Addis Ababa Airport to use bar coded boarding passes

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Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is to become the first airport in Africa to fully operate bar-coded boarding passes (BCBP) for all international and domestic flights, two years ahead of the IATA deadline of 2010, Panapress reports Tuesday.

The change would simplify the check-in and boarding processes for the 2.2 million passengers who use the airport each year and who would also benefit from self-service check-in kiosks from SITA, Eyob Estifanos, general manager of Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE).

“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 said.

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 t his month.

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 five airports in Africa that are CUSS compliant.

The airport is also introducing SITA BagManager which provides customer airlines with fully-managed, shared–use baggage systems.

“The integrated approach that EAE has taken with their technology implementation at Addis Ababa Bole is impressive,” said Khodr Akil, SITA Regional Vice-President for Africa.

“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 US$ 6.5 billion annually,” Akil added.

SITA, the world’s leading service provider of integrated IT business solutions and communication services for the air transport industry, manages complex communication solutions for its air transport, government and GDS customers over the most extensive communication network.

From its head office in Geneva, Switzerland, SITA covers 220 countries. One of its two main subsidiaries, OnAir, is leading the race to bring in-flight mobile telephony to the market.

Its second subsidiary, CHAMP Cargosystems, is the world’s only IT company solely dedicated to air cargo.

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