SITA Reports Improvements in Baggage Handling

April 8, 2013 GENEVA - Airline baggage handling improved last year with the rate of mishandled bags dropping 1.78 percent, according to the ninth annual SITA Baggage Report. In 2012, 8.83 bags per thousand passengers were mishandled, down from 8.99 in 2011. The air transport industry achieved this improvement despite a 4.5 percent rise in passenger numbers to 2.95 billion; higher passenger volumes inevitably increase pressure on airport baggage operations.

One area the industry is focusing on is improving baggage transfers between flights. This is traditionally the pinch point in the baggage handling process and the leading cause of delay. In 2012, SITAs report showed an improvement in this area with transfer bags, as a proportion of all mishandled bags, down 9 percent from 2011. This is a result of airlines and airports investing in processes and systems to improve both baggage handling efficiency and the speed with which bags travel through the airport.

Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said: "The industry has made a concerted effort to improve baggage handling operations in recent years through significant investment and innovation. Over the past six years, the rate of mishandled bags per thousand passengers has fallen 53.2 percent, saving the industry US$ 2.1 billion in 2012 compared to 2007. While there is still work to be done because any mishandled bag is unwelcome; the six-year trend shows that our collaborative efforts to improve baggage handling are paying off to the benefit of both passengers and airlines."

A mishandled bag is defined as checked baggage that is delayed, damaged, pilfered, lost or stolen. In 2012, passengers reported 26.04 million mishandled bags. Delayed bags, accounted for 82.9 percent of all mishandled bags, down from 2011. Damaged or pilfered bags represented 12.9 percent of mishandled bags, while 4.2 percent were reported lost or stolen.

Violante added: "Effective bag management plays an important role in improving passenger satisfaction and contributing to the overall passenger experience. With the number of air passengers expected to reach more than 3.6 billion by 2016, we need to continue to work together to improve baggage handling operations. At SITA, we are constantly investing in new technologies to meet passenger needs and ensure our industry partners have the best baggage handling tools available. For example, SITA BagSmart provides a predictive warning of missed bags, helping to reduce mishandled transfer bags by up to 60 percent and preventing baggage-related flight delays."

SITA has led the air transport industry in baggage tracking and tracing solutions for more than 20 years. Today, more than 125 airports and 500 airlines worldwide use its baggage management solutions. By facilitating communications between airlines and local baggage handling and reconciliation systems, SITA ensures that bags reach their correct destination. Its proprietary BagMessage system delivered more than 1.5 billion messages between airline departure control systems and automated baggage systems in 2012.

And more than 2,200 airport locations use WorldTracer, SITAs system that traces millions of bags globally each year. The report was launched today at the Passenger Terminal Expo, the world's largest industry event focused on airline and airport passenger services taking place this week in Geneva. The full report can be downloaded at SITA photos and videos available here:

For further information (not for publication) contact: SITA Brenda Flinter Media Relations Manager Mobile: +353 87 750 6229 Email: Leidar Charlie Pryor Director Tel : +44 (0)20 7031 8270 Email : Skype: LEIDAR_Charlie

About SITA SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the worlds most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry. SITAs portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more. With a customer service team of over 2,000 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services. SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management. SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for around 450 air transport industry members and 2,800 customers in over 200 countries and territories. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of US$ 1.517 billion (1.09 billion) in 2011. For further information go to

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