SITA installs Innovative Self-Service Check-in and Baggage-drop Technology at Bole International Airport, Ethiopia

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In these unprecedented times where the COVID-19 pandemic has hugely impacted air travel, passenger trust and airport operations, technology developer SITA has installed an innovative self-service check-in and bag- drop facilities that will deliver superb levels of security, passenger service and efficiency for Ethiopian Airlines at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Airlines has become one of the first in the region to implement this level of automation in passenger processing.

The SITA Smart Path Drop & Fly baggage technology which has been implemented in the new extension of the check-in area allows international passengers using the technology to go directly to the self-bag-drop area to check in their bags.

During these challenging times the world is grappling with Covid-19 pandemic, the automated and intelligent airport development ensures passenger’ safety considering the fact that their contact with ground agents will be limited.

Helping in reducing passenger and staff touchpoints to luggage, which is in line with the contactless journey experience envisaged during and post-COVID-19 crisis,the new installed technology will also take passenger experience to another level through simplifying air travel to reduce congestion.

This is in line with the recent International Civil Aviation Organization’s Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce Report and Recovery Guidelines released during the crisis which now recommends the increased use of technology to facilitate contactless processing of passengers at various stages of their journey.

ICAO emphasised that in the post-pandemic world, there is need for contactless processing to become an even stronger recommendation, if not a norm in the long term.

Ethiopian Airlines acting group chief information officer Getinet Tadesse said SITA and Ethiopian Airlines Group have been working towards developing passenger process automation to ensure that the most effective way of improving passage efficiency, reducing queuing and increasing traveler satisfaction is achieved.

Both SITA and Ethiopian Airlines Group have had a clear objective of enhancing the passenger experience through intelligent, automated services, increasing operational efficiency for the airport and safeguarding passengers as we emerge from the pandemic.

As the leading airline on the continent, we are delighted to welcome passengers back to the skies with improved passenger solutions. The implementation of Smart Path self-bag-drop technology at our main hub will take passengers’ experience to another level through simplifying air travel while keeping customers safe,” said Tadesse.

Commending Ethiopian Airlines for embracing technology, SITA president, Middle East and Africa, Hani El-Assaad said African airports seem ready to confidently embrace technology and innovation so as to improve, once and for all, on the efficiency of processes at all levels whilst guaranteeing passengers with a safe, secure, healthy and harmonized air travel experience within and out of Africa.

ADD is one of the first airports in Africa to implement Smart Path bag-drop technology and Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s fastest-growing carrier, is the first adopter.

This deployment marks a significant milestone in Africa’s air transport industry evolution. It shows that airports and airlines are ready to successfully embrace automated and intelligent airport solutions to ensure sustainable growth and lay the groundwork for a smarter, touchless future of air travel,” said El-Assaad.

Around the world, technology, through contactless solutions, self-service and automated processes, and biometrics, is gradually taking the centre stage in helping both airports and airlines overcome the challenges of the new reality of air travel.

Recently, Airports Council International Africa Secretary General, Ali Tounsi stated that while the global crisis has placed air transport industry growth ambitions on hold, it has also presented an opportunity for meaningful innovation and transformation to be accelerated, a sure investment for the future.



By Joyce Mukucha

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