Robert Crandall has become a senior advisor to AirTV, bringing more than 30 years of airline management experience to the company that will provide the airline industry with television programming, e-mail/Internet connectivity and flight safety data to airborne aircraft worldwide.
Crandall is acknowledged as one of the airline industry`s most dynamic and innovative executives, having held top management positions at American Airlines and TWA. He retired from American Airlines in 1998 after transforming the carrier during his 18 years as President and subsequently, Chairman and CEO.
“I am pleased to have an opportunity to work with AirTV, since I think the company can help bring the airline industry and its customers the entertainment products they want in the most cost efficient way possible,” Crandall said. “The airline industry has always focused on its customer`s desires; at the same time, the industry`s economics clearly require a close focus on both the best possible service and the lowest possible costs. I hope to play some part in matching the industry`s needs and desires with AirTV`s capabilities.”
AirTV is developing an aircraft broadband network of four high-capacity S-band satellites to provide real-time TV, audio, Internet, e-mail and flight information services to aircraft flying all the world`s main air routes. The system will consist of four dedicated geostationary satellites, each of which will deliver 80 Mbps of direct-to-aircraft (DTA) connectivity. AirTV plans to start its service in 30 months. “Bob Crandall brings unparalleled airline experience and industry credibility to AirTV,” said John Larkin, AirTV`s Chairman and CEO. “I am very pleased that Bob is joining AirTV, and that he believes our approach to providing in-flight aircraft with cost effective, worldwide television and broadband connectivity will herald a real change in the airline industry.”
Crandall is recognized as combining a vision of the future with the practical operational needs of airlines. During his 25 years with American Airlines, he led the upgrade of American`s SABRE reservation system, which became the leading provider of airline computer services worldwide; developed deep discount fare programs that were adopted as industry norms; launched the airline industry`s first frequent-flier program; and introduced revenue-maximizing management techniques that became standards in the industry.
The AirTV system is being developed by an industry team composed of world leaders in their fields: Alcatel, Arianespace, CMC Electronics and SITA. In addition, AirTV has established strategic alliances with Tenzing Communications and Rockwell Collins, which will provide on board equipment and infrastructure to support the AirTV system.