SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, sheds new light on how technology is helping airports and airlines safely resume operations and help implement new hygiene measures to restore passenger confidence after a lengthy shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sebastien Fabre, Vice-President Airline & Airport, SITA said: “The past few weeks have seen airlines across the globe tentatively take to the skies. This is reflected in a resumption in activity across our network and improved baggage volumes, up 55% month-on-month in May where volumes were at a record low.”
However, Fabre noted that recovery would be slow. “Our industry must transform the passenger experience to increase traveler safety while balancing economic pressures from slow customer demand. To successfully walk this tightrope and navigate a return to the skies for viable volumes of passengers, airports and airlines need to assimilate new information from governments and health officials, adapt operations immediately and automate processes permanently.”
SITA has introduced solutions that allow passengers to use their mobile device as a remote control for touchpoints such as self-bag drop and check-in kiosks, removing the need to touch any airport equipment. “For example, at San Francisco Airport, we have SITA Flex which in future will enable a full mobile and touchless passenger journey. This means travelers can print bag tags from their mobile phone on self-service bag points,” added Fabre.
He noted that technology would be fundamental in helping airlines and airports to be compliant with new and fast-changing regulations to restore passenger’s confidence in flying. New preventive measures aimed at limiting risk in the airport and onboard will require a new approach to passenger management.
Fabre stated that SITA was rapidly rolling out new solutions that addressed the above challenges, complementing short term hygiene measures such as the use of masks and gloves.
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