Beijing | August 16, 2018–Xiamen Airlines, which is experiencing major growth across its domestic and international network, is using sophisticated software from SITA to set its fares competitively in all markets. The airline, which handled 32.7 million passengers in 2017, is highly profitable. It has achieved profits 31 years in a row and is now using SITA Airfare Insight to optimize its fares-related decision making.

More than 180 million fares are published worldwide at any one time, and typically full-service airlines will update fares throughout their distribution network of GDSs, travel agencies and websites, several times a day.  By using SITA’s Airfare Insight Xiamen Airlines can stay ahead of the competition. It can set its fares based on a clear view of what its competitors are doing in markets across the world. Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall commercial strategy.

Chen Rong, Committee Secretary, Passenger Marketing & Sales, Xiamen Airlines, said: “Filing fares at the right price and at the right time can have a significant impact on profit margins. SITA’s technology enables our commercial team at Xiamen Airlines to have the right fares distributed to the right customers. It also gives us the capability to analyze all our fares and manage them across multiple locations and time zones,which is vital as we expand our route network.”

Today, Xiamen Airlines serves nearly 400 domestic and international routes covering China, Southeast and Northeast Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. With 1,074 destinations in 177 countries making sure the right fares are published in the right markets is challenging. SITA Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall revenue management and sales strategy.

May Zhou, SITA Vice President & General Manager, East Asia, said: “Xiamen Airlines is one of China’s great successes with decades of profitability. Industry studies indicate that correct pricing can contribute 3-10% to overall revenues and SITA’s technology allows the airline to distribute all fares to customers at the ideal price point with head-office knowledge and approval. Airfare Insight also simplifies the end-to-end fares management process while putting competitive fares in key markets. A winning formula for this growing airline.”

By achieving profits for 31 years in a row Xiamen Airlines has been an airline that has remained profitable for the longest period in China’s civil aviation industry. It enjoys the highest international financial rating among the Chinese airlines.

Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport uses SITA technology to manage surge in passenger numbers

Moscow | August 3, 2018–Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME) and technology provider SITA today summed up the success of new automated gates which were introduced for passengers in time for the 2018 World Cup. In just over a month around the championship, more than 1.2 million passengers took advantage of the new technology to speed their way through the airport. In total,since the beginning of the year, 3.3 million people have used SITA’s Airport Self-Service Gates at Domodedovo.

Gennady Zalutsky, CEO, Domodedovo Integration, said: “SITA’s technology showed its effectiveness during the peaks of traffic when soccer fans from all over the world flew through Domodedovo for the matches. We are confident that this landmark project, which makes use of modern technologies, will raise the quality of passenger services at DME to a new level.”

Domodedovo was the first airport in Russia to introduce SITA’s sophisticated passenger flow management which uses smart validation and the automated gates for secure access control. Theyallow passengers to independently pass the security controls at the entrance to the departure zone,or to board the aircraft, by simply scanning their mobile or paper boarding pass.

In total, more than 150 automated gates will be installed in Terminals 1 and 2 in Domodedovo. SITA studies show that the use of its self-service gates can cut boarding times by as much as 50% reducing the risk of flight delays and improving passenger service. SITA’s automated gates and Airport iValidate technology are in use at leading airports across the world.

Dmitry Krasnov, SITA VP Russia and CIS, said: “We have helped many countries manage major events by introducing technology that automates the flow of passenger through major airports. From the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and this year in Russia. While these events are often the catalysts for introducing new technology, we continue to see the benefit of these investments well after the final whistle has gone. This is particularly the case in fast growth markets such Brazil and Russia where the number of passengers continues to grow rapidly.”

The introduction of SITA’s automated gates and Airport iValidate technology for passengers at Domodedovo Airport was a finalist in the Moscow Urban Forum Community Awards. This is an annual award for city communities, independent projects, private initiatives and start-ups that make a significant contribution to the development of Moscow. The introduction of the airport self-service gates was among the best in the “Urban Technologies” nomination.

SITA to lead exploration into self-sovereign identity in travel

Geneva | July 16, 2018– SITA today announced that it has been named a Founding Steward of the Sovrin Foundation, a private-sector, international non-profit whose mission is to enable self-sovereign identity online. In its role as a Founding Steward, air transport technology provider SITA, will collaborate with the Sovrin Foundation and other Sovrin Stewards to create, operate and maintain the foundation’s decentralized digital identity network.

Sovrin is a decentralized, global public utility for self-sovereign identity. Self-sovereign means a lifetime portable identity for any person, organization, or thing that allows the holder to present verifiable credentials in a privacy-protecting way. These credentials can represent things as diverse as a passport, an airline ticket or simply a library card. Sovrin identities seek to transform the current broken online identity system which is open to misuse and fraud. Using self-sovereign identities could lead to lower financial transaction costs, protect people’s personal information, limit opportunity for cybercrime, and simplify identity challenges in a variety of fields including travel, healthcare, banking, IoT and voter fraud.

Heather C. Dahl, Executive Director of the Sovrin Foundation, said: “SITA has a unique role in the global air transport industry. Its community ownership and neutral position makes it ideally suited to be the first travel industry Steward for Sovrin. The digital economy requires that individuals and businesses establish secure, private and trusted transactions but the current centralized system is flawed and subject to fraud. The Sovrin Network was purpose-built to add the missing identity layer to the Internet and provides a complete approach to identity from the distributed ledger to device. SITA brings decades of industry experience to help establish self-sovereign identity in the travel sector.”

Gustavo Pina, Head of SITA Lab, said: “There has always been a need for people to assert their identities and today that is lacking online. In the ideal world, individuals would digitally hold all their identity data themselves which they could assert to various entities. In travel that could be at every step of the journey from booking, travelling through the airport, crossing borders and checking-in to hotels.”

SITA will be working with innovative airline customers to trial issuing credentials to small groups of passengers and allowing them to use them in controlled environments.  In doing so, travel industry leaders can see how self-sovereign identity might develop.

Pina added: “We know that companies would like to get personal data off their systems. With self-sovereign identity, individuals could maintain ownership of the data they need to travel and this would reduce the data management responsibilities of airlines, airports, governments and other stakeholders in the travel journey. There is a clear desire to move in this direction and while it might be hard to visualize today, I expect digital identities will be with us in the coming decade.”

Sovrin Stewards are governed by the Sovrin Foundation’s constitution-like Trust Framework, within which the ‘diffuse trust model’ seeks to prevent undue influence over the network from any single source. Other Sovrin Stewards include Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Digicert, IBM, and T-Labs.

Another Tuesday and another IFExpress. Be sure to check out the story about the B52 Midnight Express restoration (image above) at the end of this week’s Hot Topic.


Aircraft Interiors Exposition – Boston

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX, Boston), the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, will this year take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25 – 27 September. Organized by Reed Exhibitions, it is the sister event to AIX Hamburg.

The world-leading event is strategically co-located with Airlines Passenger Experience Expo (APEX EXPO) and International Flight Services Association Expo (IFSA EXPO), enabling airlines and companies from across the supply chain to meet and network.

New to AIX, Boston this year is CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre – the educational sessions which are a popular and firmly established part of its sister show in Hamburg each spring. Sessions will run throughout the first two days of AIX, Boston and provide attendees and exhibitors an arena to learn, network and seek inspiration on pressing industry issues.

More than 220 exhibiting companies are already confirmed to attend the co-located events in Boston in September, showcasing their products and innovations to an expected audience of 5,000 + visitors and 280 airline VIPs from 63 global airlines.

Amongst them are 12 first time exhibitors including Bose Corporation, Meggitt PLC, SynQor Inc and Tajima America Corp, who will join longstanding brands across all three events including Acro Aircraft Seating, Boeing, Diehl Aviation, E Leather, gategroup, Panasonic Avionics, STS Aviation Group, San Diego Aircraft interiors, and Tapis Corporation.

Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, comments: “Over the past nine years, AIX has firmly established itself as the leading fall event for the global aircraft interiors industry to gather and discuss the trends shaping the industry.

“This year we are delighted to be welcoming new exhibiting companies who will continue to showcase the evolving spectrum of aircraft interiors products that are shaping the passenger experience.

“Bringing this to life, and providing a forum for open discussion and innovation, we are sure that CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre will be a popular addition to the show and look forward to unveiling the speaker line-up in the coming weeks.”

Each fall, the location of AIX changes to refresh the industry’s perspective and reach an extensive audience of key industry decision makers from around the world. It showcases a wide range of cabin interiors products including; seating, galleys, lighting, lavatories, cabin management system, soft furnishings and passenger services.

Boston is the capital of the state of Massachusetts and its largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s also one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Today, the city is home to around 600,000 people and welcomes over 20 million visitors every year, drawn by attractions such as the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and neighboring Harvard.

AIX Americas is the sister event of the Aircraft Interiors Expo which takes place every April in Hamburg, Germany.

With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category “Best Customer Journey Experience” is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at https://connect.apex.aero/page/apexawards until the end of July.

The new category is running outside the normal entry phase for the Crystal Cabin Award. It will be presented on 24 September together with the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas events in Boston, Massachusetts. The application phase for the other eight categories, traditionally awarded every April at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, will then begin.

“Best Customer Journey Experience” comprises all products that help to improve the customer experience journey (inspiration, planning, booking, purchase, pre-trip, departure, in-flight and post-trip) across airline travel categories. It includes technical end-to-end solutions across categories including applications, artificial intelligence, tools, devices, software, programs etc. The product should offer benefits for airlines, OEMs, and/or suppliers by offering new digital solutions and specific insights about passengers experience for the benefit of on-board technical utilization. The finalists and award winner will provide airlines and their suppliers an inspirational example on how to optimize the cabin for end-to-end travel solutions centered around personalized passenger experience.

This special category complements the existing eight categories awarded each year in Hamburg for the Crystal Cabin Awards: „Cabin Concepts“, „Cabin Systems“, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity”, “Material and Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University” and “Visionary Concepts”. Winners of the 2018 season included renowned industry players such as Airbus and Altran, Rockwell Collins, and PriestmanGoode with Qatar Airways.


INMARSAT

The potential bidding war for satellite company Inmarsat took an interesting turn. Eutelsat had initially thrown its hat into the ring as a suitor but made a rapid about-turn. Inmarsat’s stock spun, too, sinking by 12%.

What Does This Mean?

Inmarsat provides phone and wireless data services – like 4G – to people via satellites around the world. France’s Eutelsat does the same thing and is the third largest global operator of its kind.

The proverbial bidding war came about after American company Echostar said it had amassed a 3% stake in Inmarsat on Friday (its offer to buy the company earlier in June was rebuffed). Eutelsat then said it was considering an offer, too – but decided against it after pressure to make a firm decision from the UK’s takeover regulator.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Inmarsat’s stock could be in for a bumpy ride.
Inmarsat’s shares soared with the news of Echostar’s initial bid – and the prospect of a counter bid – but they’re now in decline. The UK’s takeover laws mean this rollercoaster ride could last a bit longer, since Eutelsat now can’t put in a bid for Inmarsat of any kind unless a formal offer is made by someone else. Echostar has to submit a final bid within a month or it’ll be tapped out by regulators.

The bigger picture: Land grabbing and cost “synergies” make M&A likely.
In an industry with slowing growth opportunities, bundling revenues together – and streamlining costs that may have otherwise been duplicated (a.k.a. generating synergies) – is a tidy way for satellite companies to increase profits. Bidding wars among giants for the smaller companies could be an ongoing trend for the industry.


SITA

SITA invites airline industry stakeholders to join international Blockchain research project. SITA announced the launch of a major industry research project to explore the potential of blockchain. More than 100 top IT executives, attending SITA’s Customer Innovation Forum, were the first to be invited to join the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox.

SITA is investing in the infrastructure to accelerate industry-specific research into the viability of running multi-enterprise apps using distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain. The company is welcoming interested industry players to use the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox at no cost to them.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Today we are inviting air transport organizations to work together so that we can collectively see how blockchain could work across our industry. Blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organizations is not the most productive. As the technology company owned by airlines, SITA is in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications. Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all.”

The airline industry has a long history of sharing information across multiple stakeholders to increase efficiency. At times, however, it faces difficulties when proprietary business information needs to be extracted or multiple data sources conflict. One of the key benefits of blockchain technology is the ability to have multi-enterprise applications. These work across multiple organizations locking data immutably into the blockchain rather than having individual applications running separately and exchanging data on a case-by-case basis. This is how this technology can provide a ‘single source of truth’ to all stakeholders.

The Aviation Blockchain Sandbox will be led and managed by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team, and will develop in three stages. To start, SITA is opening the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. FlightChain was SITA’s blockchain trial, with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport, using smart contracts for shared control of data. It stored flight information on the blockchain to provide a single source of truth. Now SITA is making it easy for other airlines and airports to join this research and test FlightChain for their own use.

For the second stage of this collaborative innovation, SITA will work with organizations that wish to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases. During the third stage of the research, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node. This will give the organizations the opportunity to become more involved and to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians. Throughout all stages the participating organizations can be assured that the data being used in the blockchain sandbox will be stored confidentially.

Dalibard concluded: “Since we published the results of the FlightChain research, many of our airline and airport customers have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities of blockchain with us and some have already committed to the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organizations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together.”


AIRBUS

The closing of the previously announced C Series transaction between Airbus SAS, Bombardier Inc. and Investissement Québec came into effect on July 1, 2018. Airbus now owns a 50.01% majority stake in C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, while Bombardier and Investissement Québec own approximately 34% and 16% respectively. CSALP’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec.

Further, Airbus has announced orders for 10 A350-900 and 10 A330neo’s to undisclosed buyers.

The world’s passenger fleet will more than double to 48,000 aircraft in 20 years with traffic growing at a resilient 4.4% per year, driving a need for 37,390 new passenger and freighter aircraft according to Airbus’ new Global Market Forecast 2018-2037. Growth drivers include private consumption increasing 2.4 times in emerging economies, higher disposable incomes and a near doubling of the middle classes globally. Emerging countries will account for over 60% of economic growth, with trips per capita to multiply 2.5 times for these nations. Combined with evolving airline business models and continuing liberalization, the growing scale of air transportation will lead to an increasing resilience to regional slowdowns. Greater aircraft range and capacity through technological developments allow airlines the flexibility to explore new business opportunities whilst maintaining focus on cost reduction. Of the 37,390 new aircraft required, 26,540 are for growth and 10,850 will replace older generation less fuel efficient aircraft. The more than doubling in the world fleet to 48,000 aircraft results in a need for 540,000 new pilots. Airbus continues to evolve its service business to meet the needs of its growing customer base.


BOEING

Boeing & Ethiopian Airlines

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first of 30 737 MAX jets for Africa’s largest and fastest-growing commercial airline.

The flag carrier of Ethiopia has long operated the efficient and reliable Boeing 737 airplane. With the MAX, Ethiopian will be able to achieve a double-digit improvement in fuel efficiency and provide passengers with a more comfortable experience.

“We are glad to include the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the latest in Boeing’s single-aisle series, in our young and modern fleet of over 100 aircraft with an average age of less than five years,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam. “The Boeing 737 MAX 8 features the new Boeing sky interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhance the sense of spaciousness ultimately boosting our customers’ experience. Since it is more fuel efficient than the current 737-NG, it has less carbon emission to the environment. As a customer-centric airline with a high adaptability to emerging technologies, Ethiopian has been pioneering latest-technology aircraft into Africa throughout its 72-year history. In line with the airline’s growth targets under Vision 2025, we will keep on investing in further expansion of our fleet in acquiring the latest aircraft the industry has to offer.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,500 orders to date from 99 customers worldwide.

The 737 MAX families incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, the Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays, and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

In Ethiopian’s configuration, its 737 MAX 8 will seat 160 passengers.

“Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly at the forefront of Africa’s commercial aviation industry by operating the most advanced airplanes,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Sales vice president for Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia & Africa. “We are honored by Ethiopian’s continuing confidence in Boeing airplanes and we look forward to growing our five-decade long partnership.”

With this delivery, Ethiopian’s fleet of Boeing airplanes grows to 73 jets, including the 787 Dreamliner, 777, 737 MAX, and the 757 and 767.

Boeing & Embraer

Boeing and Embraer announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership that positions both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets.

The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake. The transaction values 100 percent of Embraer’s commercial aircraft operations at $4.75 billion, and contemplates a value of $3.8 billion for Boeing’s 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. The proposed partnership is expected to be accretive to Boeing’s earnings per share beginning in 2020 and to generate estimated annual pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $150 million by year three.

The strategic partnership will bring together more than 150 years of combined leadership in aerospace and leverage the two companies’ highly complementary commercial product lines. The partnership is a natural evolution of a long-standing history of collaboration between Boeing and Embraer over more than 20 years.

On finalization, the commercial aviation joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a President and Chief Executive Officer. Boeing will have operational and management control of the new company, which will report directly to Muilenburg.

The joint venture will become one of Boeing’s centers of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing, and support of commercial passenger aircraft, and will be fully integrated into Boeing’s broader production and supply chain.

Boeing and the joint venture would be positioned to offer a comprehensive, highly complementary commercial airplane portfolio that ranges from 70 seats to more than 450 seats and freighters, offering best-in-class products and services to better serve the global customer base.

In addition, both companies will create another joint venture to promote and develop new markets and applications for defense products and services, especially the KC-390 multi-mission aircraft, based on jointly-identified opportunities. Finalization of the financial and operational details of the strategic partnership and negotiation of definitive transaction agreements are expected to continue in the coming months. Upon execution of these agreements, the transaction would then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, including approval from the Government of Brazil, as well as other customary closing conditions. Assuming the approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, 12-18 months after execution of the definitive agreements.


OTHER NEWS

Brussels | June 27, 2018– SITA, the air transport industry’s technology provider, today announced the launch of a major industry research project to explore the potential of blockchain. More than 100 top IT executives, attending SITA’s Customer Innovation Forum, were the first to be invited to join the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox.

SITA is investing in the infrastructure to accelerate industry-specific research into the viability of running multi-enterprise apps using distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain. The company is welcoming interested industry players to use the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox at no cost to them.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Today we are inviting air transport organizations to work together so that we can collectively see how blockchain could work across our industry. Blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organizations is not the most productive. As the technology company owned by airlines, SITA is in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications. Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all.”

The airline industry has a long history of sharing information across multiple stakeholders to increase efficiency. At times, however, it faces difficulties when proprietary business information needs to be extracted or multiple data sources conflict. One of the key benefits of blockchain technology is the ability to have multi-enterprise applications. These work across multiple organizations locking data immutably into the blockchain rather than having individual applications running separately and exchanging data on a case-by-case basis. This is how this technology can provide a ‘single source of truth’ to all stakeholders.

The Aviation Blockchain Sandbox will be led and managed by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team, and will develop in three stages. To start, SITA is opening the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. FlightChain was SITA’s blockchain trial, with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport, using smart contracts for shared control of data. It stored flight information on the blockchain to provide a single source of truth. Now SITA is making it easy for other airlines and airports to join this research and test FlightChain for their own use.

For the second stage of this collaborative innovation, SITA will work with organizations that wish to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases. During the third stage of the research, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node. This will give the organizations the opportunity to become more involved and to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians. Throughout all stages the participating organizations can be assured that the data being used in the blockchain sandbox will be stored confidentially.

Dalibard concluded: “Since we published the results of the FlightChain research, many of our airline and airport customers have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities of blockchain with us and some have already committed to the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organizations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together.”

Further details are available for interested organizations on Developer.aero.

KID-Systeme

Let’s face it, one of the most important amenities on an aircraft is the USB power. In fact, the longer the flight the more important USB power is. Why? Because personal device battery life is a function of time. As you may remember from an earlier issue of IFExpress, we touched on the Mirus Aircraft Seating integration project for AirAsia’s new Hawk slimline economy seating for their A320 fleet that includes the IFE peripheral experts, IFPL, who are supplying the USB interface port for USB consumer technologies. What you may not know is that KID-Systeme is the single source supplier for the USB power source via their SKYpower system. This initial A320 retrofit program, which was announced in 2016, is now up and flying and has been followed-up by a line fit order for the airline’s new Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft. During AIX we had the opportunity to talk with KID about the project and they indicated that the high-power USB outlet in conjunction with the In-Seat Power Supply unit minimize weight while limiting the intrusion into the passenger space, facilitating the passenger experience in Wi-Fi equipped cabins. “… we celebrate a striking success in Asia together with Mirus and we are pleased to announce our new relationship with Mirus and IFPL, offering an innovative, low cost, low weight & high-power USB solution. The system can be installed on Airbus line-fit aircraft as well as on all types of retrofit programs”, says Jens Markworth, VP Sales KID-Systeme GmbH. SKYpower is designed with high power efficiency and low standby power and is intended to guarantee passengers with sufficient power to use their electronic devices, whether they be laptops, smartphones, and/or tablets en route. We foresee more teaming efforts like this one in the industry’s future.


Rockwell Collins

Five Rockwell Collins engineers have been named to the fifth annual class of Rockwell Collins Fellows at a special ceremony yesterday with company leadership and members of the first four classes of Fellows.

Implemented in 2014, the Rockwell Collins Fellows program distinguishes exemplary engineers whose leadership, innovations and technical expertise — along with their dedication to mentoring others — advances Rockwell Collins and their respective fields.

The Class of 2018 Fellows are:

  • Joseph Graf, principal systems engineer in Airborne and Ground Communications Products for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Patrick Morrissey, senior security engineering manager for Commercial Systems Cyber Security Engineering in Cedar Rapids
  • Warren Prasuhn, principal systems engineer in Safety Programs and Process for Commercial Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Karl Shepherd, principal systems engineer in Airborne Solutions for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Joel Wichgers, principal systems engineer in Precision Positioning and Guidance for Engineering & Information Technology in Cedar Rapids

“Our Fellows are helping our company achieve industry-changing moments, historic wins and barrier-breaking technology that’s yet to come,” said Nan Mattai, senior vice president of Engineering & Information Technology. “I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments.”


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation says its AVANCE L5 connectivity system was installed on the 200th aircraft; it expects 500 by the end of 2018.


Airbus:

The A320 Family Production Line

Airbus has inaugurated the fourth Hamburg A320 Family production line. Making use of digital technologies and a more flexible industrial set-up, the innovative state-of-the-art line is a key enabler for ramping up the single aisle program to 60 aircraft per month by mid-2019.

Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator of Economy, Transport and Innovation and Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, witnessed the milestone together with Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft, and 500 distinguished guests at a special ceremony in Hamburg. “The inauguration of our latest, most modern A320 production line opens a new chapter in efficient, digital aircraft manufacturing,” said Guillaume Faury. “With these new technologies we are building our aircraft more efficiently, a key enabler for higher production rates. I would like to thank the teams, who pushed this newest Airbus production standard from concept to reality.”

With more than 14,000 A320ceo and A320neo Family aircraft ordered and over 8,100 delivered, the A320 is the world’s most successful single-aisle aircraft family. Incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, the A320neo Family provides 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. To date the A320neo Family has captured nearly a 60 percent market share with more than 6,000 orders from 100 customers.

The A320 Family aircraft are manufactured globally, at Airbus sites in Europe, China and the US. In addition to the new production line, Airbus also inaugurated a larger and modernized Hamburg A320 Family delivery center with more customer areas, more efficient delivery processes and increased hospitality services.

Airbus & the Côte d’Ivoire

Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework of collaboration to support the development of the country’s aerospace industry which has been identified as strategic for its economic development. Under the terms of the MoU, Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire will explore channels of cooperation in developing the aerospace sector in Côte d’Ivoire in various areas.

“We are confident that this partnership with Airbus will contribute to Côte d’Ivoire’s economic growth as well as support us build a stronger framework for industrial development, creation of jobs and capacity building for our country,” said his Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. We are committed to deliver on our vision and make Côte d’Ivoire a hub for aerospace technology in Africa,” he added.

“Collaboration between the public and private sector is essential to facilitate economic and industrial growth. Through this MoU we will work closely with Côte d’Ivoire’s government, share expertise, discuss opportunities and support efforts in building a robust and sustainable aerospace sector. At Airbus, we are committed to supporting the sustainable socioeconomic development of Africa through partnerships such as this. ” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Airbus A330neo

The A330neo, Airbus’ newest widebody aircraft, has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations. As final step in the aircraft certification phase these function & reliability tests, also known as route proving will include ETOPS missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services. After a fly past over Airbus’ European sites, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 Flight Test Hours in three trips. The route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft, fully equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator’s Tap Air Portugal colors. The aircraft first flew on 15th May 2018 launching flight-tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning. The route proving tests form part of the last trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.

Launched in July 2014, the A330neo family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99% commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new “Airspace” amenities.

Airbus & Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways has become the second airline to operate the A350-1000, the world’s newest long range widebody airliner. The airline took delivery of the aircraft at a special event in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of 20 A350-1000s ordered by Cathay Pacific and will join the carrier’s growing fleet of A350 XWB aircraft, which already includes 22 A350-900s. Both aircraft are complementary and provide for maximum commonality with unmatched operating efficiencies, while offering passengers the highest levels of comfort in all classes. Travelers will benefit from absolute well-being in the cabin, with more personal space, optimized cabin altitude, more fresh air, controlled temperature & humidity, integrated connectivity and the latest generation of in-flight entertainment system. With its true long-range capability, the A350-1000 will form an important part of Cathay Pacific long-haul operations. The aircraft will be deployed on the airline’s new non-stop route from Hong-Kong to Washington DC, representing the longest flight – approximately 17 hours – performed by any airline out of Hong Kong.


SITA

Global air transport IT provider SITA has announced that its technology, BagJourney, is managing baggage for an increasing number of the world’s airlines. In the first six months of this year alone, more than 20 airlines have chosen the solution. SITA BagJourney is one of the key technologies helping the industry meet the IATA Resolution 753 requirement to track every stage of every bag’s journey.To meet the conditions of Resolution 753, airlines must track every item of baggage at four key points in the journey: at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival. The biggest challenge airlines and airports face doing this is scanning at the point of transfer and on arrival. Typically, these were not areas of the airport where scanning was done so they require attention and new infrastructure. With a growing number of customers, SITA’s baggage management technology is firmly established as the solution of choice for the air transport industry. Together, SITA’s BagJourney customers handle hundreds of millions of bags each year and these airlines are enjoying as much as 30% reduction in the rates of mishandling. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.


Inmarsat

The London School of Economics, in association with Inmarsat Aviation, has revealed the findings of Sky High Economics: Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Connected Airline Operations. The report finds that consolidating the advantages of connected aircraft could deliver substantial economic benefits for the global airline industry, as well as significant environmental benefits, including a reduction in the industry’s annual global fuel use and a net reduction in CO2 output.

Highlights of the findings include:

Major savings for airlines

  • The potential for multiple savings, efficiencies and safety opportunities could equate to a 0.75% – 1.00% reduction in the IATA consolidated US$764 billion annual global airline costs of operation.
  • Savings could reach $15billion per year and a reduction of 21.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2035

Reduced delays for passengers

  • Weather is responsible for 70% of all flight delays and is a contributing factor in 23% of aviation accidents. Connectivity, which allows airlines to improve navigation and avoid adverse weather conditions could deliver annual cost savings of $1.3billion
  • Connectivity could deliver a 66% reduction in crew-related scheduling delays – adding up to $2.4 billion in annual savings

Revolutionizing air traffic management

  • IP-enabled real time data exchange between aircraft and air traffic control services is allowing airspace to accommodate increasing passenger numbers. By 2035, this could create a $3billion annual saving for the airline industry – while helping to safely meet growth expectations

This is the second chapter in the Sky High Economics series, a first of its kind research report evaluating the economic value of connected aircraft from now until 2035. The first chapter, on the economic value generated by passenger connectivity, was released in September 2017.


Hainan Airlines

On 15th June, the all-new DreamWorks Theater of Universal Studio Hollywood was opened in L.A.. Hainan Airlines has organized an inflight activity themed ‘DreamWorks Theater’ with Universal Studio on their HU469 from Chengdu to Los Angeles and they have also launched four KungFu Panda liveried aircraft. The DreamWorks Theater flight served by the third KungFu Panda liveried aircraft, in which all the flight attendants wore the new uniform to introduce the opening of DreamWorks Theater, as well as, sharing with dedicated Po fans Universal Studio brochures, and a Universal Studio ticket worth $129 to every passenger! In addition, the entertainment project was revealed on this flight which was the new film Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, which recounts Po’s perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace. With Po’s new dream on the Kung Fu Panda liveried aircraft, Hainan Airlines graciously invites passengers to participate in the opening of the DreamWorks Theater. We note that this year remarks the 10th anniversary of Hainan Airlines entering North American market. Hainan Airlines has enjoyed rapid development on North American route network over the past decade. Since the launching of Chengdu-Los Angeles route on March 15, 2017, Hainan Airlines has now opened twelve routes from domestic key first- and second-tier cities to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago, Boston and New York.


Lufthansa

Watch this one: Lufthansa has had preliminary take-over talks with Norwegian!


Other News

20 airlines sign up to use SITA’s technology in just six months

Geneva | June 19, 2018– Global air transport IT provider SITA has announced that its technology, BagJourney, is managing baggage for an increasing number of the world’s airlines. In the first six months of this year alone, more than 20 airlines have chosen the solution. SITA BagJourney is one of the key technologies helping the industry meet the IATA Resolution 753 requirement to track every stage of every bag’s journey.

To meet the conditions of Resolution 753, airlines must track every item of baggage at four key points in the journey: at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival. The biggest challenge airlines and airports face doing this is scanning at the point of transfer and on arrival. Typically, these were not areas of the airport where scanning was done so they require attention and new infrastructure.

With a growing number of customers, SITA’s baggage management technology is firmly established as the solution of choice for the air transport industry. Together, SITA’s BagJourney customers handle hundreds of millions of bags each year and these airlines are enjoying as much as 30% reduction in the rates of mishandling.

Peter Drummond, Director, Baggage Solutions, SITA, said: “IATA’s resolution has brought a sharp focus on the potential for further improvements in baggage management. We at SITA have taken up the challenge and are helping airlines and airports quickly and effectively meet the new tracking requirements.  Working with our industry partners, we have developed new economical infrastructure enhancements for BagJourney.

“These offer the choice of handheld devices for scanning or scanning arches that are quick to install. Each airline and airport has different needs so we have ensured that the various hardware options are easily integrated into our BagJourney solution for fast implementation.”

John Fowler, Senior Director with responsibility for Customer Service, BahamasAir, said: “SITA gave us several options for improving our baggage tracking. Within just seven days we moved from manual ‘bingo card’ tallies to using handheld devices to track all bags at our two busiest baggage destinations, Nassau and Miami. After six months of tracking bags on our busiest route, we observed a 60% drop in the amount of claims due to baggage mishandling.

“We now plan to implement the new technology at all our stations using a phased approach. We will have it in place at the majority of destinations we fly to and hope to reach 100% Resolution 753 compliance by the end of the year. The ease of integration of the hardware and the sophisticated BagJourney solution is the key to success.”

SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.

SITA is hosting ‘Tracking Bags – A Turning Point in 2018’ today, June 19th. This webinar features speakers from American Airlines and IATA, who together will discuss the latest trends and industry IT practices in baggage tracking. Places are limited, register now.

Seoul | May 30, 2018–Incheon International Airport has deployed SITA’s award-winning self-service bag drop technology at its new Terminal 2, effectively serving the influx of visitors to the recent Winter Olympics and in preparation for the 100 million passengers projected by 2030. Drop&Fly simplifies the bag drop process, cutting time for passengers and improving their experience. This technology also makes more efficient use of terminal capacity and ensures more accurate baggage handling.

Incheon International Airport has been named the World’s Best Airport for 12 consecutive years by the Airport Council International (ACI) and Drop&Fly has been in operation at the airport’s Terminal 1 since 2016. Today, 48 Drop&Fly units (14 at T1 and 34 at T2) are available to passengers with 30 more on the way.

Sang-il Kim, Executive Director of Smart Airport Group at Incheon International Airport said: “We want to give our passengers a fantastic experience when they travel through our airport and that means using the very best technology. Deploying SITA Drop&Fly is part of our extensive modernization program that will help ensure Incheon International remains on top of the list of the world’s best airports.”

Drop&Fly provides a safe and secure self-bag drop area. A sliding door and advanced sensors prevent tampering and the intrusion of unauthorized objects. It is fully customizable to the individual needs of the airport and is equipped with technology such as payment devices, baggage facing cameras and more. It can also provide live status and notifications on all bag drop units for ground agents, and real-time statistics to analyze trends and generate reports.

Drop&Fly won the prestigious 2017 iF Design Award: Public Product, in recognition of its state-of-the-art design and intuitive user interface.

Sumesh Patel, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “We know passengers want self-service options because they like having control over their journey and it saves time. Self-bag drop is a win for the airport because it makes very efficient use of the available space and makes the baggage process more accurate and efficient.”

Patel added: “With IATA projecting that routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 2.1 billion annual passengers by 2036, there is no doubt Incheon International Airport has exactly the right approach. As Incheon Airport consolidates its position as one of the best airports in the world, we hope to continue being a part of the airport’s success.”

Incheon International Airport had a record year in 2017, with over 60 million passengers using the airport. The introduction of Terminal 2 has increased capacity by a further 18 million passengers per year and the airport has ambitions to reach 100 million passengers by 2030.

SITA is the world leader in self bag drop with more than 55 airlines connected to SITA BagDrop at more than 40 airports worldwide.

London | May 16, 2018–Virgin Atlantic Airlines has extended its long relationship with SITA, with the global IT company providing secured, high-speed connectivity between the airline’s London hub to 66 airport, sales and cargo locations in 19 countries around the world.

Don Langford, CIO of Virgin Atlantic, said: “Our IT network is central to the running of Virgin Atlantic, linking every office around the world in real-time to our team in London. SITA has been, and will continue to be, integral to supporting that connectivity. We have had a strong partnership with SITA since the airline launched operations in 1984, with SITA’s solution evolving to meet our changing business requirements.”

Through SITA Connect, Virgin Atlantic has access to secure, reliable connectivity no matter where it flies to in the UK, the US, Africa, the Middle East, Asia or the Caribbean. SITA’s solution provides increased security and reduced network congestion for remote offices while ensuring rapid setup for new destinations and capacity adjustments, providing the airline greater flexibility in managing its operations.

SITA will manage the local area network (LAN) and wireless network, and provide end-user support at these locations. It will also leverage SITA AirportHubTM infrastructure, an airport-wide shared connectivity platform that provides airlines, ground handlers and other airport tenants with secure and reliable bandwidth.

As part of the agreement, the airline has also extended its use of SITA’s Airfare Insight. This innovative, fares management solution provides competitive market intelligence and uses sophisticated algorithms to help Virgin Atlantic analyze fares and make more informed and accurate pricing decisions. This means the right fares are distributed at the right time, to the right customer.

While SITA continues to support Virgin Atlantic with its day-to-day operations, the airline and SITA have long worked together on some highly innovative projects and will continue to transform Virgin’s passenger experience at airports.

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “SITA continues to provide Virgin Atlantic with stable, resilient and secure global services that help the airline’s operations run smoothly so its passengers continue to enjoy the Virgin experience. We look forward to strengthening our partnership from this base to further innovations that are rapidly changing the landscape of aviation.”

Airline selects SITA for cloud support for its 200 offices worldwide across 60 countries

Jeddah | April 30, 2018–Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected SITA to support its strategic expansion plans by introducing modern, world-class IT infrastructure across 200 of the airline’s offices located in 100 cities and airports in 60 countries.

The solution will support the airline’s global IT infrastructure which connects all SAUDIA outstations with its headquarters and various data centers worldwide.

SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, will introduce its unique ATI Cloud solution, which will allow SAUDIA to manage and distribute its business applications, information and business services on-demand, anywhere in the world. The agreement also includes infrastructure, IT support and round-the-clock service through a dedicated service center.

SAUDIA’s incremental growth and global expansion has seen the airline open new offices in key cities and in turn, has developed new IT requirements to support the demand for the carrier’s continued growth in passenger numbers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Airlines are increasingly looking for specialized content and service providers to meet their requirements. SITA, with its global presence and expertize, was identified as a trusted partner to implement a solution that would drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented: “As the national carrier moves forward with expansion plans across the entire organization and operations, it is crucial that we continue investing in leading-edge, modern technology. SAUDIA has a critical role to play in the nation’s Vision 2030, and continues to grow both in the Kingdom and beyond.

“SITA has had a long working relationship with SAUDIA, and we believe this investment in new IT infrastructure will be vital in supporting our growing operations globally. SITA showcased very quick turn-around time and a future-proof solution that is adaptable to any site.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With the rapid progress of hosted applications and cloud-based environments, it is the right time for SAUDIA to adopt cloud solutions across its network. From a commercial perspective, quick responses to IT services requests are essential for running a successful operation and ensuring happy passengers. We are delighted to continue working with the airline as it embarks on its new phase of growth.”

Geneva, Switzerland | April 19, 2018– Airlines around the world have once again improved the rate of baggage delivery, this is according to the SITA 2018 Baggage Report  published today. This continues the improvement trend of more than a decade which has seen baggage mishandling drop by 70% since 2007. This is the 14th year that SITA has issued its report and it marks 2018 as a turning point for the global air transport industry as airlines increasingly adopt baggage tracking technologies.

SITA’s report details how baggage management is changing globally and airline passengers can expect to see major differences over the next two years. Services like real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop will be more commonplace and 2018 is the year that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect which will see the industry increase baggage tracking.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Over the last decade, we have seen significant improvements in bag management as airlines have taken advantage of technology. Now with IATA’s drive for 100% bag tracking, technology adoption will rise further. End-to-end tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in operational processes. While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry.”

The growth in passenger numbers globally puts considerable pressure on the industry’s baggage systems and processes. With the rise to more than 4 billion passengers in 2017, the airlines did well to reduce the rate of mishandled bags. In fact, at 5.57 per thousand passengers it was the lowest level ever recorded. Despite the improvement, mishandled bags cost the industry an estimated $2.3 billion in 2017 so there is considerable scope for cost savings from airline investments in end-to-end bag tracking.

SITA’s Baggage Report includes examples of how airlines, including Aeroflot, Alitalia, Bahamasair, Delta and Qatar, are using innovative and proven technologies to improve bag management and tracking. One case study outlines how the airline Bahamasair went from scanning bag tag labels on a “bingo” card to full Resolution 753 tracking in Miami and Nassau airports inside seven days. This included the full ability to share tracking data in real-time via SITA’s BagJourney service. This initiative will deliver benefits to the airline in the way of improved passenger service and cost savings.

SITA provides IT and communications to the air transport industry and is the only single-source vendor covering all areas of baggage management from data capture to management and sharing using the latest technology. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.

For further details, download SITA’s full report.

SITA CEO outlines the value of technology to manage the industry’s future

Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit, Singapore | April 18, 2018– The future of air transport will be driven by a digital transformation in the industry, according to Barbara Dalibard, CEO of global IT provider, SITA. Dalibard was speaking at the Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit which gathered C-level airline and airport executives from across the region to discuss the future in this dynamic growth region.

Asia Pacific is leading the tremendous growth in the air travel industry. By 2036, the region is expected to handle over 4.1 billion passengers – more than half of the world’s passenger traffic. With this growth comes challenges and stresses on infrastructure and processes. The industry also faces increased complexity and security regulation globally. Dalibard outlined how technology can provide real value and help the industry navigate the future.

Dalibard said: “Smart use of technology can help manage the challenges of rising passenger numbers, limited infrastructure and increased complexity. At SITA, we are looking at opportunities to harness technologies including biometrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and blockchain to transform the industry.

“Already biometrics is becoming more commonplace at airports around the world and is delivering secure seamless travel from check-in to boarding. Today we work with around 40 governments providing border management solutions. And we have biometric self-service solutions operating worldwide, including in Australia, USA, Mexico and the Middle East.”

SITA is owned by the air transport industry and so has a unique commitment to address community issues. It is investing in new technologies with its industry partners. For example, SITA worked with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva and Miami airports to explore the opportunity to use blockchain technology for the shared control of data.

Recently, SITA has also invested in research to help airlines and airports tackle the $25 billion annual cost of poor on-time performance. SITA’s technology harnesses advance machine learning and artificial intelligence to forecast aircraft arrival times as far out as 24 hours giving airports the opportunity to proactively manage and mitigate disruption.

Autonomous vehicles and the potential use of robotics is another field of development, with particular interest shown at the event in Kansai Airport’s trial of KATE, SITA’s autonomous check-in robot.

Dalibard added: “By embracing the Internet of Things and connecting everything across the industry we will produce more data which can be used with artificial intelligence to create valuable insights and expose new ways of working. Over the next 20 years, this use of digital technologies to improve service, operations and efficiency will have profound effects on the air transport industry.”

One example of where this is beginning to happen is baggage management. 2018 is the year the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect, which will see the industry increase end-to-end baggage tracking. This tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in baggage management processes.

Speaking on the topic, Dalibard commented: “While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry. Looking further ahead, combining data collected from bag tracking with data science and machine learning promises even more significant improvements in baggage handling operations. This in turn will reduce costs and improve the passenger experience, a transformation that will be welcomed by everyone.”

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.”