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IATA Chief Wants More IT Solutions to Battle Airline Fuel Crisis

June 24, 2008 By: George Dooley

Information technology must deliver solutions to drive down costs, improve passenger convenience and provide enhanced possibilities to maximize airline revenues, said Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Bisignani made his remarks in the opening keynote address at the SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels.

"The industry fuel crisis that has plunged airlines back into the red means achieving these goals is critical to survival," said Bisignani. "This IT revolution is well on the way to saving airlines $6.5 billion annually. Now we must look ahead to respond to passenger demands for more self-service options throughout the travel process."

IATA’s Fast Travel will deliver a second revolution with baggage self-tagging, automated document checks, self-boarding and kiosks to handle irregular operations and mishandled baggage reporting. Bisignani also urged progress in other key areas, including security, air traffic control and GDS’s.

“Our partners in the value chain must deliver similar efficiencies to airlines,” said Bisignani, referring to Global Distribution Systems (GDS). “We worked together in the e-ticketing project that helped airlines reduce sales and distribution costs by 25 percent. There is still a need for more change. Why can China TravelSky (a technology provider) charge $0.50 per segment while the western GDSs charge over $4? The industry is in crisis and they must come to the table with better efficiencies or we will use other ways to distribute products."


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