IATA Ground Handling Conference highlights need for industry collaboration as R753 looms

Christopher Jones

Senior Marketing Executive, Airport IT, Amadeus IT Group

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This week the 30th anniversary edition of the IATA International Ground Handling Conference (IGHC) took place in Bangkok with over 700 delegates from the global ground handling community. Baggage handling has been a particular focus for the industry over the past 10 years, during which there have been huge improvements, with mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers decreasing 69.7% compared to 2007. However, the reality is that 5.73 bags per 1,000 passengers are still mishandled, which equates to a cost of $2.1 billion annually. Perhaps, most significantly, it also creates unhappy passengers.

IATA Ground Handling Conference highlights need for industry collaboration as R753 looms

This is why IATA introduced Resolution 753 in 2013, which states that airlines must track bags at four key touch points along its journey. Amadeus is an active supporter of this resolution and, with Amadeus BRS, have a solution which will make airlines compliant with next year’s deadline of June 2018, when the resolution comes into effect for the industry.

Amadeus' Sarah Samuel, Head of APAC Sales & Account Management, Airport IT, spoke on the panel "Industry perspective on how to implement Passenger Resolution 753." Sarah commented how "R753 homogenizes data and creates one central point to exchange all baggage information, improving tracking for airlines at both their home and destination airports and enables them to improve quality control for baggage.”

Icelandair was the first customer for Amadeus BRS, implementing the solution in mid-2015. Júlíana Þórdís Stefánsdóttir, Manager Altéa DCS CM & BRS at Icelandair, said that conforming to R753 was initially challenging, with additional processes for staff to follow, but hard-work at the time of implementing Amadeus BRS has really paid off. "With initial resistance - like with any new business process - our loaders are now fully cooperative and embrace using the BRS, as they can now truly see the benefit of using the system to simplify their daily life.”

Júlíana continued "With full baggage visibility, we can manage our man power resources much more efficiently. Amadeus BRS enabled us to change our processes, and now that our customer service team has access to the system, they can provide accurate, up to date baggage information directly to the passenger without having to contact us.

With the resolution deadline approaching quickly in June next year, it’s clear that all actors in the industry - ground handlers, airports & airlines - must work together to improve baggage management. We believe Amadeus BRS provides all the necessary ingredients to do that.