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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SITA unveils next generation passenger service system

 SITA today unveiled Horizon, its next generation passenger services system (PSS), at the Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels. SITA is the only major supplier to design and build an end to system on a third generation platform.

As the technology landscape is changing with increasing use of mobiles and new devices, airlines need the flexibility to be able to deploy their services through any channel – both current and future – in a simple way. More than 150 airlines and ground handlers across the world currently use SITA’s PSS. They, and others, will have access to the capability to meet and adapt to changing market needs with SITA’s new, agile Horizon platform.

SITA , the air transport industry’s community provider, has invested significantly to make Horizon a truly flexible platform to meet the needs of the airlines’ changing business environment. For example, in 2010, fewer than 40% of airline sales were made through direct channels. By 2016, airlines expect that to rise to 67%[1] <#_ftn1> . The PSS lies at the heart of the airline: it is the engine that drives the business. Legacy systems were not designed for new technologies, in particular the proliferation of mobile devices, and they struggle to cope with the huge volumes of tailored requests from passengers.

Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA said: “Today marks a milestone for our industry. The legacy systems that supported everything from reservations, to departure control and inventory management have served us well. But we are in a new era of technology, lifestyles and customer expectations, forcing rapid change both on airlines and us as their technology provider. Airlines need systems that are agile. Passenger management and distribution solutions must be able to respond to individual situations, so airlines can fully exploit customer opportunities happening in real time.

“At this time of change, it is vital that SITA made the investment in Horizon to keep competition and choice in the industry. In fact, our latest Airline IT Trends Survey <http://www.sita.aero/content/airline-it-trends-survey-2013>  shows that over the next three years, close to 50% of airlines plan major programs to upgrade their core passenger systems. SITA now has a new application infrastructure that can help airlines change how they do business.”

Horizon is designed specifically to manage this new technology landscape. This third-generation PSS is built on an agile platform using the latest technologies, unlike first and second generation systems that still depend on legacy core systems. Horizon’s service-oriented architecture also makes the valuable commercial and operational data, currently trapped inside legacy PSSs, easily available for more effective business decisions. During the design process, SITA ensured that Horizon allows business rules to be defined by the airline and consistently applied across all channels. It offers the rich functionality needed by full-service and hybrid carriers, based on an online-everywhere world.

Violante commented: “Horizon is a completely new PSS that was designed from the ground up, with the latest technology and an agile service-oriented architecture. After many years of investment, development and consultation with our airline and ground handler customers, we now have a PSS that is an integrated application infrastructure that works in our new era of multiple channels and demand for instant tailored requests.”

Visitors to SITA’s Air Transport IT Summit , which gathers hundreds of airline industry leaders for two days of insightful discussion, are being given an exclusive preview of Horizon, demonstrating the end-to-end travel process including inventory, reservations, check-in, weight and balance, all accessed through multiple touch points. The system is designed to provide genuine customer recognition from the moment of a sales query right through to service from crew during the flight. This allows airlines to maximize profitability. SITA experts are demonstrating how the system ensures data is shared in real time among all stakeholders across all applications, so passengers, agents and all other users view information that is accurate and relevant. This means airlines can consistently provide passenger services that are context-sensitive at all touch points.

SITA’s new application infrastructure is already being rolled out while extensive usability and performance testing continues with key users. Further application deployments are planned for later this year.

About SITA
SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications 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 2,000 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 450 air transport industry members and 2,800 customers in over 200 countries and territories. 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 US$1.57 billion in 2012. For further information go to www.sita.aero