SITA has launched Flex-as-a-Service, a next-generation “beyond common-use” platform that allows airlines to provide a completely mobile experience to passengers while enabling the flexibility to rapidly respond to passenger’s changing needs.
With passenger numbers ramping up sharply in many parts of the world, airlines and airports have been hard-pressed to respond quickly. SITA Flex APIs will enable airlines to create new and bespoke passenger processing features and streamline their app development process, allowing them to scale far faster than in the past. Airlines no longer need to undergo lengthy and costly certification through their common-use providers to ensure smooth integration, giving them the freedom to deploy their applications how and when they like.
The speed of deployment was demonstrated in a recent hackathon hosted by SITA and Microsoft where developers were able to build a working application within 24 hours. This means airlines can implement new services such as self-service bag tagging within days.
Building on a long-standing partnership with Microsoft, SITA Flex uses Microsoft Azure, providing users the full benefit of the cloud without the constraints of a traditional common-use environment. Airline staff can now also be completely mobile, untethered from fixed points in the airport such as a check-in counter or kiosk. Agents can use their airline’s applications on a mobile device, anywhere.
This would allow staff to check-in passengers in remote locations or launch agent-roaming services in minutes to manage traffic peaks or irregular operations. Together these benefits offer airlines the tools to better manage rapid changes in the airport without sacrificing the passenger experience.
Drew Griffiths, Head of SITA AT AIRPORTS, said: “As the air transport industry moves towards a mobile-first passenger experience, we’re excited by the agility and freedom that SITA Flex offers our customers, deploying their applications without needing to first certify changes and therefore reducing costs. For the passenger it means a rich, fluid, and convenient experience, using their mobile phone as a remote control for travel to easily manage things like check-in and printing bag tags.”
SITA states it has already seen strong interest from numerous airline customers and is currently conducting proof of concept trials in airports globally.