Air transport IT specialist, SITA today announced that it has successfully enabled Air India to comply with the technical requirements to join the Star Alliance. Air India is the first Indian carrier to join a global airline alliance opening the way for increased business opportunities for the airline. SITA's Passenger Services System, Horizon, is designed to be compliant with the leading global alliances and this, combined with SITA's industry expertise and the team's agility, meant that the requirements at Air India were met in record time.
SITA ensured the exact Star Alliance standards and airline expectations were met. This included upgrading processes to match those of the 26 existing Star Alliance partners. The ability to provide technology compliance with the Star Alliance's requirements demonstrates SITA's position as a leading PSS supplier that is ready to meet the needs of airlines seeking to join any global alliance.
Shri Rohit Nandan, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India said: "We are committed to redefining air travel for our passengers. The successful cut-over enables Air India to officially join the Star Alliance network and in doing so has become the first Indian airline to join a global airline alliance. Membership of the Star Alliance will greatly facilitate Air India's ability to achieve its future growth strategy by increasing passenger numbers and network expansion through code share deals with partner airlines. SITA's cutting-edge technology was instrumental in making the membership possible and will undoubtedly allow us to continue to improve efficiencies and deliver enhanced passenger services. Our strategic partnership with SITA will go a long way in helping us become a strong global player."
Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA said, "We congratulate Air India on joining the Star Alliance - this is a major achievement for the airline and significant milestone for the Indian aviation industry. This was achieved in record time and was made possible by the close collaboration between SITA and our long-standing partner Air India. The airline will now be able to offer passengers a seamless travel experience across the Star Alliance network around the world.
"SITA's ability to provide Air India with technology that is compliant with the Star Alliance's requirements is due to our dedication to meet the needs of our airline members by creating greater choice in the marketplace, which is complemented by our continued investment in our PSS. The success of this project demonstrates how SITA's technology and skills can contribute to other alliance integrations moving forward."
Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President -India and Subcontinent, SITA, said: "Our partnership with Air India is deep-rooted. SITA has been providing Air India with mission-critical solutions for more than 50 years including network connectivity, desktop infrastructure and associated support at all its domestic and international stations in addition to solutions for check-in, air-to-ground communications, fares management and baggage tracing. We are delighted to have played such a critical role in the important merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, their migration to the Horizon PSS and Air India's entry into the Star Alliance.
"SITA is committed to ensuring its utmost support for the successful business transformation of the national carrier of India. We look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship with Air India, and delivering solutions that will position it as a world-class airline."
In 2010, Air India selected SITA to implement its Horizon Passenger Service System (PSS) and to enable the complex migration of Air India and Indian Airlines IT platforms to the new PSS system following their merger. The seamless integration was the first milestone towards complete modernization of Air India and a key imperative for Air India to join the Star Alliance. SITA's Horizon Passenger Services System suite of solutions for Air India, which caters to the airline alliance requirements, includes Reservations, Departure Control Services, Ticketing, eCommerce, Loyalty, Fares and Revenue Integrity. With this solution, Air India provides its passengers a more efficient and functionally rich online booking engine, as well as kiosk check-in and web check-in, along with other advanced passenger services.
India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world - currently ranked 9th it is expected to move up to 3rd behind the US and China by 2020. SITA has been an important partner to the Indian aviation industry for over half a century and has pioneered many innovations for the country's airlines, airports, passengers and relevant stakeholders. These include the first common use check-in and baggage management systems, air-ground communications and airport management systems.