CAPA, Centre for Aviation has declared SITA and Malaysia Airlines the joint winners of the inaugural ‘IT Innovation of the Year 2011’ award. This top award is granted to the company that has established an effective industry model to deliver innovative IT solutions and recognises the success of the airline working with SITA’s strategic technology research arm, SITA Lab, to deliver true innovation.
Malaysia Airlines and SITA Lab were the first to introduce kiosks to sell airline tickets using the Apple iPad, as well as an augmented reality application for the Apple iPhone which allows customers to get the best airline deals from nearby airports.
Together Malaysia Airlines and SITA are leaders in social media innovation. They developed MHbuddy, which uniquely allows passengers to use Facebook to book and check-in for Malaysia Airlines flights and to integrate trip details into their social graph identifying friends who might be sharing flights, or who will be at their destination.
Peter Harbison, executive chairman of CAPA, said: "SITA has established an effective industry model, working with Malaysia Airlines, through its SITA Lab, to deliver a number of innovations. These may well be the precursors of similar initiatives and, as such, provide a model for imitation by others."
Accepting the award on behalf of SITA, Damian Hickey, SITA regional vice president, South Asia and India, said: "The partnership between SITA and Malaysia Airlines has been hugely successful. The list of firsts that our teams have delivered is impressive and demonstrates that innovative thinking can result in new ways of doing business."
Encik Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, managing director, Malaysia Airlines, added: "Our work with SITA Lab has been very fruitful and our passengers are embracing the innovative services we offer. Within six months more than 10% of flight bookings coming through MHmobile came via our iPad kiosks. That’s a huge success in just a matter of months and such encouraging customer response confirms Malaysia Airlines as the leading innovator in this industry."
The CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence 2011 ceremony took place in Singapore as part of the eighth annual Asia Aviation Outlook forum attended by more than 300 aviation industry leaders from across Asia Pacific.