15 August 2008

Singapore Airlines launches automatic visa checks

Singapore Airlines has launched a new service which will process all visa, immigration and travel requirements to reduce staff time. The company says the system will reduce the time taken by staff to manually check all countries and their requirements for each visitor, Travel Blackboard reports.

Mr Yap Kim Wah, senior vice president of product and services for the airline, told the website: "In short, our customers will spend less time at the check-in counter, even if his trip takes him through many countries and he can travel with peace of mind that he has all the necessary documents with him." The system will continue to ensure the customer has all the correct documents, as different countries have alternative requirements.

The service will alert the check-in staff if the customer does not have all the correct information, providing travel warnings and visa requirements for each passenger, the website says. Australia is currently trying to boost the number of people travelling to the country, with the tourist board having launched a campaign, the Canberra Times reports.

An ETA visa is required for all short-term visitors travelling to Australia. Visa Bureau’s automated application process means that in most cases, they can be granted in seconds.

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