Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar Airways successfully completed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Electronic Bag Tag (EBT) readability tests, making HIA the first airport in the MENA region confirmed as ready to accept EBTs.

The programme will provide a more seamless travel experience for passengers, including reduced time spent in queues, a simplified baggage drop process and increased relaxation time at the airport. 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 Vice President for Commercial and Marketing, Abdulaziz Al Mass, said that they are accelerating their digital transformation to become the ‘airport of the future’ with passengers at the core of their business.

Gearing up to welcome 50 million 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.

HIA Vice President for Operations Ian Metsovitis said they are glad of the new developments.

We are glad to be the first in the region to have confirmed the capability to use electronic baggage tags with IATA, and we will continue to invest in smart technologies to provide passengers with smooth and seamless travel experience.’

HIA is thriving to introduce automated processes and self-service at every touch point of the travel journey in order 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 in conducting the trials.

Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said the decision of Qatar Airways and HIA to accept EBT following a successful trial is a significant step towards the global acceptance of the system.

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. IATA calls on other countries to accept these tags. We thank Qatar Airways for its support in this trial, which again demonstrates its commitment to excellence for all customers.’

The Ground Services team that provides passenger check-in and baggage receipt for Qatar Airways, see this successful trial of electronic bag tags 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. A premium ground handler, QAS also provides ground handling for VIP private and charter jets.

For more information, visit Qatar Airways and HIA online.