SITA says mobile phones could save airlines millions
Information technology provider, SITA, has announced that using mobile phones as tracking devices could save airline's US$600 million a year by reducing flight delays.
Mobile phones have the potential to hold boarding passes, baggage tracking information, payment data and in the future even visa and biometric data. In addition location sensing would enable airlines to track passengers and send them messages, moving them towards their gates more efficiently.
Technology for these devices is becoming increasingly more sophisticated and it is estimated that there will be five billion mobile customers by 2011. With 90% of airline passengers using phones, SITA's management believes the air transport industry can gain from adopting these technologies.
Hani El-Assaad, SITA's regional vice president for the Middle East and Turkey, said: "These digital travellers will have on-demand access to a range of mobile-enabled services such as real time flight updates, self-service booking, check-in and boarding and mobile payments."