Addis Ababa Bole International Airport will become the first African airport to fully operate barcoded boarding passes (BCBP) for all international and domestic flights – two years ahead of the IATA deadline of 2010.
Eyob Estifanos, GM of Ethiopian Airports Enterprise, says the change will simplify the check-in and boarding process for the 2,2-million passengers who use Addis Ababa Bole each year and who will also soon benefit from self-service kiosks from SITA.
“Ethiopia has a tradition of excellence in the air transport industry and now Addis Ababa Bole is leading the continent in the full implementation of bar-coded boarding passes which will enable fast and convenient check-in and boarding. We are also partnering with SITA to upgrade our check-in platform and introduce state-of-the-art bag management systems,” he says.
EAE has extended its contract with SITA for another five years to include the replacement of all current printers at the airport with 2D barcode-compatible machines, and the introduction of 2D barcode readers at boarding gates starting from February 2008. Passengers will also be able to print their own 2D bar coded boarding passes at home or at the office and proceed directly to baggage drop off and security and on to their boarding gates.
The contract with SITA also includes a major upgrade to SITA’s AirportConnect Open which supports proprietary and web applications for 56 check-in and boarding gate work stations. AirportConnect Open enables airlines to issue BCBPs even if their departure control systems (DCSs) have not been upgraded to handle them.
EAE has already requested SITA CUSS kiosks which will provide passenger self-service check-in for multiple airlines making it one of only 5 airports in Africa which are CUSS compliant. The airport is also introducing SITA BagManager which provides customer airlines with fully-managed, shared–use baggage systems.
Khodr Akil, regional vice-president: Africa at SITA, says: “The integrated approach that EAE has taken with their technology implementation at Addis Ababa Bole is impressive. Not only are they supporting the day-to-day needs of the airlines with shared workstations, self-service check-in and excellent bag management, but they are investing for the future and assisting all the airlines to fully implement the IATA Simplifying the Business objectives which aim to improve customer service while delivering industry savings of $6,5-billion annually.”
SITA is a Swiss-based company that specialises in transport information systems.