SITA report finds IT investment in China’s airports and airlines rises

posted on 20th November 2018 by Justin Burns
SITA report finds IT investment in China's airports and airlines rises

Airports in China are increasingly investing in technology to equip new airports and terminals and manage rising passenger numbers, according to aviation industry IT company SITA.

The SITA 2018 Air Transport IT Insights for China show airline passenger numbers in China rose nearly 13 per cent to more than one billion over the past year, airports are increasing their investment in IT from 5.6 per cent of revenues in 2017 to 7.5 per cent in 2018, higher than the global average of 5.69 per cent. Airlines in China are investing too and there is clear alignment on priorities with cybersecurity top of the agenda for both.

SITA said 94 per cent of airlines and airports are planning major cybersecurity programs or R&D over the next three years. And during 2018, airlines plan to spend seven per cent of their IT budget on cybersecurity while airports are forecast to spend 18 per cent of theirs.

SITA analysed nine different areas of cybersecurity, measuring the rate of implementation. Both airlines and airports in China are ahead of their counterparts across the globe with higher rates in all nine areas. This shows the commitment to, and recognition of the importance of, cybersecurity by the air transport industry in China.

SITA vice president and general manager, May Zhou said: “Digitization is top of mind for both airlines and airports in China. Our research shows that 100% of airlines and 95% of airports have digital transformation already in place, under implementation, or planned.  With this strategy it is encouraging to see the importance the industry has placed on cybersecurity. It is vital that both go hand in hand.”

Baggage management is another key investment in China and SITA said by 2019, all airlines plan to have more than 50 per cent of their route network compliant with the IATA 753 Resolution, where they will be tracking baggage at every point of the journey.

Collaboration is needed across the stakeholders to achieve this and China’s airports are playing their part, they are upping their investment in bag tracking. By the end of 2021, all airports will have two of the four steps tracked, these are the make-up area and loading stages.

In addition, 94 per cent of them will have transfer and arrival tracking also in place. SITA said this level of investment is far ahead of the rest of the world and bodes well for China’s air transport industry.

Zhou added: “Over the past number of years there has been a focus on investing in disruption management and A-CDM and the industry is now enjoying the benefits of those investments. Today we see that airlines and airports in China have set their sights on improving baggage management. With this commitment, China is set to lead the world on efficiently managing this process, reducing costs and improving the passenger baggage experience.”

The 2018 SITA Air Transport IT Insights survey included responses from mainland China representing 70 per cent of airports and 64 per cent of airlines in China.