James Bennett, CEO of ADAC and Tony Tyler, CEO of IATA
Abu Dhabi International Airport received the golden award for Fast Travel from International Air Transport Association (IATA), becoming the first airport in the region to adopt IATA’s latest initiative in response to growing passenger demands for more adequate and speedy travel procedures at airports. The award was handed over by Tony Tyler, CEO IATA, to James E. Bennett, CEO of ADAC, with the attendance of various dignitaries from both organisations.
Fast Travel is a new program initiated by IATA geared at reducing airline costs and enhancing passenger experiences by offering a range of self-service options throughout the travel journey. According to the 2009 IATA Corporate Air Travel Survey (CATS) conducted on worldwide passengers, 50% of the passengers said they would prefer more self-service options to speed up their journey rather than queuing for check-in.
The IATA Fast Travel program will help airports provide passengers with self-service options in six main areas: Check-in, luggage drop-off (bags to-go), document checking, flight re-booking, self-boarding, and bag recovery.
IATA targeted five airport and airline pairs to implement the full Fast Travel set of initiatives as an IATA objective for 2011. Abu Dhabi International Airport offered to be one of the first 5 airports, with Etihad Airways as its pair, in the world to achieve the Fast Travel initiatives and successfully completed it within the deadline.
ADAC implemented all six initiatives set by IATA; self-check-in, self boarding gate, document check (through CUSS or Mobile reader), flight re-booking kiosk, bags ready to go (bag tag printed at the kiosk), and bag recovery kiosk, delivered through ADAC’s common user self service kiosks.
Speaking on this new initiative, Tony Tyler, CEO IATA, said: “IATA Fast Travel makes travel better. Passengers get more control over their journey with self-service options. And both airports and airlines benefit from reduced costs. By implementing all six Fast Travel components, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi International Airport are showing global leadership moving on both technology and the passenger experience.”
The Gold award has been given to 7 airports in total that have implemented the Fast Travel initiative globally and Abu Dhabi International Airport was the only airport in the Middle East and North Africa to achieve the gold award.
Commenting on this new accolade, James E. Bennett, CEO ADAC, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports Company is eager to deliver services and facilities that will exceed its customer expectations. We are aware of the value of passenger time and we are working closely with related local and international institutions to adapt our processes and procedures to develop our facilities in the best available methods. This comes in line with our commitment towards delivering a unique travel experience in a state-of-the-art facility, whilst maintaining high levels of safety and security.”
In its ambition to continuously enhance passenger flow at its airports, ADAC installed the first of its kind self-service check-in kiosks at Park Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi in October 2011, enabling hotel guests to directly complete their flight check-in procedures within the hotel; before proceeding to Abu Dhabi International Airport. This new check-in service is the third remote check-in facility to be launched following the inauguration of the Expo Check-in at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in March 2011, and the City Check-in at the Tourist Club area in Abu Dhabi City, which has been operational since 2001.