has selected SITA Information Networking Computing (INC) to
provide a comprehensive AIRCOM service, enhancing the aircraft
communications capabilities for the airline as it expands over the next
All Etihad Airways aircraft - both today’s fleet and the growing range of
new aircraft - will utilize AIRCOM services, enabling them to communicate
via Very High Frequency (VHF) and Satellite Communications networks,
providing clear air-to-ground communications, real-time engine and aircraft
performance monitoring, etc, resulting in reduced turnaround and ground
AIRCOM supports communications for flight operations, aircraft maintenance
and engineering, air traffic control and cabin administration, as well as
passenger telephony and data services including Short Messaging Service
(SMS) and e-mail. In addition, cockpit telephone systems can be programmed
to give pilots easy access to information and in-flight assistance. Pilots
can also use the satellite telephone service to ask air traffic controllers
for a change of flight plan to avoid bad weather conditions ahead.
Etihad launched operations in November 2003 and expects to have between 8
and 10 aircraft in service by the end of 2004. By 2010, the airline plans
to be operating as many as 50 aircraft to up to 70 destinations worldwide.
“We believe that SITA’s AIRCOM service is the most optimal solution to meet
our needs now and into the future,” said Ahmad Noor, Communications Manager
for Etihad Airways. “SITA has a proven track record in end-to-end solutions
for the aviation industry.”
“SITA’s AIRCOM services will give Etihad the voice and data links it needs,
providing excellent phone quality, even in remote areas, and clear data
communications,” said Jamal El-Hoss, SITA INC’s Regional Vice President for
Sales and Marketing Middle East, Africa and South Central Asia.
SITA is the world’s largest provider of air to ground communication systems
and has operated services via VHF and Satellite since 1985. With a global
network of over 750 VHF radio stations, the AIRCOM Datalink service already
provides communications to 5,000 aircraft from more than 100 airlines
around the world.