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Fewer lost bags despite increase in passenger numbers

written by WOFA | April 10, 2013

photo - Paul Sadler

Airline baggage handling improved last year with the rate of mishandled bags dropping 1.78 per cent, according to the ninth annual SITA Baggage Report.

In 2012, 8.83 bags per thousand passengers were mishandled, down from 8.99 in 2011. The air transport industry achieved this improvement despite a 4.5 per cent rise in passenger numbers to 2.95 billion, with higher passenger volumes inevitably increasing pressure on airport baggage operations.

One area the industry is focusing on is improving baggage transfers between flights. This is traditionally the ‘pinch point’ in the baggage handling process and the leading cause of delay.

In 2012, SITA’s report showed an improvement in this area with transfer bags, as a proportion of all mishandled bags, down 9 per cent from 2011.

SITA CEO Francesco Violante, CEO said of the results: “The industry has made a concerted effort to improve baggage handling operations in recent years through significant investment and innovation. Over the past six years, the rate of mishandled bags per thousand passengers has fallen 53.2 per cent, saving the industry US$2.1 billion in 2012 compared to 2007. While there is still work to be done because any mishandled bag is unwelcome; the six-year trend shows that our collaborative efforts to improve baggage handling are paying off to the benefit of both passengers and airlines.”


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