Ground-handling breakthrough as Swissport and SITA bring web check-in and self-service kiosks to mar


A new web-based check-in IT application developed by SITA for Swissport is set to transform how many non-legacy carriers do business, and dramatically reduce their costs. It goes live today with launch customer SWISS for travelers to 21 destinations.

At the same time, the one-year old alliance between the world’s biggest ground-handler, Swissport, and, SITA, the largest provider of common-use check-in solutions to airports worldwide, is being marked with the introduction of Swissport-branded self-service check-in kiosks on both sides of the Atlantic which are programmed to serve up to 60 airlines including SWISS.  

 Francesco Violante, Managing Director, SITA INC (Information, Networking, Computing) said today, “The SITA-Swissport partnership is very important for the air transport industry as a whole if we are to meet the targets for common-use self-service set out in IATA’s programme for ‘Simplifying the Business’.  Our aim is to accelerate the take-up of self-service IT tools by both airlines and airports on a per-use basis which makes these tools accessible for all. The industry cannot afford a proliferation of expensive variants of the same tools.”  

Joseph In Albon, Swissport International CEO agrees. “Web check-in and Common-Use Self-Service or CUSS kiosks are essential as we aim to reduce congestion at airports and improve the passenger travel experience. The web check-in solution has been designed initially for SWISS for whom Swissport provide ground-handling services. We are also delighted to announce today that we have installed our first SITA-designed Common-Use Self-Service (CUSS) check-in kiosks in both JFK, New York, and in Basle, Switzerland. More will follow elsewhere,” he said.  

“Some 7,000 SWISS passengers have already used web check-in in discreet trials that have been going on since December. Both SWISS and Swissport are very pleased with the results and the customer feedback. Web check-in is based on the very latest software technology as used in common-use self-service kiosks.  Passengers flying on Swiss can go to www.swiss.com and check in for their flights.  They can choose their seat, print their boarding pass, and then simply go to the drop-off location where one of our agents will print their baggage tags and take their luggage,” said Bruno Riesen, CIO and project leader with Swissport International.  

Initially, SWISS is providing web check-in on flights from, or between, Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Lugano in Switzerland as well to/from Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham, Budapest, Dubai, Lisbon, London-City, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Nice, Palma, Paris (CDG), Stockholm, Vienna and Warsaw.  

“Whether you are a major carrier or a regional airline, the very latest technology is now available to you. This brings the average cost of check-in down and frees up some staff to focus on productivity in other areas,” said Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA INC.  

“Our customers are greatly interested in web check-in and CUSS check-in kiosks because they facilitate passenger movement in a period of continuing growth in passenger numbers. This also fits in with SITA’s vision for simplifying travel and transportation through self-service solutions which reduce costs, optimize assets and empower the passenger. We expect others will follow the example of SWISS,” said Bruno Riesen, Swissport International CIO.  

SITA and Swissport are particularly interested in discussing these applications with airlines which would like to outsource the provision of self-service IT solutions.  

“A straightforward approach to self-service is vital to the operational efficiency of airlines and airports today. For example, you don’t have to worry about ticket and boarding pass printers, and you save on paper. Both CUSS and web check-in relieve the passenger of the stress associated with queuing, freeing up their time in the airport to do other things and giving them a more enjoyable travel experience,” said Violante.

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