Cathay Pacific Airways today announced it has invested US$10 million in Tenzing Communications, a global communications provider offering travellers inflight access to Web content and email. The investment in the Seattle based company was made through Cathay Pacific`s wholly-owned subsidiary Taikoo Aviation Technologies Limited. The investment represents 10% of Tenzing`s outstanding shares.
The US$10 million investment is part of Tenzing`s second round of funding. The US$12 million first round funding was led by international telecommunications investment firm Fremont Group. Investors in both funding rounds include the leading venture capital and aerospace companies TH Lee, Riverside Management Group, JGL Investments, Deutsche Bank and ITOCHU Corporation, as well as a number of private shareholders.
Cathay Pacific Director Information Management & e-Business Ian Riddell, said: “This investment in Tenzing Communications is consistent with our venturing programme, a key element of our e-Business strategy. It recognises that inflight connectivity for air travellers will become an essential part of the service offered by leading airlines over the coming decade. Cathay Pacific, through Tenzing, wishes to be at the forefront of this wave of new service offerings.”
Cathay Pacific has committed to deploying the Tenzing product across its entire fleet in the third quarter of 2001. This makes the airline the first in the world to commit to the introduction of such technology across its entire fleet.
Cathay Pacific`s investment in Tenzing is part of its aim to become Asia`s leading e-Business airline. In October last year, the airline announced plans to invest over HK$2 billion on a range of e-Business projects over the next three years. These included the relaunch of its flagship Website www.cathaypacific.com with groundbreaking new features such as notiFLY, which alerts passengers to flight status changes, an improved online booking system, Online Check-In, and a Downloadable Trip Planner.
Tenzing Chief Operating Officer Alan Pellegrini said: “This investment from Cathay Pacific is significant in more than simply financial terms. As with our first round of funding, this new investment signals a high-level of confidence in Tenzing and our services from airlines - industry leaders who understand both our business, and our target markets.”
Tenzing Communications is the premier provider of inflight connectivity solutions and is dedicated to the ease of communication for connected travellers. Services include inflight email, terrestrial global roaming capabilities, extensive Web content, a business-focused Web portal, targeted e-commerce services and frequent content updates throughout the traveller`s experience.