Friday, November 12, 2010

Sita Moves Forward On Air India IT Migration, Looks At Innovative Business

Aviation Week Daily
Nov 12, 2010

Airports Information technology specialist Sita says the challenging $190 million, 10-year contract from Air India for its hosted Horizon Passenger Services System (PSS), which stipulates setting up a single airline code for Indian Airlines and Air India, should take off by summer of 2011.

The contract requires Sita to complete the integration of the two carriers' systems in 300 days to help Air India enter the Star Alliance as a full-time member. “Any PSS change for an airline is big. It’s a fundamental
heart surgery. The project is complex, as it’s a three-step migration. By Jan. 31, 2011, the two carriers will have a single code.

“The other objective is to integrate with 27 Star Alliance carriers. The various stages will depend on the cooperation we get from the Star carriers (to set aside their time to share their data),” says Maneesh Jaikrishna, Sita director-South Asia and India.

As budgets slowly move upward from recession-hit 2009, Sita says business is looking up. It recently signed its Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) system for Nandi Airport in Fiji and Kathmandu in Nepal. It  has also been awarded a passenger tracking and counting contract for a major Australian airport. Three airports in Bangladesh, including Dacca, have also signed up for CUTE.

Sita also won a five-year contract to supply common use self-service kiosks and more than 80 airport workstations for check-in, boarding,  load control and baggage areas for Cochin International Airport. It has
introduced a baggage reconciliation system in Bengaluru and the country’s first modern airport management system at Mumbai.

With a focus on the major markets of China, India and Indonesia—each requiring a customized solution-Indian airports that are being upgraded and many new greenfield airports coming up promise good business opportunities.

Sita will complete technology enhancements for 13 non-metro Indian airports and integrate two airline  systems by the first quarter of 2011.

Cost-conscious budget carriers, which comprise about 70% of Indian aviation, also may change the way  IT is viewed.

“Till recently, budget carriers have viewed CUTE as a cost factor only. However, in the West, they are over that thinking and now realize efficiencies are brought in. This will become clear when we announce an air-to-ground major deal with an Indian budget carrier in a few months,” says Ilya Gutlin, VP-airport solutions.
-Neelam Mathews

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