Cochin International Airport, which serves the fastest growing city on India's west coast, announced the selection of air transport IT specialist SITA to provide automation of the passenger check-in process (including self-service check in) and passenger bag reconciliation for its three million passengers, which will transform the airport into one of the most modern regional gateways to India.
The five-year, multi-million dollar agreement includes the supply of common use self-service (CUSS) kiosks and more than 80 AirportConnect Open workstations for check-in, boarding, load control and baggage areas. The airport has also introduced SITA's passenger-bag reconciliation and message distribution solutions – BagManager and BagMessage – to ensure the right bag always gets on the right plane while increasing passenger satisfaction, enhancing security and saving costs for the airlines which use the airport.
Through the use of SITA AirportConnect CUSS kiosks and common use workstations the airport provides advanced passenger services to the 24 airlines that fly domestic and international routes from Cochin. CUSS kiosks enable multiple airlines to share self-service kiosks for faster passenger check-in, while the common use platform also allows shared airline use of the more than 80 workstations ensuring a more efficient airport for airlines and passengers alike.
AirportConnect Open workstations and CUSS kiosks also support the use of 2D barcode technology at the airport which facilitates fast and convenient check-in and boarding, ensuring that CIAL meets IATA's deadline for the 100% adoption of bar-coded boarding passes this year.
A.C.K Nair, Airport Director, CIAL, said: "With SITA's advanced self-service passenger and baggage technologies we are making Cochin International a world-class airport. Through more efficient check-in, boarding and baggage management we look forward to reduced congestion and faster aircraft turnarounds.
"The strategic partnership that we have built with SITA over the last four years has enabled us to exploit IT infrastructure as a revenue generator rather than a cost centre. As part of that partnership, we have developed a revenue-share model for these new services ensuring that we can build a robust IT foundation to support our future growth. We look forward to benefiting from SITA's global expertise and more than 60 years of experience and to explore future possibilities and further strengthen CIAL's partnership with SITA."
Ilya Gutlin, SITA Vice President Airport Solutions, said: "CIAL has taken a significant step with the adoption of these shared passenger processing and baggage services; in fact, Cochin International is the only airport in India which is using all four of these SITA services to support their future development.
"It is an honour for us to be CIAL's strategic IT partner and CIAL can be assured that SITA will be an ally for a long time to come, helping to realize their goals for the future."
Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Director for India and South Asia, said: "Our partnership will improve the passenger journey at Cochin International in many ways including reducing check-in times. With CIAL, SITA is committed to transforming it into one of the most modern airports in the country."
Cochin, or Kochi, is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, India and Cochin International is the first international airport in India to be set up under the public private partnership mode; making it the first outside of government ownership. It has received investments from nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries. It is the fourth-busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic with direct non-stop international flights to Abu Dhabi, Colombo, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat, Riyadh, Sharjah, and Singapore. It is also linked with Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Agatti, Thiruvanathapuram, Hyderabad and Bangalore by domestic flights.