It has been revealed at the European Regional
Airlines Conference in Barcelona that a worldwide surge in checked-in baggage has led SITA, which
tracks baggage on behalf of the world’s leading airlines, to forge closer ties
with ground-handling companies, Ilya Gutlin, SITA Regional Vice President, said, “We have signed our first ever
deal with a ground handler for our baggage reconciliation system and this could be
the beginning of a trend as we see a tremendous increase in the quantities of
luggage being checked-in following the introduction of more stringent controls on
carry-on luggage as a result of the August security alerts in the UK.
“The latest figures from SITA’s WorldTracer system which tracks baggage around
the world on behalf of 394 airlines and ground-handlers, indicates a 30% rise in the
quantities of luggage being checked in over the last month or so. Last year we
estimated that three billion pieces of luggage were checked in worldwide.
“Ground handling companies play a vital role in ensuring luggage arrives on the
same flight as its owner by supporting efficient baggage reconciliation in airports
worldwide hence SITA’s interest in working more closely with them.”
SITA today announced a new partnership with Northport which will see SITA’s
BagManager, a state-of-the-art baggage reconciliation system, rolled out across
Scandinavia. BagManager is normally deployed in direct agreement with the airport
concerned as is the case in over 30 of the world’s leading airports.
The seven-year agreement kicks off with an initial installation in Helsinki Airport
by the end of January 2007. It will also be installed in 14 Finnish domestic
airports. Following this, Northport plans further deployments in Stockholm’s
Arlanda Airport, Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport, and Copenhagen Airport. Northport is
also considering introducing BagManager into the Baltic states.
Jari Viitanen, Director, Process Development, Northport, said, “This is a very
timely partnership between Northport and SITA as tightening security around carry-on
luggage is going to mean a sustained increase in checked-in baggage throughout
Europe. It is a priority for us that the baggage reconciliation systems in the
airports where we work are the best available in order for us to provide the best
possible service to airlines and passengers alike.”