OSLO and MADRID - Avinor, the firm operating Norway’s 44 state-owned airports, is rolling out an ambitious end-to-end touchless travel programme to tackle the impact of COVID-19 and help restore traveler confidence ahead of Norway’s summer season. Passengers travelling from Norway’s airports can soon begin to check-in, drop their bags, pass through security, and board the aircraft without interpersonal contact, or the need to touch physical machines, thanks to new social distancing processes and technology from Amadeus and ICM, an Amadeus company.
Following deployment of the new approach, a passenger checks-in for a flight remotely and they receive a boarding pass barcode sent to their mobile phone, which also acts as a coupon to print the passenger’s bag tag. Upon arrival at the terminal the passenger presents the barcode to a self-serve kiosk and the passenger’s baggage tag is automatically printed.
Next, the passenger simply attaches the tag and deposits the bag into the baggage system with no support from agents required. Avinor’s in-house team have re-engineered their self-service bagdrop units with a new smart configuration of the existing barcode scanners and passenger dialogue in order to make the process touchless.
Avinor airports already offer touchless boarding, with passengers able to present their boarding pass stored on their phone in order to authenticate and board the aircraft.
The new touchless experience will be available initially at Norway’s four hub airports; beginning with its introduction at Oslo from 06th July, followed by Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim which together represent more than 66% of all departures. In total, seventeen airports will be upgraded to deliver the nationwide touchless experience. The service will be available initially for passengers flying on the national carriers; SAS, Norwegian Air and Wideroe.
Brede Nielsen, Group CIO at Avinor, commented: “Given our unique geography many Norwegians depend on their local airport for both business and leisure travels. Several domestic routes serve more than a million passengers every year. We operate several of Europe’s top 20 busiest routes within Norway.”
He continued: “Our passengers can count on us to take necessary measures according to advice from Norwegian health authorities. This reduces the risk of being exposed to infectious virus to an absolute minimum and we are confident that travelers will welcome our new touchless approach. We’ve worked quickly and flexibly with Amadeus and ICM to build and deploy new technology to make it both safer and easier to fly from our airports. We’re now in a strong position to serve increased numbers of passengers traveling during the summer period.”
“The summer period is normally the busiest season in Norway, and we are welcoming families and others that only travel once or twice a year. Our goal has been to design our touchless travel process to be as easy and intuitive as we can” added Nielsen
Rapid development of the new touchless check-in and baggage experience has been made possible due to Avinor’s flexible technology approach. The airport operator was an early adopter of Amadeus’ cloud-based passenger handling platform, which means technical development and smooth data exchange with airline partners has been quick and simple to deliver. In fact, the new touchless experience was originally conceived in March and will be in operation for the summer season.
Thanks to the cloud-native environment, Amadeus has been able to develop the new touchless check-in application by collaborating virtually with global teams based in Australia, France and Spain, and without needing to visit any of Avinor’s 44 airports.
Yannick Beunardeau, Vice President Airport IT, EMEA, Amadeus, added: “The pandemic has impacted all players in travel, but airports in particular are presented with the opportunity to look beyond conventional operating models, and to redefine the passenger experience. Common to all is the need to create an agile and adaptive airport environment, that might mean shifting check-in off-airport, adding automation or accelerating the move to touchless check-in, bag-drop and boarding. In each case, flexible cloud-based technology is a necessity.”