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Company : SITA 
Friday, December 4, 2009 1:00PM IST (7:30AM GMT)
Web is King for Flight Booking and check-in at Mumbai International Airport
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

A global benchmark survey of leading airport hubs has found that the rates of online booking and web check-in are among the highest in the world at Mumbai International Airport.

The 4th annual SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey (PSS) found that the preference for online booking was higher (77.9%) among Mumbai passengers than at any of the six international gateways included in this year's survey. The actual usage rate was 65.9% among those interviewed which is above the global average of 63.7% and an increase from 61.7% recorded at Mumbai during last year's survey.

Mumbai also stands out because of the popularity of web check-in which was used by 25.6% of passengers – a rate which was only exceeded by Atlanta, the world's busiest airport, where the rate was 32.2.%. Overall, preference towards self-service check-in continues to grow at Mumbai up from 60% last year to 68.9% this year compared to a global average of 62.9% across the six airports surveyed.

The PSS Survey is an in-depth look at the attitudes and habits of a representative sample of the 232 million passengers who use these six leading international airports: Mumbai International; Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Brazil; Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Charles de Gaulle, Paris; Moscow Domodedovo; and OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg. The data is extracted from interviews with 2,193 passengers conducted at the departure gates earlier this year.

The number one reason cited by Mumbai passengers for not using self-service check-in was that they had bags to check-in (45.2%) as many of them did not see the value of self-service check-in options if they had to go an agent desk to drop off bags. Some also believe that it is not possible or too complicated to use self-service check-in options when there are bags to be checked in.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Director for India and South Asia, said: "This year's survey found that there was a significant increase in both awareness and availability of self-service check-in for passengers using Mumbai. Awareness of the self-service option is now almost at 80% and continues to grow."

The survey also found that passengers are spending more through airline web sites on ancillary services such as hotels and car hire and their numbers are expected to double. In Mumbai, over 40% of passengers use airline websites frequently or intermittently to book hotel rooms or car rental which is well above the 20% average.

Jaikrishna added: "It is also interesting to note that Indian passengers have a very high rate of preference, 68%, for an electronic copy of their boarding pass compared to 23% who prefer the conventional paper boarding pass. This is further evidence that India's air travellers are very open to technological innovation that simplifies the passenger journey."

The numbers of Mumbai passengers carrying a smart phone has almost doubled to 11.3% from 6.5% in 2008, in line with the global trend. But interestingly, passengers in Mumbai are more inclined to use their mobile phone throughout the travel experience. In Mumbai, 78% said they would use a mobile phone to check-in in the future as against a global average of 45%.

Dwell time at the airport is the step of the journey that passengers interviewed in Mumbai Airport would like to change the most with 59% asking for improved internet access capabilities, over 30% asking for digital assistance to find their way and for shopping.

Passengers flying on more than 100 different airlines and representing over 80 different nationalities were interviewed during April/June 2009 in this independent survey.

About SITA

SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communication and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the world's most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITA's portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more. With a customer service team of over 1,600 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management.

SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for around 550 air transport industry members and 3,200 customers in over 200 countries and territories. In 2009, the company celebrates 60 years in business. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of over US$1.47 billion (€1.13 billion) in 2008.

For further information go to www.sita.aero.

For News Release background on SITA click here
Media Contact Details
Manu Tandon, SITA, +91 9910386305, Manu.Tandon@sita.aero
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