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Scandinavia: An Air transport industry leader in adopting new technologies and processes


Scandinavia has made remarkable progress in lowering costs and improving service through implementation of IATA Simplifying the Business (StB) projects. Sponsored by the IATA Board of Governors, StB is an industry-wide change program that began in 2004. Its objective is to change the way the air transport industry operates – resulting in better service for passengers and lower costs for the industry. The StB program consists of six initiatives: Automated Baggage Rules, Baggage Improvement Program, Bar Coded Boarding Passes, E-freight, Fast Travel and IATA e-services.


Scandinavia’s leadership is particularly notable in four StB projects.

Bar Coded Boarding Passes (BCBP) use IATA standard 2D bar codes. Because they can be accessed from anywhere – even a mobile phone – they offer more convenience for the passenger. Because they don’t need to be printed on expensive paper stock and facilitate off-airport check-in, they save the industry up to US$1.5 billion every year. At the end of 2010 the industry passed the IATA Board of Governors’ target of 95% BCBP. Magnetic stripe boarding passes are now largely a thing of the past. The Scandinavian airlines Malmö Aviation and Skyways were amongst the first to be 100% BCBP.

IATA e-services aims to take the remaining paper out of the airline ticketing processes by using IATA’s electronic miscellaneous document (EMD) standard. Paper documents, like excess baggage tickets and tour orders still stand in the way of a seamless passenger experience. The project will facilitate ancillary revenue sales through all distribution channels.

Finnair was the first airline to deploy EMD. Amadeus, Finnair and IATA tested EMD processing in BSP Finland over the summer in 2010 and went live by end year. This is an important initial step toward the e-services board target of 100% usage of EMDs in IATA distribution systems by the end of 2013.

E-freight aims to take the paper out of air cargo.

Each air cargo shipment carries with it 30 paper documents. In 2010 e-freight replaced 20 of these documents with electronic messages, reducing costs, improving transit times, accuracy and the competitiveness of airfreight. The 2010 target was to implement e-freight in 44 countries, representing more than 80% of global air-freight volumes. The very first country to go e-freight live was Sweden. In November 2010 e-freight was live in 36 countries.

IATA’s Fast Travel Program is working on providing passengers with self-service options in five areas, representing annual savings of up to US$1.6 billion for the industry. Two months ahead of the December 2010 deadline, the program met the target of 60 new Fast Travel implementations with a minimum of five new implementations in each of the five areas. Bags ready-to-go, followed by Bag recovery generated the biggest number of implementations. Currently the IATA team is working on developing Fast Travel Implementation Guides to support and drive more implementations this year. SAS is amongst the most advanced airlines when it comes to Fast Travel. They have implemented Bags ready-to-go, Self Boarding and Bag Recovery.

This year Fast Travel will focus on offering customers the end- to-end self-service experience, implementing the full suite of projects at five major airports worldwide. For more information on StB visit us at www.iata.org/stb.


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