The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched Simplified Interline Settlement (SIS), which removes paper documents from the airline industry’s interline billing and settlement process. When fully implemented in 2013, SIS is expected to eliminate paper invoices and distribution between airlines. This will provide annual cost savings to the industry of up to US$700 million (INR34.4 arab) through the elimination of paper, mail charges, courier fees, lost documents, internal paper handling, and system and process efficiencies. It will also provide environmental benefits through the elimination of paper documentation and the need to transport it.
Approximately 160 tonnes of invoices and supporting documents are shipped among airlines around the world each year to support the industry’s interline billing and settlement process. In addition, activities such as invoicing and dispute handling are still largely paper-driven, involving substantial manual effort. With SIS, a carrier will submit a single electronic billing file that will be converted into an invoice and a settlement file, sent to the billed airline, and cleared and settled through the IATA Clearing House (ICH). This avoids duplication and improves efficiencies. The solution is tightly integrated into a single platform called Integrated Settlement (IS). All 350 ICH members will benefit from the new service for the US$50 billion annually that is processed in the system.
“SIS is the culmination of three years of hard work and close collaboration between the airline industry, IATA’s expert team and the technology supplier Kale Consultants. SIS will modernise the industry’s back office and make interline billing and settlement a fast, standardised electronic process that will bring efficiencies and reduced costs to the entire industry,” said Aleksander Popovich, IATA’s senior vice president, Industry Distribution and Financial Services.