*Initiative aims to provide a smoother, more seamless travel experience for all passengers transiting through HIA

Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar Airways have successfully completed the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) electronic bag tag (EBT) readability tests, giving passengers a smoother and seamless travel experience, it was announced.

HIA also becomes the first airport in the Middle East and North Africa region ready to accept EBTs.

The programme aims to reduce time spent in queues, simplify baggage drop process, and to increase relaxation time at the airport, as well as providing greater operating and carbon efficiency.

In the future, customers will have a permanent electronic bag tag, removing the need to print and apply traditional bag tags. Qatar Airways and HIA are taking the lead on re-inventing the passenger journey.

“HIA is one of the most advanced airports in the world and is accelerating its digital transformation moved by the ambition to become the ‘airport of the future’ with the passenger at the core of our business,” HIA’s Commercial and Marketing vice president Abdulaziz al-Mass said.

Gearing up to welcome 50mn passengers in the years to come, HIA is going a step further in implementing its Smart Airport Programme aimed at empowering passengers through cutting-edge technologies.

The airport’s passenger-centric approach is designed to give passengers full control and independence over their journey, from arrival and transfers to boarding, achieving minimal and seamless connection time.

“We are glad to be the first in the region to have confirmed the capability to use EBTs with IATA, and we will continue to invest in smart technologies to provide our passengers with a smooth and seamless travel experience,” HIA’s Operations vice president Ian Metsovitis said.

HIA is thriving to introduce automated processes and self-service at every touch point of the travel journey to facilitate faster passenger movement within the terminal, while complying with the highest standards for service quality, security and safety.

Qatar Airways Group has an established track record of early adoption of technological and operational innovations, making it a logical choice for IATA to collaborate with in conducting these trials.

“Qatar Airways’ and HIA’s decision to accept EBTs following a successful trial is a significant step towards the global acceptance of EBTs,” IATA’s airport, passenger, cargo and security senior vice president Nick Careen said.

“The IATA Global Passenger Survey reconfirmed that this is something passengers want to use and the trial proves that the tags are compatible with existing baggage systems,” he noted. “IATA calls on other countries to accept these tags.”

“We thank Qatar Airways for its support of this trial, which again demonstrates its commitment to excellence for all customers,” Careen added.

The ground services team that provides passenger check-in and baggage receipt for Qatar Airways see this successful trial of EBTs at HIA as a significant step forward in providing customers self-service options.

Passengers not travelling with Qatar Airways will also benefit from this world-leading EBT capability through Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) – Qatar Airways Group’s award-winning ground handling company – which handles all baggage through HIA airport.

A premium ground handler, QAS also provides ground handling for VIP private and charter jets.

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