Rome (SITA) - Italy's fast growing airline, Meridiana, today signed a seven-year, $20 million contract for SITA's Horizon IT portfolio which will help to transform its business as it offers multiple channels to market while achieving significant cost reductions through more extensive use of passenger self-service.
Overall, Meridiana will have the capability to optimize its e-ticketing, fares management and bookings inventory as it prepares for major business growth. It will also have improved interconnections for travel agents with Global Distribution Systems.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Rome today, Meridiana CEO, Gianni Rossi, said: "Our passengers are increasingly looking for simplified bookings, ticket purchase and other services related to air transport. We are pleased to have SITA as our partner in making Meridiana as passenger-friendly as possible through the innovative use of the very latest information technology.
"Meridiana was looking for a single IT provider which could meet these goals by providing integration and value added services. SITA's Horizon portfolio will help to transform our business not only by reducing our cost base but also lead to significant improvements in the quality of the on-line booking experience for our customers. SITA's Horizon technology platform will be fully integrated with our own booking engine."
Meridiana is the third largest carrier in Italy and operates a fleet of 23 aircraft flying to 34 destinations across Europe from its Rome base. This year the airline expects to carry 4.5 million passengers. It is growing at 7.5% annually.
Eraldo Baluci, SITA Regional Vice-President, said, "The Horizon suite of solutions will fuel the airline's growth by simplifying the passenger experience with reservations. E-ticketing will be managed in line with IATA standards through direct channels such as on-line bookings and other Meridiana outlets, as well as indirect channels through the Global Distribution System and travel agencies."
SITA will also provide Meridiana with its Departure Control System (DCS), which will speed up the passenger management process through providing an automated and integrated system for check-in, boarding and load planning which will reduce the time passengers spend waiting in line.