Air India in $190 Million Deal for SITA’s Horizon Passenger Services System

The National Aviation Company of India (NACIL) today announced that SITA, the aviation IT specialist, has been selected to provide its hosted Horizon Passenger Services System (PSS) to Air India on a turnkey basis following a global competitive tendering process. The deal with the 13.5 million passenger airline is valued at $190 million over ten years.

SITA’s Horizon platform provides hosted PSS services to 140 airlines boarding 120 million passengers and will be used to deliver a single airline code in order to allow the seamless integration of the former domestic carrier Indian Airlines with Air India for the first time since they merged in August 2007. Another early deliverable will be enabling Air India to meet the requirements for joining the Star Alliance.

In addition to the core Horizon PSS suite, SITA will also implement an efficient online booking engine, departure control system, check-in and automated boarding control, baggage reconciliation system (BRS) and a frequent flyer programme.

Arvind Jadhav, NACIL chairman and managing director, said, “Implementation of the Horizon Passenger Services System will complete the merger of Air India with the former domestic carrier Indian Airlines, and enable us to align processes and systems to meet Star Alliance standards. Air India will then be able to leverage the complementary strengths and synergies of the single new carrier to the maximum, resulting in a more competitive, customer friendly and world class airline with significant improvement in our passenger yields.

This will be achieved through maximum flexibility in our ‘go to market’ strategy and provision of an easy–to-use booking engine by SITA which will provide us full control over our own ticket distribution and drastically reduce our distribution costs.”

Francesco Violante, SITA CEO, said, “It is a great honour for SITA to be the chosen technology partner of Air India as it begins in earnest the journey towards business transformation.

SITA has been providing Air India with mission-critical services for more than 50 years, including network connectivity at all their domestic and international stations, check-in, air-to-ground communications, fares management and baggage tracing. Air India is now invited to join our Horizon Advisory Board which sets the strategic direction for SITA as it engages with Oracle and other partners to deliver a next generation Passenger Services System which will greatly benefit Air India as it exploits new technology and open systems architecture.”

This announcement follows the recent successful migration of two major Asian airlines to the SITA Reservations platform.

Four months ago SITA set a new industry benchmark with the smooth transition of the Kuala Lumpur-based, 14 million passenger carrier, Malaysia Airlines, to the SITA Reservations platform in an operation that took 13 hours and involved the successful transfer of almost 1.5 million passenger records.

Earlier this year, Sriwijaya Air, Indonesia’s six million passenger carrier, also announced the completion of a successful migration to SITA’s Horizon passenger management and distribution platform.

SITA, which has won substantial new business on the sub-continent in recent years, is leveraging its growing presence in India to the maximum for the benefit of the Air India project. SITA’s workforce in India along with its local partners, NIIT and Mindtree, now stands at almost 1,000 highly skilled personnel.

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