APIs Enable Innovative Apps And Flexibility For All Sectors Of the Air Transport Industry
Nearly every passenger flight worldwide relies on SITA technology. SITA offers communications and IT solutions across all sectors of the air transport industry (ATI), including air navigation providers, airlines, airports, governments, and ground handlers. In 2012 SITA launched the Developer.aero portal, a development resource for the airline developer community providing access to a wide range of powerful APIs to stimulate technological innovation in the field. The APIs facilitate data query and retrieval services on airline host systems, allowing developers to build in-demand apps across all technology mediums (mobile, web, tablet, kiosk, smart watch, and others) without having to worry about complex airline business operations.
SITA sees the adoption of APIs as key for the industry to take advantage of emerging technologies, develop new distribution channels in conjunction with existing solutions, and build complete passenger and aircraft solutions across the travel journey – from passenger travel planning and booking, to airport operations and security, baggage, aircraft connectivity and inflight cabin and cockpit operations. One of the main objectives of Developer.aero is to engage with the developer community creating a dynamic, interactive environment where ideas are generated and shared. This dialogue broadens the possibilities of air travel data and operations as well as enriching the travel, operational, retail, and social media apps that further enhance experiences for passengers, crew and all airport and airline stakeholders.
For example, accurate information on the current location of passengers’ baggage is now available to airlines and airports with SITA’s BagJourney API. Keeping track of passengers’ bags is a priority for the air transport industry but it will become even more important in the coming years, as airlines and airports prepare to implement IATA’s (International Air Transport Association) new resolution 753. This resolution, which comes into effect in 2018, requires IATA member airlines to monitor and log the status of its passengers’ bags through the major stages of the bags’ journey.
Developer.aero is also now partnering with the leading connected aircraft provider, SITAONAIR, who have delved well and truly into the world of APIs by recently launching its first API. The Inflight Wi-Fi Voucher API is designed to encourage inflight Wi-Fi usage by enabling airlines, GDSs (Global Distribution System) and other agents to sell Wi-Fi sessions as part of the booking process and also during the flight. A promotional code is retrieved during the booking or purchase which is used by the passenger to activate the Internet session on the plane. Future collaboration with SITAONAIR will lead to the development of APIs to provide real-time interaction to develop the next generation of nose-to-tail connected aircraft solutions.
The Developer.aero portal currently includes the following APIs:
- Airport API – a free “Hello World” API that retrieves information about airports and allows developers to test and familiarize themselves with SITA’s API systems
- BagJourney API – enables the retrieval of the real-time status of a specific bag, or list of bags, on a particular flight
- Beacon Registry API – a registry of, bluetooth beacon devices that trigger relevant, user context and location-based notifications on mobile devices. SITA deploys and manages these beacons in airports around the world as a community service. (More in our earlier blog post.)
- Boarding Pass API – gives airlines complete flexibility in the creation and distribution of mobile boarding passes
- FlightFollower API – a REST-based service providing map images of flights and their progress on a route
- FlightInfo API – provides flight statistics and information from airports around the world, including notifications for status changes to a particular flight
- iTravel API – provides a simple, convenient, and cost-effective alternative to conventional airline customer app development using SITA’s Reservation Web Services (Only available to airlines hosted on Horizon, SITA’s passenger services system, or their accredited developers.)
- SITA Web Services – enables airline customers to develop and deploy their own secure in-house apps using data from reservations, fares, DCS and ticketing
- The Weather API – a REST-based service that provides current and forecasted weather data for locations around the world
- Inflight Wi-Fi Voucher API – enables airlines and GDSs to retrieve Promotional Codes/Vouchers to enable passengers to purchase inflight Wi-Fi sessions.
Learn more about SITA’s APIs and start building at Developer.aero.