SITA, the air transport IT specialist, has been selected by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Authority (DGCA) and the Lebanese flag-carrier Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA) to provide airport services at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport for the next five years.
SITA has been the sole provider of common-use (CUTE) services at the airport since 1998 and the new contract includes passenger processing with the SITA AirportConnect Open platform and PassengerBagDrop, which allows passengers on any airline who have checked in online to drop their baggage on arrival at the airport. SITA's unique WorldTracer kiosks, which allow passengers to register if their baggage has been delayed without the need to stand in line to speak with an airline representative, will also, be introduced at the airport.
Adib Charif, Head of IT, Middle East Airlines-Air Liban, said: "Middle East Airlines carried more than 2.2 million passengers in 2012, an increase of six percent over 2011, and serves 30 destinations. We appreciate the special attention given to us by SITA, especially in the areas of account management, helpdesk improvement and extended engineering support. SITA's world-class solution gives us higher throughput per check-in station with less complexity and increased productivity overall at the airport. This will help us cater for growth in the years ahead."
The new system, which meets the latest industry common use passenger processing systems (CUPPS) standards, will be used at 168 workstations at the check-in areas, boarding gates, baggage hall, transit desk, VIP lounge and lost and found area, while there are WorldTracer kiosks near the lost and found office.
Amin Jaber, Chief Maintenance Equipment Department, DGCA, said: "It is important that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Authority provides the best infrastructure for the air transport industry in Lebanon and that is why we chose SITA. Their systems are in use at the world's leading airports and we are assured that SITA will continue to provide reliable services in the years ahead while at same time innovating for the future in this important industry."
Hani El Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa, said: "SITA has provided common-use systems at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport for more than ten years. This contract marks a strengthening of our partnership with MEA and the airport. We faced intense competition in securing this latest contract with MEA and being selected reflects SITA's continued global leadership in air transport IT as well as our ability to deliver solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of customers."
Through this deal with the DGCA, SITA AirportConnect Open is enabling MEA, and the airlines it handles, to access their individual IT applications, both common-use and proprietary, in real time on best-of-breed equipment. This allows airlines to share workstation positions, such as check-in counters and gates, and to run airline-specific applications in a shared environment. SITA AirportConnect Open provides security, redundancy and it is CUPPS certified, thus meeting all IATA recommendations.
SITA's AirportConnect Open is used by more than 300 airlines to process millions of passengers every day in more than 400 airports around the world.