SITA is praising the Chinese air travel industry for its commitment to digital transformation. The company’s latest Air Transport IT Insights report suggests that the country is becoming a standard bearer in several key areas, and revealed that every single airport and airline in the country is planning to upgrade its passenger management systems by 2024.
Chinese stakeholders are particularly interested in digital passenger processing services and touchless identification technologies. A full 86 percent of Chinese airports plan to install self-service biometric boarding gates within the next two years, while more than half (58 percent) want to be able to provide travelers with a single biometric token that could be used throughout the entire passenger journey. Touchless identification tech would similarly help streamline access procedures for airport and airline employees.
In addition to biometric screening, Chinese airports want to use digital technologies to speed up the health checks that were introduced in response to COVID-19. The majority of the country’s airports (80 percent) and airlines (75 percent) were still asking staff to check health credentials manually in 2021. However, the majority of airlines (75 percent) and a significant number of airports (39 percent) are planning to transition to mobile app-based systems by 2024. Many airlines and airports (31 percent and 24 percent, respectively) are also planning to deploy kiosks that can perform health checks within the same timeframe.
Most airlines (91 percent) and airports (68 percent) will either increase or maintain their IT spend in 2022 in order to achieve their digital transformation goals. Aircraft maintenance and operational efficiency are some of the other key priorities for stakeholders as they search for ways to make air travel more sustainable.
“China’s airlines and airports are affirming their commitment to technology as the way forward to support a safe and seamless passenger journey amid new health demands,” said SITA Asia Pacific President Sumesh Patel. “Technology will enable the industry to respond to rapid shifts in passenger traffic and travel regulations, and promote cost savings through newfound operational efficiencies.”
SITA has previously provided biometric passenger screening technology for the Beijing Capital International Airport. Frost & Sullivan has also recognized the company for facilitating airport automation projects in the broader Asia Pacific region.
January 27, 2022 – by Eric Weiss