Airline bmi has signed a three and a half year contract with IBM to install a new self-service check-in system at airports in the UK and Ireland.

The system, based on IBM's multi-channel self-service check-in system allows passengers to check-in via a self-service airport kiosk, over the internet or on a mobile device. It comprises a new kiosk, to be located at the airports, and new web and mobile check-in systems.

IBM will provide support services for the system via a dedicated helpdesk and the system will also be monitored using IBM's Kiosk Manager administration and monitoring tool.

Bmi hopes the new system will encourage travellers to increase their use of the self-service function.

Passengers will be able to check in with travelling partners, check in onto onward flights, change seats, change to an earlier flight if available, update frequent flyer details and travel information and print boarding passes.

The new system has gone live at bmi airports, including Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin and Belfast.

IBM has installed the system in over 60 airlines and airports globally.

In 2008, research from airline IT provider SITA and Cambridge University claimed that by the end of 2010, 67 per cent of airlines will plan to offer mobile check-in.