SITA and major customer Emirates Group are joining forces to upgrade and expand Emirates’ high-speed global Internet Protocol (IP) network for Emirates Airlines and its strategic partner SriLankan Airlines. The five-year contract, worth more than US$60 million, interconnects Emirates and SriLankan staff at 90 offices in 61 countries and will cut communications costs significantly.
John Watson, SITA’s Director General, echoed his speech yesterday to the Arab Air Carriers Organisation AGM: “With this significant step, Emirates is showing strategic leadership by investing in the latest infrastructure technology to grow its business. For decades the airline industry has found it hard to maintain profitability because of its high cost base. Now there are concrete ways of reducing costs and improving productivity and service.”
Watson added: “Investing in infrastructure technology is the best way to realise the commercial opportunities of Internet-based applications that point to the future for the aviation industry - a future characterized by lower costs, better profitability and better customer service.”
Hugh Pride, Director of Information Technology for the Emirates Group, said: “We have ambitious plans to expand the operations of both Emirates and SriLankan. This strategic investment in the latest telecommunications is an important feature of our expansion programme.
He added, “For 15 years, SITA has successfully supported the Group in providing advanced data network services. Now we want to take that extra step - to implement a single multi-service Virtual Private Network (VPN) to support advanced Internet-based solutions provided by our IT division Mercator.”
Roll-out of the new VPN will start at the Group`s main hub centres in Dubai, Colombo, London, New York and Singapore in June, and will take six months to complete.
SITA provides global network services for the air transport industry in 220 countries and territories, offering an end-to-end service in more places than any other provider. Its IP network solutions are also used by many other leading air transport organisations, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Qantas, Worldspan and the Star Alliance.