SITA’s Passenger Bagdrop solution allows a single check-in counter for several airlines

GENEVA – 2 March 2009 – Swissport International, global leader for Ground Aviation Services, and SITA, the aviation IT specialist, today announced the deployment of the world’s first passenger bag-drop solution which allows a single bag-drop counter to be used to service passengers from several airlines in the same queue; a real innovation for a smarter process flow.

Ten such counters have been created and successfully tested at Zurich Airport to the benefit of eleven airlines, all members of the Star Alliance (Adria Airways, Austrian Airlines, Blue1, bmi, Croatia Airlines, LOT – Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Spanair, Swiss International Air Lines and TAP – Portugal)  whose host departure control system is recognized by SITA’s new software solution known as PassengerBagdrop which eliminates a potential bottleneck in the passenger management process.

Anita Elste, Manager, Product and Services, for the Star Alliance, said: “We have paid a number of site visits to Zurich to watch PassengerBagdrop in action. Multi-airline or common-use bag-drop counters are much more efficient and the average time passengers spend being processed has dropped to just under 30 seconds. Handling agents access a single standard user interface for all supported airlines.”

PassengerBagdrop also supports passengers who have already checked in online but, for whatever reason, do not have a boarding pass as it can easily re-print the original boarding pass.

Rico Barandun, Head of Swissport’s e-Services, said: “Swissport and SITA have just celebrated the fact that two million passengers have now used our web and kiosk check-in solutions. Swissport airline customers will appreciate the significance of this latest development as it will lower costs for airline customers and improve passenger throughput without increasing check-in space. We are particularly pleased to deploy it for the first time in such a prestigious location as Zurich airport.”

Bruno Frentzel, SITA Senior Vice President for Applications Solutions, said: “This is a real innovation for a smarter process flow at airports. PassengerBagdrop is an important development in SITA’s Baggage Portfolio. We also intend to innovate further with our PassengerBagdrop Off-Airport. This will be specifically designed for logistics companies to allow them to provide departing airline passengers with basic flight check-in and a secured baggage pick-up from off-airport locations such as hotels.”

About SITA

SITA is the world’s leading specialist in air transport communication and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the world’s most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITA’s portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more. With a customer service team of over 1,600 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world’s only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management.

SITA is one of the world’s most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for around 550 air transport industry members and 3,200 customers in over 200 countries and territories. In 2009, the company celebrates 60 years in business. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of over US$1.42 billion (€1.06 billion) in 2007.

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About Swissport International

Swissport International Ltd., which is owned by Ferrovial, a leading European infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain, provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and 3.2 million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 650 client companies. With its workforce of around 33 000 personnel, Swissport is active at 179 airports in 41 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion (EUR 1.3 billion or USD 1.7 billion) last year. /

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