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Etihad Airways launches facial recognition trial with SITA

Etihad Airways launches facial recognition trial with SITA

Etihad Airways has partnered with information technology company SITA to trial the use of facial biometrics in order to check in cabin crew at the airline’s crew briefing centre at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The trial will use facial recognition technology to identify and authenticate crew members, allowing them to complete check-in procedures and mandatory pre-flight safety and security questions digitally via their own mobile devices.

The new initiative will replace the current kiosk-based check-in process which requires crew to use their staff identity cards as a form of authentication.

Sulaiman Yaqoobi, vice president flight operations, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad is constantly on the lookout for innovative solutions and new technologies that will drive improvements in the airline’s operations and enhance the experience for guests and employees.

“Etihad is excited to partner with SITA to explore the potential that facial biometric services have for the aviation industry.


“By integrating contactless technology, biometric services will increase efficiency while simultaneously cementing our commitment to reducing the spread of Covid-19 by limiting physical touch points and maximising social distancing measures.”

As part of the airline’s digitalisation strategy, facial biometric technology is expected to improve operational efficiency by speeding up the existing check-in process and automating crew time and attendance management and access controls.

Cabin crew will also experience a seamless and contactless check-in experience.

The trial will continue until February 2021 and will provide the airline with invaluable data to explore future exploration of biometric technology for use in guest operations, such as check-in and boarding.