The SITA system no longer works in Russia

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The military aggression committed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, had many consequences. Among these, in the air sector, we note the shutdown of the SITA system. More than 2,500 airlines, airports, ground service providers and governments all work closely with SITA

A revolutionary idea that has become essential

Eleven airlines had a revolutionary idea in 1949. Swedish Aerotransport, Air France, BEA, Boac, British South American Airways, Danish Det Danske Luftfartselskab, KLM, Norwegian Det Norske Luftfartselskap, Sabena, Swissair and TWA formed a joint venture. Their goal was to reduce costs by merging their communications networks. The result was the Société Internationale de Telecommunications Aéronautiques or Sita.

Communication between airports, check-in, boarding…

Today it is an IT company with 4,700 employees and 2,800 customers in more than 200 countries. Services include products for baggage tracking, check-in and boarding, cargo management and, most importantly, communication between airports and airlines.

Russia will have to find an alternative

From the end of September, Russia will no longer benefit from the Sita communication system. Russian airlines will no longer be able to transmit data about their flights, passengers and baggage to international airports. It’s a real problem. The exclusion also concerns foreign airlines that serve Russia, such as Air Serbia, Emirates or Turkish Airlines. Because even they can no longer transmit data to Russian airports through the usual Sita channel.

Russia will have to find an alternative

The Russian Transport Ministry said it was aware of the problem. There are plans to create “alternative news channels”. Aeronautical Authority Rosaviatsiya was even more confident. Sita’s withdrawal from Russia will have no impact. Since 2022, there have been alternative transmission routes, “including those from local production”. Foreign airlines are also already using them, according to the authority. Sita does not wish to comment on the subject.

Catherine Mills Avatar