As SITA celebrates 70 years of serving the airline industry with biometrics and other information technology, the company has announced record revenues of $1.7 billion in 2018.
More than 100 airlines and airports from around the world gathered for SITA’s annual Innovation Forum to investigate new technologies, including artificial intelligence, biometrics and blockchain, as they work towards more efficient operations and seamless passenger journeys.
“We had a very successful 2018 with record revenues of US$1.7 billion and for the first time in our 70-year history, our application business now represents more than 50 percent of our revenues,” says SITA CEO Barbara Dalibard. “This is an important milestone because while connectivity remains a vital part of our business, application growth is a fundamental element of our long-term strategy.”
In 1949, 11 airlines formed SITA to provide the communications infrastructure that nearly every passenger flight relies on today, according to the announcement. More than 13,500 industry sites in 95 percent of international destinations are connected by SITA’s network, and the company says further collaboration will be necessary as the industry embraces technology to deal with more passengers, security threats, and regulations, along with higher passenger expectations.
“The challenge is clear: over the next 20 years, passenger traffic is forecasted to double, while airport capacity will only grow by 5 percent,” Dalibard notes. “This requires a new approach to air travel. We are already using emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, biometrics and SDN, to enable more efficient operations at airports and on aircraft, but we must continue to innovate with the industry to shape the future of air travel.”
SITA Head of Technology Strategy, Americas, Sherry Stein told Biometric Update recently that government agencies are also encouraging collaboration to bring biometrics and other new technologies online at airports. Acuity Market Research forecasts kiosks and eGates to support airport biometrics will be a $1.3 billion market over the next five years.