Malaysia Airlines today announced the launch of MHmobile — flymas.mobi — the most comprehensive menu of mobile phone functionality available to airline passengers anywhere in the world and developed by SITA Lab.
Not only does it allow the airline’s 14 million passengers to book, pay, and check-in and board their flight simply using their mobile phone but, in a world first, it also harnesses the capabilities of smart phones to offer passengers context-aware services using geolocation.
flymas.mobi is also the first mobile airline application which connects bookings to Facebook, TripIt and Dopplr, enabling friends and colleagues to be informed about each other’s travel plans.
In another major first, it allows passengers to check the status of a delayed bag using flymas.mobi because the application can link to SITA’s WorldTracer, the industry-standard, fully automated system for tracing lost and mishandled passenger baggage used by more than 440 airlines and ground-handling companies worldwide.
Sneak previews of the web application have meant that it is already a success with Malaysia Airlines customers, who have been flocking to flymas.mobi ever since news of the application’s existence started to circulate in Kuala Lumpur two weeks ago. In advance of the official launch page hits have been averaging over 5,000 per day.
Malaysia Airlines’ CEO, Tengku Dato’ Azmil Zahruddin, said: “Malaysia Airlines took a strategic decision to partner with SITA Lab to develop an application which would go beyond anything that exists on the market today. We did not want to simply miniaturise our web site for use on mobile phones but to create an offering based on one web application, one link and one click with no download required. Our mobile services had to work well on web-enabled mobile phones.
We are very satisfied with the result. flymas.mobi is comprehensive and the complexity of what has been achieved is hidden behind an interface that is friendly and very easy to use. Passengers can book and hold their flights. Pay for them. Receive a 2D boarding pass after check-in. Check flight status and timetables. If a bag is delayed that can also be followed up using flymas.mobi. We can also directly offer travellers special mobile deals based on their actual location.”
Jim Peters, SITA’s chief technology officer and head of SITA Lab, said: “Our research group, SITA Lab, worked very closely with the team in Malaysia Airlines and today flymas.mobi provides complete control of the journey to passengers using any web-enabled mobile device.
What we have done is to ‘mobilize’ functionalities instead of miniaturizing them. The focus is on streamlining the passenger journey with only eight menu items. The user interface is optimized for all major mobile operating systems and most mobile devices on the market. Minimal data entry is required. With flymas.mobi, all the content is rendered to ensure a ‘fit’ on the passenger’s mobile screen regardless of the device being used.”
He added: “This became possible after Malaysia Airlines’ successful switch to SITA Reservations and we expect that many other airlines on the SITA Reservations platform will want to follow suit.”
All major operating systems and manufacturers are supported including Blackberry (RIM), the iPhone, Android Google phone, Symbian (Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson) and Windows Mobile (HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson). flymas.mobi supports any screen above 128px.