Simplifying the Business | SITA


Simplifying the Business (StB), including Fast Travel, is a top priority for the air transport industry. SITA is involved in all areas of the program, as a supporter of the IATA Strategic Partnership Program for 25 years.

Fast Travel

IATA’s vision for the Fast Travel program is for 80% of passengers to be offered a complete suite of self-service options based on industry standards.

Achieving this depends on adoption of six time-saving self-service options that make up Fast Travel: check-in, baggage self-tagging, document check, flight rebooking, self-boarding and bag recovery.

In step with Fast Travel and Smart Security programs, we deliver an increasing range of end-to-end self-service  solutions.

They span nine stages of the journey, addressing booking, check-in, bag drop, boarding, security, in-flight, transfer, border control and bag claim.

New Distribution Capability (NDC) and Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

As a strategic industry partner of IATA, we participate in the Distribution Data Exchange (DDX) Working Group, dealing with the complex challenges of defining IATA’s NDC processes for use between interline and code share partners.

SITA is evaluating technology services to enable customers to participate in any NDC-based distribution network that may be implemented.

Already, we have deployed functionality in our Horizon Suite to support merchandising such as EMD and its optional service catalogue (Optional Service Fees).

In operational messaging, we facilitate the air transport industry’s transition to XML data exchange models for new communications flows. We will provide new XML-based communication, format conversion and business intelligence services – including support of industry initiatives such as NDC.

Simplifying the business

  • Electronic ticketing (e-Ticketing)

As an IATA preferred partner for e-ticketing, SITA was heavily involved in the air transport industry’s successful transition to e-ticketing. 

The four-year project to remove paper ticketing from the industry was the flagship of StB from the outset at the June 2004 IATA AGM.

We worked directly with airlines to ensure ticketing systems could handle the change. We also provided leadership at industry workshops.

  • Bar-coded boarding passes

Bar-coded boarding passes (BCBP) use 2D bar codes to facilitate interline journeys and optimize the industry's conversion to 100% e-ticketing. BCBPs reduce airline costs associated with check-in processes and offer more convenience to the passenger.

We worked with IATA and other industry organizations to develop the 2D bar code standard – PDF417. More reliable than conventional 1D bar codes, this has the potential to put an entire itinerary on one boarding pass.

We are ensuring the 2D standard is widely accepted around the world by making its common use infrastructure and equipment compatible.

Pioneering work has been taking place in the area with the availability of SITA Lab’s Boarding Pass API (Application Programming Interface) from www

  • Common-use self-service kiosks

Common-use self-service (CUSS) kiosks offer convenient passenger check-in while allowing multiple airlines to share kiosks. The result is lower costs without sacrificing branding or functionality. CUSS kiosks also alleviate congestion and improve passenger flow, since they can be located throughout the airport.

SITA has played a pivotal role in writing the CUSS standard and deploying common-use kiosks industry-wide.

  • Radio frequency identification

The radio frequency identification (RFID) initiative entails embedding a silicon chip into a tag, which emits a radio signal that can be read at a distance without seeing the item. This can greatly simplify airline logistics management and is currently most notable in the baggage area.

We were involved in the definition and evolution of RFID standards for baggage tags as part of our work on the IATA Baggage Message Working Group and RFID sub-committee. We also gave the RFID initiative real-world experience through its implementation at Hong Kong International Airport.

We also  leveraged the RFID initiative in upgrading our baggage and airport check-in solutions to support the IATA RFID standard.

  • Baggage Improvement Program

The Baggage Improvement Program (BIP) aims to reduce the rate of mishandled baggage by improving handling processes to ensure passengers and their baggage are reunited at final destination. We are wholly committed to this vision and are working with IATA through the BIP to bring about its achievement.

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