February 17, 2005

Airline Business Changes

aeroplane.jpgInternational air transport body seeks director to lead global initiative

Airline business set for major changes
International air transport body seeks director to lead global initiative
James Watson, Computing 16 Feb 2005
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THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) is leading a programme to introduce 100 per cent airline e-ticketing globally by 2007.

IATA's Simplifying the Airline Business initiative will also push for an expansion of self-service check-in kiosks, and use of radio frequency identification (RFID) for baggage handling.

The organisation is looking to appoint a programme director to lead the initiative, which will re-engineer the global airline business.

By the end of the year, pilot programmes for RFID-based baggage handling have to be in place at five international airports, while check-in terminals are scheduled to be implemented at a further five airports.

The director will also be responsible for overseeing IATA's biggest challenge: the global shift to e-ticketing.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's chief executive and director general, says that with losses in the industry standing at more than $30bn (16bn) between 2001 and 2004, change is essential.

'We must rebuild our industry's processes. Using existing technology, the goal is to reduce cost and increase passenger convenience,' he said.

IATA believes annual savings of $3bn (1.6bn) are possible with e-ticketing alone, cutting costs from about 5 per paper ticket to just 50 pence.

In addition, self-service check-in kiosks, barcoded boarding passes that passengers can print themselves, and RFID-based baggage management all present significant opportunities for cost savings.

IATA works with 270 airlines, comprising 94 per cent of all international air traffic.

Posted by Craig at February 17, 2005 02:39 PM