Frequent flyer program customers of Star Alliance member airlines will soon be able to use their biometric identity across any participating airline at any participating airport following a new agreement between the world’s largest airline alliance, NEC Corporation and SITA.
The agreement announced today is aimed at accelerating the availability of biometric self-service touchpoints across Star Alliance’s member airlines while delivering a faster, touchless airport experience.
Connecting to SITA‘s Smart Path solution, the Star Alliance biometrics platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in more than 460 airports. Together with SITA and NEC’s global presence, multiple biometric projects can be delivered in parallel, speeding up the availability of biometric passenger processing to Star Alliance’s member airlines globally. This will be vital in enabling Star Alliance to deploy biometrics faster.
A further advantage is the NEC I:Delight platform – which allows passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, even on the move – can be easily integrated with SITA Smart Path. The I:Delight platform is also able to recognize passengers even when wearing a mask, an increasingly important feature for travel during the current pandemic. The platform is already in use by Star Alliance member airlines at several airports in Europe.
Uniquely, passengers using Star Alliance’s biometrics platform enroll only once. Passengers then can pass through biometrically enabled touchpoints across multiple member airlines and participating airports using just their face as their boarding pass. This speeds up the passage through the airport while making each step completely touchless, supporting important health and hygiene safety measures in times of COVID-19 and delivering on Star Alliance’s vision of a seamless customer experience.
Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance, said: “This agreement is instrumental in bringing further scale to our biometrics service, with the inherent benefits of speed and meeting customer expectations for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience across all of our member airlines. Biometrics is a key element of that experience and our strategy of leading the way in digitalizing the passenger journey.”
Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Together with NEC, SITA is pleased to be supporting Star Alliance in bringing the full benefits of biometric identity to their member airlines. Passengers have long welcomed the advantages of control and speed automation brings to the passenger journey; a trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19. With this agreement the benefits of biometric identity will be extended from a single airline or journey to a vast network of airlines. That is truly unique and demonstrates the benefits digital identity can bring to the passenger.”
Masakazu Yamashina, Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation said: “NEC is honored to join this three party partnership with Star Alliance and SITA. While the impact of COVID-19 continues, we are pleased to lead the creation of seamless and touchless travel. NEC is committed to providing a safe and comfortable customer experience through our NEC I:Delight identity management solution.”
Watch the announcement of the partnership here.
SITA is the IT provider for the air transport industry, delivering solutions for airlines, airports, aircraft and governments. Our technology powers more seamless, safe and sustainable air travel.
Today, SITA’s solutions drive operational efficiencies at more than 1,000 airports while delivering the promise of the connected aircraft to more than 400 customers on 18,000 aircraft globally. SITA also provides the technology solutions that help more than 60 governments strike the balance of secure borders and seamless travel. Our communications network connects every corner of the globe and bridges 60% of the air transport community’s data exchange.
SITA is 100% owned by the industry and driven by its needs. It is one of the most internationally diverse companies, with a presence in over 200 countries and territories.
SITA’s subsidiaries and joint ventures include SITAONAIR, branded SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, CHAMP Cargosystems and Aviareto.
NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential.
About Star Alliance
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 12,000 daily flights to almost 1,300 airports in 197 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partners Juneyao Airlines and THAI Smile Airways.
Featured image credited to NEC