High Passenger Demand for Mobile Apps at Brazil’s Largest Airport

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 18:10 hrs

New Delhi, Delhi, India:There is significant demand among smartphone- carrying passengers at Brazil’s largest airport, So Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), for mobile access to trip-related information while moving through the airport.

This year’s SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey found that 90% of GRU survey respondents carrying a smartphone would welcome free WiFi access while 54% would be willing to pay for access to trip-related information.

Services that are of particular interest to smartphone carriers are: information on gate changes, flight delays and boarding status, 78%; time to reach departure gate, 25%; location of nearest lounge, 23%; wait times at security, 15%; and information on airport parking, 7%.

The rising influence of the smartphone is a key finding from the 6th annual SITA/ Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey carried out with a representative sample of the 283.5 million passengers who pass through six of the world’s leading airport hubs including Abu Dhabi International Airport, Beijing International Airport; Frankfurt International Airport; Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta; Mumbai International Airport; and So Paulo Guarulhos International Airport.

Some 63% of GRU passengers were carrying a mobile phone while 26% were carrying smartphones more than double last year’s 12%. Smartphone penetration still remains considerably below the global survey average of 54%. In GRU, 35% of first/business class respondents and 33% of frequent flyers (10+ trips per year) were carrying a smartphone.

At 30%, the percentage of GRU passengers travelling with a mobile device who had Bluetooth activated when interviewed was higher than anywhere else, and well above the global average of 22%, which puts the airport authorities in a good position when it comes to introducing queue management and avoiding bottlenecks at border control and check-in.

GRU is the airport in the survey with the highest percentage of passengers checking in a bag, 94%, compared to a global figure of 67%. Most GRU passengers were on medium- or long-haul flights which generally have a higher proportion of passengers checking in bags.

Self-service check-in has not been widely adopted at GRU with 87% of all respondents using a check-in counter compared to 44% globally. And 60% of those who used a check-in counter did so because they had a bag to check-in. Just 9% used an airport kiosk for check-in while both web check-in and off-airport kiosk check-in were each used by just 2%.

Norbert Steiger, SITA Regional Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “There is a modernisation programme currently underway across 16 Brazilian airports in advance of next year’s World Cup event and we expect that this will inspire more travellers to use self-service check-in. SITA’s experience elsewhere shows that once self-service check-in kiosks are widely available and well-promoted the public respond with enthusiasm.”

The survey found a significant appetite for new self-service options, especially related to bag management, including the following: tracking of bag location from a mobile device, 85%; reporting a missing bag from a kiosk, 82%; self-service bag drop, 73%; tag own bag, 68%; transfer kiosks, 65%; and self-boarding, 53%.

Overall, 57% of GRU passengers booked online, exactly the same as the global rate. GRU stands out for the fact that 74% of passengers who booked online had used the airline website compared to a global survey rate of 52%.

GRU passengers also make the most use of airline websites for non-air offers. Compared to a 25% global rate, 48% of GRU passengers who booked on the airline website also booked a hotel room and 40% used it to buy products and gifts compared to just 12% globally.

Other non-air offers popular with GRU passengers were: modifying a reservation, 43%; purchasing preferred seating, 31%; car rental, 15%; booking a vacation, 13%; and purchasing additional transportation, 8%.

Notes to Editors:

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 world’s most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITA’s 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 over 500 air transport industry members and 2,700 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$1.46 billion in 2010.

For further information go to www.sita.aero
Brenda Flinter, Public Relations Manager, SITA, +353 87 750 6229

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