IT provider SITA, is exploring its potential for airlines and airports. Today it released early results of research carried out with Helsinki Airport using Microsoft HoloLens to analyze and manage airport operations in a mixed reality environment.

HoloLens is the world’s first self-contained holographic computer, enabling users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them. It runs Windows 10, and enables the blending of the physical and digital worlds in ways that were previously impossible. SITA worked with Helsinki Airport to use HoloLens to reproduce the airport operational control center (AOCC) in this mixed reality environment.

For this project SITA Lab used a feed from SITA’s Day of Operations technology, which is used by Helsinki Airport, and presented a new way to visualize and interact with the airport’s operational data including aircraft movement, passenger movement and retail analytics. Wearing the HoloLens, the operators had a set of screens meshed into a 3D view of the airport allowing them to correlate events from the data dashboards with an immersive real-time model of the airport.

This new way of looking at the world can provide new insights into how the airport is functioning. HoloLens also opens the possibility of being able to access the AOCC environment from any location, on or offsite, allowing experts to provide input to situations remotely.

Jim Peters, SITA CTO and head of SITA Lab, said: “Mixed reality, which combines augmented and virtual reality, is more than a new interface, it is a new way of looking at the world and allows things to be done in a new way. It enables digital and physical data to exist together.  Our early research shows that there are potential uses for airlines and airports – for operations, maintenance and training. We need to learn how to interact in this new environment. In the same way that we moved from computers to smartphones and voice recognition, now we can go beyond the screen.”

Greg Jones, MD, Worldwide Hospitality & Travel, Microsoft Corporation, said: “HoloLens is now being used across various enterprises from healthcare to engineering. SITA’s work is an example of how to extend HoloLens capabilities to manage the complexity of data and decision-making in an airport environment.  It shows how this new technology can be harnessed for the air transport industry and add value in areas from training to complex operational management.”

The SITA Lab project interfaced into multiple data sources at Helsinki Airport to create the unique view of the ever-changing operations throughout the day. This included passenger real-time location and historic density data; aircraft position data; gate information; flight status information; security wait times and retail dwell times, segmented by passenger.

Eero Knuutila, Head of Service Development, Helsinki Airport, said: “This innovative work with SITA Lab has been hugely valuable to the team at Helsinki Airport. It has opened our eyes to the possibility of using mixed reality to improve our operations. It is exciting to be the first to work with SITA on this emerging innovative technology.”

SITA Lab’s early research results show that unlike virtual reality, the mixed reality experience tends not to make people feel disorientated or nauseous. The HoloLens device itself has proven easy to learn and has a good battery life and doesn’t suffer from over-heating issues.

Peters, SITA, added: “Mixed Reality hits a sweet spot of having an experience that is fully immersive for the user, but also keeps that person in the real world. The user can interact with both and avoids the disorientation or discomfort of fully immersive virtual reality.  There are benefits to having multiple people using the headset and simultaneously interacting with the same virtual display. This could be really useful for scenario planning exercises.”

While the technology shows potential, SITA Lab points out it is early days and before enterprise use at airports issues of weight, size and durability will need to be addressed. Users must also learn how to interact in this new environment to maximize its benefits.