IT provider for air transport industry SITA has acquired Software Design, an Italian firm specialising in custom software solutions for airports.

Software Design was acquired from its managing shareholders and 2i Aeroporti, a joint venture (JV) between Italian infrastructure fund F2i and private investment house Ardian.

The F2i and Ardian JV controls one of Italy’s main airport networks, consisting of Naples, Milan, Turin, Alghero, Bologna and Trieste airports.

SITA, which currently produces more than 50% of revenue from application-based platforms, said that it is witnessing a strong demand for its airport-specific integration capabilities.

The acquisition of Software Design is expected to boost SITA’s project management and system integration expertise.

SITA Europe president Sergio Colella said: “Airports are increasingly implementing digital transformation programmes to keep up with rapidly changing passenger expectations, as well as their quest for operational excellence.

“With this acquisition, SITA complements its IT expertise in the air transport industry with those of Software Design, one of the leading IT players operating in the Italian airports space. This will allow SITA, through Software Design, to power transformation for the benefit of the Italian aviation industry.”

Software Design MD Massimiliano Gentile said: “We are looking forward to joining the SITA team. This acquisition is an important step to reinforcing our innovation capabilities and opening new markets.”

Software Design is the main IT provider for Naples Airport.

SITA said that it will leverage Software Design’s expertise to develop the routine management of all IT infrastructure and applications at Naples Airport.

Last month, SITA received a five-year contract from Ghana Airports Company to manage key systems across Terminal 3 of Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.