Airline partnerships with Clear, Regula for biometric apps revealed
In an eventful first half of November for biometric technologies in air travel, Clear has expanded a partnership and increased bookings, while Elenium and SITA have announced new deployments, and Regula has been revealed as part of an existing one. Meanwhile, Kuwait is rolling out biometrics more widely for border control, and Emirates, British Airways and Air New Zealand are adopting similar technology more broadly.
Clear announces United partnership expansion, bookings growth
The move will grant individuals joining the program the ability to enter United Club locations with biometrics, currently live at two locations in the U.S.
“Building on our great relationship with United will enable our 13+ million members to use Clear in more places,” comments the company’s executive vice president of operations, Kasra Moshkani.
“We have built our identity platform to be interoperable with a wide range of systems and experiences and believe this is a scalable model to enhance our network of use cases.”
Clear has also recently published a shareholder letter showcasing the firm’s financial highlights for the third quarter of 2022.
The company reports a net loss of $66 million, or 44 cents, for the three months ended September 30, compared to $33 million, or 23 cents, in the third quarter of 2021.
Quarterly revenue was $116 million, compared to $68 million a year ago. The company projects fourth quarter revenue to be $123 million to $125 million.
Clear’s total third-quarter bookings rose to $145.7 million, a 46.7 percent increase from the same quarter last year. Executives predict they will be roughly the same in the fourth quarter, or a little softer.
Elenium deploys biometrics at Leeds airport
Elenium has started deploying its biometric self-service kiosks and mixed self-service, automated bag drops at the Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).
The move represents the first step of the airport’s long-term plans to modernize its terminal with an upgrade of check-in hall A.
According to LBA officials, the work is a significant step towards bringing the airport in line with the UK’s leading airports, where self-service technology and biometric identification are commonly deployed.
The work is expected to be completed by summer.
Kuwait to deploy biometrics at ports in 2023
The Kuwait Ministry of Interior will start implementing iris, face and hand biometrics scanning alongside electronic signature procedures at Kuwait International Airport and the country’s borders early next year to prevent deportees from returning to Kuwait.
The move, reported by Zawya, is subject to completion of system supply, installation and testing.
Some of the requirements for the new devices include high-efficiency rates and accreditation by most airports and border forces worldwide.
Emirates signs landmark biometric data agreement
The move will see the airline use biometric recognition technologies and the GDRFA pre-populated biometric database to identify travelers at multiple points inside Dubai International Airport terminal 3.
According to UAE officials, the biometric deployments should ensure a faster and more efficient airport experience for travelers while also increasing the airport’s overall security posture.
British Airways trials biometrics for international flights
British Airways announced it has become the first UK airline to test biometric technologies for international flights.
Travelers interested in participating in the pilot project will be able to do so at London Heathrow terminal 5, where they will have their faces, passport and boarding pass scanned. They will also receive complimentary priority boarding.
After completing the onboarding process, they will be able to travel through the airport without having to show their passport.
The pilot will run for six months on British Airways flights to Malaga, Spain. Should the trial be successful, it is expected to be extended to more international flights.
Regula revealed as AirAsia ID document verification provider
Regula’s ID document verification software has been selected by AirAsia to complement the facial recognition capability of its super app for identity verification.
AirAsia has implemented the Regula Document Reader SDK for the FACES feature of its super app, which is used in touchless identification and self-clearance. The resulting complete FACES enrollment process takes about 30 seconds, according to the announcement, including ID verification and selfie biometric binding. Vision-Box is a biometrics supplier for FACES.
More than 600,000 people have been enrolled into the FACES program already, AirAsia says.
“The digital and contactless procedure, which includes online check-in anywhere, anytime with a mere click of a button, is a definitive gamechanger and also a strong way to restore confidence in air travel,” says Kesavan Sivanandam, chief airport and customer experience officer, AirAsia Airlines Group. “The solution provided by Regula greatly complements our overall vision to become a leading travel and lifestyle super app and our transformation strategy to automate across all key customer touch points. Regula is a strong strategic partner which is always at hand to support us promptly whenever service is needed.”
SITA partners with Bahrain airport, highlights digital ID benefits
“We’re excited to collaborate again with BIA by implementing our industry-leading SITA Smart Path biometric solution, a whole-journey identity management solution where a passenger’s face becomes their boarding pass,” comments Hani El-Assaad, president of Middle East & Africa (MEA) at SITA.
“Once biometrically enrolled, there’s no need to show a passport or boarding pass or touch a device again. From easy check-in at the kiosk to gate access and boarding, the solution will integrate into BIA’s existing systems, enabling them to process more passengers more efficiently.”
Also this month, SITA published a blog post highlighting the benefits of digital ID and biometrics for air travel.
Discussing his participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization‘s TRIP 2022 Symposium and Conference in September, SITA’s senior vice president of border management, Jeremy Springall, said digital identities will be the “master key” for unlocking every stage of passengers’ journeys.
Springall mentioned a few of the advantages connected with these technologies, including increased security and ease of use.
“With a verified, durable and privacy-preserving digital identity on their mobile devices, travelers can enjoy fast-tracking entry on arriving at Aruba’s airport, as well as access to many of the island’s participating venues, such as restaurants, shops and clubs.”
SITA has also recently published its Passenger IT Insights 2022 survey, in which travelers opine about biometrics.
Air New Zealand completes face biometrics trial at LAX
Air New Zealand has completed its biometric facial recognition verification trials at its boarding gates at Los Angeles International and officially has deployed the technology.
The airline’s passengers entering the U.S. will be able to register with the nation’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency using their biometric information, which will then be used to verify their identity at the automated airport kiosks when boarding flights.
Over 1,000 customers have reportedly used the technology so far.