Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – SITA, the leading specialist in air transport IT and communications (IT&C), has announced that it has signed a five-year, $76 million contract to implement and maintain an advanced communications and desktop infrastructure for Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV) globally. The hybrid network solution will facilitate the introduction of a broad range of new applications including a new passenger management system.
The new project will help the 18-million passenger airline to reduce its communications-related costs significantly, become more flexible and provide its customers and staff with advanced, future-proof services with mobility access over SITA’s (IP-VPN) secured network, the largest private network in the world.
Dr Omar Jefri, VP of information technology at Saudi Arabian Airlines, said: “This project represents the second part of a two-phase project which initially commenced in June 2006 to renovate our IT and communications infrastructure. The new SITA network and desktop infrastructure will connect 250 of our offices, covering more than 100 cities and airports across 60 countries.
“For such a large-scale, advanced and complicated project, SITA stood out as the obvious choice. SITA is the only company which can handle projects of this size not only with limited risks and high chances of success but also providing a portfolio of innovative solutions and services that will enable us to better meet our future business goals and privatization plans.”
New enterprise resource planning system, flight planning and cargo applications
In addition to a new passenger management system, Saudi Arabian Airlines also plans to implement a new enterprise resource planning system, flight planning and a range of new cargo applications across the SITA-provided communications infrastructure.
Commenting on this project, Hani El Assaad, SITA regional vice-president for the Middle East and Turkey, said: “With the current state of the global economy, the aviation industry is evaluating different options that cut costs and equip airline staff with effective technology. This is where SITA will be using its domain and industry know-how to help Saudi Arabian Airlines deliver on all these needs with the aid of customized state-of-the-art IT solutions.
“This project represents another milestone in a successful 40-year-old relationship between SITA and Saudi Arabian Airlines. This reflects a mutual understanding, respect and trust between both parties, and we are privileged to be working with SV.”
Multi-purpose hybrid network with scalable data and voice services for outstations
SITA will be responsible for all technical needs that are related to desktop, local area networks (LAN), telephony, security, and WAN connectivity for all Saudi Arabian Airlines’ outstations worldwide. In this respect, the SITA solution includes the creation of a multi-purpose hybrid network through state-of-the-art technologies in the networking domain that offer secure, reliable, and scalable data and voice services to all of Saudi Arabian Airlines’ outstations.
With SITA solutions fully deployed, all Saudi Arabian Airlines’ sales, GSAs, cargo, catering, flight operations, technical services, and airport offices will benefit from the latest technologies that allow them to utilize a single telecom connectivity to cater for all data and voice needs, thus reducing the costs of multiple telecom lines. Saudi Arabian Airlines will also be capable of running the latest TCP/IP-based applications, which are part of their plan to improve efficiency and overall productivity.
IT, LAN and telephony equipment renovation
SITA will be in charge of renovating all of the desktop equipment (computers, printers, etc.), LANs and telephony equipment at all the outstations. In addition, SITA will be responsible for deployment, post-deployment support and maintenance services of all systems implemented in this project.