Airlines offered new API development platform by SITA

SITA’s research technology team, SITA Lab, has invited airlines and developers to join trials of, an API (application programming interface) developers’ portal being designed to enable airlines, airports and other industry players to extend existing IT processes and provide new apps for the industry and world travellers.

Speaking at the SITAAirline ITSummit, Jim Peters, the company’s chief technology officer (pictured), commented, “API-client architecture is the key enabler that is driving new-generation app development and allowing apps to be developed for virtually any platform. So this is an API portal for developers who can access data and work on apps and other API uses.

“One of the benefits of this is that you never know what developers might come up with. And in fact SITA Lab does a lot of learning by experimentation,” added Peters. “This programme will go through an incubation trial phase (3-6 months) before full industrialisation. It’ll be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and we’re looking at working 3-5 appropriate airlines.”

SITA plans to have several APIs available on The first of these, which SITA wants to trial with airlines, is BagTrac. This API exposes data on the location of individual checked bags as they are scanned during the journey. SITA manages BagMessage which handles 1.2 billion bag messages every year. These include more than 400 million bag processing messages which give details of the exact location of a piece of luggage. By exposing this data, SITA will be allowing developers to quickly and easily create niche solutions.

Another API which SITA has made available is the Mobile Boarding Pass. No departure control or check-in system today provides a complete 2D, IATA-compliant, mobile boarding pass image creation and customisable message delivery process, to any mobile device. SITA is now exposing its solution so that airlines don’t have to create their own. This is a community offering which will work with any check-in system and is compatible with upcoming technologies such as Apple’s Passbook for iOS 6.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Brussels, Belgium

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