Sita vows to improve baggage handling
Dubai/Amsterdam, April 22, 2008
Sita, the IT provider which tracks passenger baggage worldwide for the air transport industry, has launched a major report which shows how baggage handling can be improved at the world’s busiest airports through better use of technology.
“Once again, the past year has seen an increase in the amount of baggage mishandled worldwide. It also brings fresh hope, however, in the shape of new initiatives such as IATA’s Baggage Improvement Programme,” said Sita CEO Francesco Violante introducing the fourth annual Sita Baggage Report.
“It is important that we continue to move towards a comprehensive, fully-integrated global baggage management system that can direct, track and trace passenger baggage throughout the entire journey from check-in to final delivery at the destination. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) also has a role to play and could save the industry as much $700 million if it was fully implemented across the industry,” he added.
According to this year’s Baggage Report published at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Amsterdam, the air transport industry lost $3.8 billion in 2007 because of growing pressures on baggage management linked to passenger volumes, tight aircraft turnaround times, and heightened security measures.
Figures from WorldTracer, Sita’s fully-automated system for tracing lost and mishandled passenger baggage used by 400 airlines and ground handling companies, show that 42.4 million bags were mishandled or delayed in 2007.
The air transport industry handles around 2.25 billion pieces of checked baggage every year.
“We get baggage right 98 per cent of the time. But with a total volume of over 2.2 billion bags in the system, the two per cent that is mis-handled is a big problem that we need to fix. IATA has developed a toolkit of 40 solutions designed to address the prime causes of baggage mishandling. And, because every airport is different, IATA Baggage Go Teams will visit targeted airports spreading best practice solutions matched to local needs,” said IATA’s director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani.
In 2007, the single largest cause of baggage delay was in transfer baggage mishandling, 49 per cent, but this number has been falling steadily since 2005 when it was at 61 per cent.
This was followed by ticketing error/ passenger bag switch/ security/ other, 14 per cent; failure to load, 16 per cent; space-weight restriction, five per cent; loading/offloading error, five per cent; tagging errors, 3 per cent; and arrival station mishandling, eight per cent.
Sita facilitates communications between airlines and local baggage handling and reconciliation systems to ensure bags reach their correct destination, and its proprietary BagMessage system delivered 750 million messages between airline Departure Control Systems and automated baggage systems in 2007. – TradeArabia News Service