Tenzing Communications Inc., a leading in-flight e-mail and connectivity company, announced that it would restructure its operations as a result of recent adverse changes in the commercial aviation marketplace.
“The events of last September and their dramatic economic impact, have severely affected the investment plans of our commercial airline customers,” said Edward Nicol, CEO of Tenzing Communications. “We believe the most prudent and responsible strategy, for all stakeholders, is to focus on our existing customers and the deployment of our unique technologies.”
Tenzing, which is 30% owned by Airbus, has enjoyed considerable success since it launched its first in-flight e-mail product in 1999, Nicol said. “We believe the commercial aviation market will take some time to recover,” he said. “We therefore intend to cut back our sales and marketing activities and focus our development work on our soon to be released second generation in-flight connectivity services.”
The restructure will mean the loss of some 80 jobs for Tenzing and its European affiliate, Nicol said.
“We are right behind Tenzing and support this restructure,” said John Leahy, executive vice president, customer affairs, Airbus. “Its diligent focus will ensure that Tenzing Communications continues to produce leading in-flight connectivity solutions for the commercial aviation industry.”
During an address to all employees at Tenzing`s Seattle headquarters last week, Nicol paid tribute to the staff. “We thank you all for your contribution to Tenzing,” he said. “You have all contributed to building a leading company with unique technologies. Unfortunately, the unexpected changes in the economic situation and uncertainty within the commercial aviation industry, make it impossible to go forward with the same structures.”
Nicol said news of the restructure was greeted positively by Tenzing`s customers.
James Barrington, director, sales and marketing for Cathay Pacific Airways said, “This commitment on focus is just what we want in these difficult times. We are delighted that Tenzing will be using its resources to deliver the very best performance and the latest products for Cathay. We are very impressed with their new services and we will continue to support Tenzing Communications by being the first to offer our customers the benefits of Tenzing in-flight connectivity.”
David Lowe, co-founder and deputy chairman of Tenzing, said, “Recent events have made it necessary for us to focus on our core strengths. This restructure will allow us to deploy our new suite of in-flight connectivity services and continue our market leadership.”
Tenzing has full fleet deployment arrangements with Cathay Pacific Airways and is concluding trials and negotiations with another dozen leading airlines. The company says it has achieved success with leading airlines because Tenzing uses existing air ground communications and can upgrade existing onboard infrastructure, within a few hours per aircraft, to be able to send and receive e-mail.
Tenzing has announced plans to introduce a range of new in-flight connectivity services in early 2002. These services will give airlines the ability to provide in-flight connectivity to all passengers across a range of mobile connectivity devices.