SITA, Airbus and Tenzing Announce Name of New Company

22nd Sep 2004

OnAir will be the brand name of the
range of passenger communications services to be launched by the new
company formed by SITA INC, Airbus and Tenzing. The intention to form the
company was announced at Farnborough International Airshow in July. So far,
OnAir is the only service that will offer both voice and data cabin
connectivity services to both long- and short-haul fleets across the world.

From the outset, OnAir will offer in-seat telephony in-seat SMS and e-mail
and instant messaging from passengers’ laptops.  In 2005, OnAir will
include access to corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and Internet
browsing capabilities.  These will be followed in 2006 by mobile telephony,
which will enable passengers to use their own phones safely onboard to make
and receive calls and text messages.

Francesco Violante, Managing Director of SITA INC, said, “OnAir will
provide tremendous value to the air transport industry.  The solution
requires minimal upfront investment, builds on existing communication
infrastructure and has a very clear and simple upgrade path.  OnAir will
help airlines optimize their IT budgets, as they strive to maximise both
passenger service and the return on their investments.”

Airlines will be able to choose between a range of data and voice solutions
that have been designed specifically for either long- or short-haul fleets
and with passenger requirements in mind.  These solutions will be flexible,
modular and able to be fully integrated with existing cabin connectivity
services, meaning that OnAir’s systems and software will meet the cost
efficiency needs of airlines worldwide. The new brand reflects this focus
on the ease of in-flight communication, projecting to passengers an image
of being connected in-flight using friendly, trend-setting technology.

George Cooper, Senior Vice President of Airline Operations and AIRCOM
Services, SITA INC, added, ” Our strategy has already been vindicated by
the very positive reception we have received from the airlines, who are
telling us that we have adopted the right approach at the right time.
Through the creation of this new range of services we are clearly
demonstrating our commitment to the future of this industry and to the
customers we will serve.”


Both SITA INC and Tenzing have vast aircraft connectivity experience. SITA
INC is a leading provider of aircraft data and voice communications
applications; and Tenzing, the first company to develop software solutions
to deliver text and data to and from the aircraft, currently provides
e-mail systems on more than 900 aircraft. Added to this, Airbus brings its
onboard system design, integration and certification expertise along with
its knowledge and experience as the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer.

Patrick Brannelly, Vice President of Passenger Communications and Visual
Services at Emirates, said, “Traveller demands are evolving. Soon they will
expect to be fully connected whenever they want, wherever they are,
including in the air. Our passengers want simple to use, affordable and
reliable services.

On the airline’s needs, Brannelly added, “Aircraft have a well-established
infrastructure for communicating with the ground.  We are looking for
connectivity services that leverage that existing infrastructure but can
offer the full range of connectivity requirements.”

Esteban Gómez-Barquero of Iberia said, “The popularity of Blackberries and
other PDAs has already shown that people want to stay in touch wherever
they are.  There is no reason why being in the air should be any different
from being on the ground and we want to provide that service to our

On the airline’s needs, Gómez-Barquero added, “We are looking for a service
that is the lowest cost both to install and maintain - and one which
enables us to differentiate our offer.”


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