SITA has announced that China’s largest international carrier and the world’s most profitable airline, Air China, has selected SITA, the air transport communications specialist, to be the main service provider of its global network and desktop communications.
This comes at a time when the airline is experiencing 45% growth in its passenger numbers.
In this multi-million dollar, three-year deal, SITA will provide the sixty-million passenger airline with a global IP VPN enterprise network. This includes an end-to-end managed solution to provide high-service level standards and infrastructure to support Air China’s business application rollout. The agreement covers 83 nodes for the airline’s Beijing headquarters and offices in Europe, America and Asia Pacific.
Li Qiang, general manager, IT, Air China, said: "Air China’s selection of SITA means that we have the air transport industry’s communications specialist supporting our global operations."
"In addition, by moving from our current, legacy network to SITA’s advanced systems we will immediately save 30-40% of our running costs while also becoming capable to take advantage of the latest technologies like cloud computing and also full integration of data, voice and video."
SITA will reduce Air China’s unit costs by up to 40% with a service supporting both business-critical and non-critical applications. This resilient network will ensure business continuity and the highest service level standard as the airline continues to expand. The platform is also ready for the rollout of future business applications and multimedia integration by Air China.
David Fu, SITA country director, China, said: "This agreement is the first of its kind in mainland China. SITA is providing a total end-to-end solution including network and desktop for the airline’s overseas operations.
"Our unique position in the global air transport industry means that we can support Air China as it grows and expands in airports around the world. Also, with this network upgrade we will enable Air China to implement the latest applications and maintain its operational efficiency."
Air China is the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, based in Beijing. The airline is the world’s most profitable, reporting a net profit of CNY12bn (US$1.83 billion) in 2010. It carried 60 million passengers to 138 destinations in 2010, up 45% from the previous year.