SITA appointed by Virgin Atlantic as network guardian

SITA appointed by Virgin Atlantic as network guardian

Aviation communications specialist SITA today announced their appointment by Virgin Atlantic as the airline’s Network Guardian with primary responsibility for all voice and data IT services, which will result in a significant reduction in network communication costs.

The five-year, multi-million dollar partnership with Virgin Atlantic covers in excess of 100 sites worldwide. It progressively moves full responsibility for a diverse range of services from multiple providers to SITA including; international and domestic IP VPN, voice (IPT and PBX), Managed LAN, cabling, core network support, Vendor Management Services and Service Management.

Tim Livett, Director of Finance and Business Services, Virgin Atlantic Airways, said: “Our mission at Virgin Atlantic dictates that we grow a profitable airline and to achieve this we constantly examine every element of our business. By consolidating the delivery of voice and data services from approximately 40 suppliers to a single supplier, SITA, we will improve the delivery of a high quality service to the business whilst we are achieving significant economies of scale and reducing the cost of delivery.”

Matthew Billings, Head of IT Services, Virgin Atlantic Airways, said: “The financial savings are fundamental to our goal of driving down the overall cost base of delivery of IT to the business but as Head of IT I am also assured that our newly extended partnership with SITA will enable us to deliver other strategic initiatives including global supplier consolidation, service standardisation and improved Service Levels to our end users. Our company values are well aligned and our teams are closely integrated – we see the SITA team as a seamless extension of our own IT department.”

“We will have the added benefits of simplified supplier management, faster deployment, improved reporting and reduced incident resolution times. All of these are hugely valuable in addition to the monetary savings.”


Airlines have suffered from the organic growth of their voice and data solutions which in many cases has resulted in complex, unmanaged interfaces, the existence of non-standard solutions, major service overlaps and consequently, a high cost of support. The role of Network Guardian includes the standardisation and simplification of the delivery of these services, driving cost savings and improved service levels.

Rob Watkins, Regional Vice President for Northern Europe, SITA, said: “As Virgin Atlantic’s Network Guardian, SITA will be in a position to focus on the airline’s overall business objectives rather than the delivery of any single, specific technology. The immediate cost savings will be strengthened by our experience and understanding of the air transport industry. Virgin will also benefit from our drive for innovation and continuous improvement in the provision of IT and communications.”

The service has commenced and full transition to SITA as the single supplier will be completed by summer 2010.