WEBWIRE – Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Oman Aviation Services (OAS), the parent company of Oman Air, is to invest $4.2 million over four years in major IT improvements at Muscat International Airport, following 22% growth in passengers travelling on the national airline last year.
The investment programme agreed with SITA, the aviation IT specialist, will cover all essential airport operations including check-in, flight boarding and baggage management, and will benefit all airlines using the Gulf gateway. The move also follows the creation of a new corporate identity for the national airline as it transforms itself into a world-class competitor. Last year Oman Air carried over 1,500,000 passengers to and from Muscat.
The four-year program will be fully operational in three months when it will meet all passenger check-in and boarding needs while ensuring complete passenger-bag reconciliation at all times for all airlines using the Gulf gateway airport. Habib Bhacker Habib, Head of IT, Oman Aviation Services, said: “The Omani Aviation sector has undergone significant changes over the last few years at both the airport and airline level. SITA meets our needs today but it also has the industry expertise to provide us with cutting-edge IT solutions that will enable us to continue to deliver to high standards going into the future and to maximise use of shared infrastructure, for example through the SITA Airport Hub initiative which allows all airlines based here to reduce costs through the shared-use of communications systems.” SITA will both install and maintain AirportConnect Open, its latest generation IATA compliant common use passenger processing system that supports CUTE, dedicated, and web applications on the same common use workstations; SITA BagManager for baggage reconciliation; and PassengerHandler, a common software language facility designed for airline and handling agent staff to process passengers at the check-in counter more efficiently. Hani El Assaad, SITA’s Regional Vice-President, Middle East & Turkey, said: ‘”These solutions are designed to help optimize resources by reducing flight delays, increasing passenger satisfaction and lowering baggage-handling costs. We are extremely pleased to be working with OAS and we look forward to building a close on-going relationship.” SITA’s AirportConnect Open platform will operate on 30 workstations.
The common use check-in platform will enable every desk to be connected to each airline’s departure control system, helping to maximize the use of the airport’s resources. SITA currently manages some 30,000 CUTE workstations for 285 customers in more than 200 airport locations worldwide, checking-in an estimated 580 million passengers a year.