ARINC wins new biz
ARINC EMEA recently won a hotly contested new contract from a sizeable UK airport for its vMUSE Enterprise common-use passenger processing technology. The win comes hard on the heels of a similar contract win at Belfast City Airport. Installation of all the new equipment, which will be implemented later this year, will include hosted CUPPS service. The advantage of vMUSE Enterprise is that it is easy to operate and support and it will enable the airport to serve a multiple group of customer airlines creating terrific economies of scale, says Tony Chapman, Senior Director, Integrated Travel Solutions.
Further, ARINC has completed the deployment of Common-Use Self Service (CUSS) kiosks used by airlines at London Heathrow’s Terminals 1, 3 and 4. ARINC service commenced in 2010 after BAA requested a proposal for support services for their existing kiosk estate and the subsequent replacement of all kiosks with new hardware.
In addition, Vueling Airlines has renewed its communications contract with ARINC to receive ARINC ACARS® Data Link and OpCenterSM Message Management Service. ARINC has been Vueling’s preferred supplier since the airline was established in 2004.
Finally, ARINC has commenced a project to deploy its new ExpressCheck technology for Menzies’ Macau Airport Services in Macau, China. ExpressCheck – ARINC’s off-site common-use passenger check-in solution – is one of ARINC’s new range of hosted services using its multi-channel architecture.
Ghana invest in SITA upgrade
Ghana is to benefit from new integrated airport systems from airport IT specialist, SITA, designed to improve passenger flow and baggage management at the country’s main airport, Kotoka International Airport. The new systems were commissioned by Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister for Transport.
The 10-year, $15 million implementation by SITA for the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) includes technology upgrades such as the introduction of a new baggage reconciliation system, the latest CUSS check-in kiosks, and SITA’s suite of airport management solutions integrated with a new airport operational data base and flight information display system which ensures passengers get a real-time view on flight changes.
The SITA Baggage Reconciliation System will provide Kotoka’s 800,000 passengers with a state-of-the-art facility capable of tracking over two million bags from check-in to delivery while ensuring that the right bag is on the right plane for the right passenger.
INFORM assists decisions
German- based company INFORM’s Turnaround Management system, GS (GroundStar) HubControl, has proven to be a successful solution. In use at four major hubs internationally, GS HubControl helped the first airline implementing it to achieve over 40% improvement in turnaround performance. The system is the common solution for all actors of a HCC or ACC with an agreed airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) process flow. GS HubControl monitors and guides the progress of each turnaround handling process in real-time from planning through execution while at the same time suggesting possible delay codes based on observed root causes. The system advises, via consistently calculated and updated Target Off-Block Time (TOBT), how much time outbound flights would be delayed unless corrective action is taken.
Amadeus and SITA: tracking
Amadeus is working with SITA to empower Amadeus Altéa customers to offer real-time baggage tracking information and worldwide baggage reconciliation to passengers, whilst reducing the costs associated with mishandled baggage. Altéa Baggage Tracking is based on the integration of SITA’s baggage messaging technology with the passenger and baggage servicing capabilities of Amadeus Altéa Departure Control. SITA BagMessage is a unique service used by more than 500 airlines and close to 200 major airports and is the most comprehensive source of information on baggage movements globally. The result of the collaboration is a single, integrated environment which allows airlines to provide passengers with real-time status updates regarding the location of their baggage through multiple channels.
“The airport itself is one of the last frontiers in delivering the ‘total trip experience’. If airlines are to overcome this challenge, it is important that they address the issue of mishandled baggage, which is a persistent problem for the industry and a very disruptive issue for passengers. In fact it’s an area where technology can make a real difference, and Amadeus’ and SITA’s vision for the airport is to deliver solutions based on collaboration and data sharing between all relevant parties, including airlines, airports and ground handlers. Our work with SITA shows how sophisticated technology can deliver real improvements to the passenger experience,” says Julia Sattel, Vice President Airline IT, Amadeus.
Gulf Air launches cloud
Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, is launching cloud computing to boost its business performance and customer services. The adoption of cloud computing enables Gulf Air to take advantage of the high-speed, high-capacity computing power the technology offers through its virtual cloud of servers that would allow the airline to achieve a much faster and more efficient business performance resulting in enhanced customer service.
Says Gulf Air Acting Director Information Technology Dr Jassim Haji: “Cloud computing is the new evolution in the IT world towards delivering faster and more efficient IT and business services than ever before while reducing infrastructure and service costs. Internationally, this new technology is being fast embraced by every corporate entity and we are glad to be the pioneers once again to introduce this in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
He adds: “By moving to cloud computing, Gulf Air’s IT is providing crucial customer-end services such as contact centre, internet booking, online-payment, online check-in, extending IT services to new destinations, etc., faster with much less cost and manpower which in turn enables Gulf Air to respond to our customers immediately.”
Smartphones fuel revolution
The number of smartphones carried by airline passengers has doubled over the last year making them an important tool for travellers wishing to check-in remotely, access flight information on the go, or use an emerging range of flight-related applications, according to the 2011 SITA – Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey. Possession of a smartphone has jumped from 28% in last year’s survey to 54% this year; 74% of first/business class respondents and frequent flyers (10+ round trips per year) were carrying one. At the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta, 75% of survey respondents were carrying one.
Among respondents carrying a mobile device, 73% would like to use mobile boarding passes while 17% had already used them at least once. High service availability at Frankfurt International Airport has generated the highest usage with 25% of respondents having used mobile boarding passes once or more.