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Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, Air France, Amadeus and IER partner to pilot a new mobile boarding pass

Between April 16 and October 30, 2009, members of Nice Airport's passenger programme Club Airport Premier (CAP) and Air France's frequent flyer programme travelling on the Nice-Paris Orly domestic route will pilot a new boarding device, Pass and Fly. The pilot project will simplify passenger recognition, the crediting of CAP points and airplane boarding, through the use of a mobile phone that is Near Field Communication (NFC) - enabled. It is the first time in air travel that NFC, a short-range, wireless connectivity technology is used to enable mobile boarding passes.

Madrid, Spain, 17 April 2009: Between April 16 and October 30, 2009, members of Nice Airport’s passenger programme Club Airport Premier (CAP) and Air France’s frequent flyer programme travelling on the Nice-Paris Orly domestic route will pilot a new boarding device, Pass and Fly.

The pilot project will simplify passenger recognition, the crediting of CAP points and airplane boarding, through the use of a mobile phone that is Near Field Communication (NFC) - enabled. It is the first time in air travel that NFC, a short-range, wireless connectivity technology is used to enable mobile boarding passes.

NFC integrates wireless technology into mobile phones, allowing interaction among electronic devices. This means it enables the passenger to be identified and also obtain a digital boarding pass when they swipe their mobile phone across a reader that is set up at the airport.

Pass and Fly is a joint innovation project started by Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and Air France, in partnership with Amadeus and IER. To enable the project, Amadeus developed the technology applications for the mobile phones, departure control system and airport readers, to display and share information relevant to the passenger boarding process. IER built and provided the NFC booths and readers which have been integrated in the airport’s infrastructure and connected to Air France’s passenger management system. The French national airline provided the electronic boarding passes.

How the Pass and Fly project works
The traveller checks-in through any of the channels enabled by Air France (internet, mobile phone or self-service kiosk) . At the airport, the traveller needs to carry a NFC-enabled mobile phone which holds their frequent flyer information. The NFC component is either integrated in the mobile phone or on a sticker that communicates with the phone.

The traveller can go through a fast lane access to security inspection by swiping their mobile phone past the Pass and Fly reader. The machine identifies the passenger and finds their boarding pass corresponding to a flight departing from Nice in the next few hours. The digital boarding pass is then uploaded onto the mobile phone following the IATA format. Nice Airport CAP frequent flyer points are automatically credited so members of the programme no longer need to go to a separate kiosk to obtain these.

Compared with 2-D barcode mobile boarding passes, NFC-enabled mobile phones could even be switched-off or out of battery when communicating with a reader.

At security inspection, the traveller swipes their mobile phone across a second NFC reader which displays their boarding pass to the security staff without the need to display their mobile phone screen. This enables an instant check compared to the traditional manual check.

Finally, at the boarding gate, the airline staff only need to check the travellers’ identification documents. A NFC reader checks the boarding pass and prints a coupon with the seat information, enabling quick boarding of the plane.

NFC is based on existing contactless technology infrastructure that is already in use on a daily basis by millions of people worldwide. NFC has been implemented for payment transactions and can be used to share any data between devices, giving it a huge potential to be deployed for many other services.


- ENDS -


Notes to the editors

The partners messages:

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport: NFC mobile boarding passes bring more efficiency to the airport traveller experience by replacing traditional desk visits with time-saving self-service options and getting rid of paper boarding passes that drive up costs,” said Agnes Henry Scalliet, Grand Riviera Department Manager. “In addition, our Club Airport Premier points will be credited automatically when obtaining the boarding pass from the NFC readers.”

Air France: “A pioneer in mobile services, Air France exploits modern technologies to bring smoothness, simplicity and automation to the passenger’s experience. These new services make passenger check-in and boarding easier,” commented Michel Pognonec, Regional Director, Air France Côte d’Azur and Monaco.

“Pass and Fly is an industry first. The NFC chip and a restructured information flow speeds up the traveller’s airport journey. This experiment will help to progressively build the ideal airport journey for our travellers of tomorrow.”

Amadeus: Amadeus is committed to bringing superior technology to the airport IT arena,” said Yannick Beunardeau, Director Airport Solutions, Amadeus. “We believe investment in innovative solutions is critical for our customers to consolidate their business models and achieve a transformation that will deliver cost and productivity savings, while bringing a superior customer service.

NFC brings significant benefits over other technologies being used today in mobile travel services, and as it becomes more widely used in our daily lives, airports and airlines will be able to facilitate further services.

IER : “IER is a reference provider of solutions to optimize passenger processes from check-in to boarding,” declared Alexi Hernot, Marketing Director, IER. “Mobile boarding passes will be widely adopted as they bring frequent flyers clear benefits : they don’t need to worry about a paper boarding card to board the airplane. Also when away from the office it may not be that easy to find a printer.

“We believe that 2-D barcode mobile boarding passes are a first step towards a boarding pass that is hosted on a contactless chip such as NFC. We have acquired significant experience on this passenger boarding technology and we are proud to participate in this first experiment at Nice Airport.”


Press contacts

Aéroport Nice Côte d’Azur
Philippe Bellissent
Tel. : +33 4 93 21 30 67
philippe.bellissent@cote-azur.aeroport.fr

Air France
Jeanine Biache
Tél. : +33 4 93 18 53 30
jebiache@airfrance.fr

Amadeus
Hortense Oury / Bertrand Cognard
Tél. : + 33 1 49 70 43 01 / 25
Fax : + 33 1 49 70 44 00
hortense.oury@cohnwolfe.com
bertrand.cognard@cohnwolfe.com

IER
Emmanuelle Mussard
Communication Director
Tel: +33 1 41 38 62 69
emussard@ier.fr