Star Alliance, NEC and SITA sign agreement to expand contactless travel through biometric identity

Users of the frequent flyer program of Star Alliance members will soon be able to use their biometric identity in airlines and airports that will participate in the new agreement of the world's largest ...

Users frequent flyer Star Alliance member programs will soon be able to use their own biometric identity in the airlines and airports that will participate in the new agreement of that world’s largest aviation federation, NEC Corporation and SITA.

This agreement, announced today, will focus on making biometric self-service contact points more available at Star Alliance member airlines, while providing a faster and more contactless experience at airports.   

By connecting to SITA's Smart Path solution, the Star Alliance Biometrics platform will be able to use SITA's common infrastructure, which is already available at more than 460 airports. Thanks to the global presence of SITA and NEC, several biometric projects can be implemented in parallel, which accelerates the availability of biometric passenger processing to global airlines that are members of the Star Alliance. This will be crucial in the faster application of biometric checks for Star Alliance members. 

The platform can be easily integrated with the SITA Smart Path system, and can also recognize passengers even when wearing a mask, an increasingly important feature for travel during the current pandemic. Platform I: Delight is already used by Star Alliance airlines at several airports in Europe.

The unique functionality of the system is that passengers using the Star Alliance biometric platform report only once. After check-in, passengers can go through the biometric contact points at different airlines i airports who participate in the program using only their face as a boarding pass. That's it accelerates the passage through the airport, and each step is completely contactless, meeting important health and hygiene safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic and realizing the Star Alliance’s vision of a seamless passenger experience.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance, said this agreement is crucial to expanding the range of our biometric services, and the benefits are speed and meeting customer expectations to achieve a contactless, hygienically safe experience in all of our members. “Biometrics is a key element of that experience and our strategy to be a leader in the digitalization of travel", Emphasizes Goch.

"SITA is pleased to say that in cooperation with NEC, it supports the Star Alliance in providing all the benefits of a biometric identity to their member airlines. Passengers have finally experienced the benefits of control and the speed that automation brings to the travel experience, and this trend has been accelerated by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. This agreement will extend the benefits of biometric identity from a single airline or travel to a large network of airlines. It is truly unique and points to the benefits that a digital identity can bring to the traveler, ”says Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA.

Masakazu Yamashina, executive vice president of NEC Corporation, added that NEC was honored to join this tripartite partnership with Star Alliance and SITA. “Although the impact of the COVID-19 virus pandemic continues, we are pleased to lead the creation of contactless and undisturbed travel. NEC is committed to providing a secure and enjoyable user experience through our NEC I: Delight identity management solution"

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