SITA, a specialist in air transport communication and
IT solutions, has reported consolidated revenues of $1.47 billion for
the year 2008, up 3.5% on the previous year’s figure of $1.42 billion.
Francesco Violante, SITA’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “In the
context of the worsening economic downturn, SITA performed well in 2008.
Not only were overall revenues up at $1.472 billion but for the third
year in a row we have won over $1 billion worth of new business. This is
because IT and communications are now such an essential part of the
daily operational life of the air transport industry and play a crucial
role in managing costs and increasing productivity.
example is e-ticketing. Last year the 75 airlines we support on our
e-ticketing platform issued over 82 million e-tickets compared to just
10.6 million two years ago. This is a remarkable acceleration of a
change that is saving the industry millions as online booking and
paperless travel become more prevalent.
“We also saw a steep drop
in lost baggage claims which went from 14.2 million in 2007 to 11.9
million last year. Again this is an enormous saving to the industry
which is due not just to fewer items of checked baggage but also major
improvements in baggage tracking and sorting enabled by both IATA’s
Baggage Improvement Programme and SITA technology.”
SITA’s Chairman and British Airways CIO and Head of Financial Shared
Services, added, “Sixty years after it was founded in 1949 by the air
transport community, SITA’s business model continues to respond with
remarkable resilience to both changing technology and to global economic
storms. The way SITA combines competition and collaboration as an
entirely commercially-run cooperative with 550 members allows us to
remain very close to our customers. Our constitution means we can
uniquely address the industry’s common challenges on behalf of the
entire air transport community.
“Even in these very difficult
economic times, SITA has no debt, although we invested $79 million last
year in product development for our customers, acquiring cargo system
provider Softair, (through our subsidiary CHAMP Cargosystems), and the
Australian border security company, CPS Systems. At our OnAir subsidiary
we have also led the way in in-flight connectivity to allow the
commercial launch of on-board mobile phone use. The industry can be
proud that such an effective and innovative industry asset as SITA
remains completely in the hands of our Community. Perhaps the SITA
business model contains lessons for other industries in these difficult
In 2008, the SITA management team achieved, or over
achieved, on all their key performance indicators including: above
target revenues of $1.472 billion; a pre-tax margin of $53 million;
record new business of $1.184 billion; significant cost savings to SITA
members, including price reductions of more than $50 million for network
customers; and over 90% of customers were satisfied or very satisfied
which was borne out by a customer renewal rate of almost 100%.
SITA’s full annual report for 2008 will be released at its Annual
General Assembly (AGA) which takes place in Cannes, June 30. Immediately
following the AGA, on July 1 the annual SITA Air Transport IT Summit,
co-hosted with Airline Business, will release this year’s Airline IT
Trends Survey results.
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