07/12/2022 09:51 AM

From Nurul Jannah Kamaruddin

GENEVA, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will be introducing a slew of initiatives to boost travellers' digital experiences.

The association said it has developed industry standards to bring the aim of having travellers arrive at airports ready-to-fly one step closer to reality via the Recommended Practice on Digitalisation of Admissibility, which will enable travellers to avoid a stop at the check-in desk or boarding gate for document checks. 

The Digitalisation of Admissibility standard will advance the realisation of One ID with a mechanism for passengers to digitally obtain all necessary pre-travel authorisations directly from governments before their trip. 

Senior vice-president for Operations, Safety, and Security, Nick Careen said a recent IATA Global Passenger survey found that 83 per cent of travellers are willing to share immigration information for expedited processing.

“That is why we are confident this will be a popular option for travellers when it is implemented. And there is a good incentive for airlines and governments as well with improved data quality, streamlined resourcing requirements, and identification of admissibility issues before passengers get to the airport,” he said.

Careen said some programmes are already being used in various airports, enabling travellers to move through airport processes such as boarding without having to produce paper documentation as their boarding pass is linked to a biometric identifier.

“But in many cases, travellers would still have to prove their admissibility at a check-in desk or boarding gates with physical checks of paper documentation, such as passports, visas, and health credentials,’’ he noted.

IATA has also established a Modern Airline Retailing programme to advance value creation in the airline industry, with transformation to be accelerated by a consortium of advanced airline adopters.

The consortium comprises American Airlines, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Lufthansa Group, Oman Air, Singapore Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. 

In today’s environment, the customer experience is affected by decades-old standards, processes and technology, and the airline industry must adopt modern retailing practices that will reduce the hassles of increasingly complex passenger document-checking requirements.

The Modern Airline Retailing programme will solve this dilemma and unleash value-creation opportunities by transforming the airline distribution to a system of “Offers and Orders” that will parallel what most other retailers use, said IATA senior vice-president of Financial Settlement and Distribution Services, Muhammad Albakri. 

“We know that passengers want a seamless digital experience, and they expect consistent service irrespective of how they purchased their travel.

“With the strength of a global consortium of leading airlines behind us, we will see an accelerated and comprehensive transformation of the customer experience,” he said. 


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