Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ national airline and one of the world’s fastest-growing full-service carriers, and global IT and communications provider, SITA, announced a ten-year strategic partnership. The multimillion dollar agreement will provide the airline with the latest global infrastructure solutions, while reducing the cost and complexity of IT. The partnership will underpin Etihad’s vision to be a truly 21st century, global airline, challenging and changing established conventions.
In the decade, SITA will deliver infrastructure and end-user computing solutions powered by the Air Transport Industry (ATI) Cloud, which will ensure up-to-date services are continually available as Etihad expands its global presence.
Etihad is also adopting new innovative services, including SITA CrewTablet, which its cabin crew will use to access passenger and operational data via tablets. This end-to-end mobility solution designed specifically for the airline industry will enhance in-flight services and customer interaction for Etihad’s more than ten million passengers.
In addition, SITA is working with the airline to establish new connectivity solutions at airport gates to enable the most efficient management of Etihad’s next-generation aircraft.
Attending this week’s Air Transport IT Summit, James Hogan, chief executive officer, Etihad, said: "Etihad Airways has enjoyed a productive partnership with SITA since our establishment in 2003. We continue to work together on evolving and new technology which not only will reduce our costs and increase our productivity, but also will contribute to improvements in the service we continue to offer to our guests.
"Our pioneering business model, based on growth through partnership, has seen us invest in five other airlines and initiate discussions to invest in a sixth, making the SITA partnership even more important as we seek technology solutions which will meet our own requirements and increasingly those of our equity airline partners. SITA’s extensive portfolio of infrastructure services can be tailored to our specific needs and most importantly can be deployed quickly across SITA’s global network to support our continued international expansion."
Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA said: "Our partnership with Etihad gives us an opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s leading premium airlines, which is based in the Middle East, a global centre of aviation growth. Our aim is to reduce the complexity of IT by providing flexible, global solutions, so Etihad can focus on customer excellence and growing its business. Together we will explore new solutions that will meet Etihad’s unique demands in the years ahead."
SITA is providing IT services across Etihad’s global network of 89 destinations, as well as its hub in Abu Dhabi. This includes computing solutions powered by the ATI Cloud, including Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), which provides a flexible replacement for traditional PCs in remote office environments, and separate Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which offers scalable, on-demand computing solutions. SITA is also providing onsite support for Etihad’s end-user IT equipment located at their global offices and outstations.
In addition, Etihad will continue to use SITA’s core IT and network solutions, including Type B airline operational messaging, SITA’s flagship Internet Protocol Virtual Private Networks (IP VPN) for global private Intranet services and IP VPN@Airports, which provides shared infrastructure connectivity at airports.
SITA owns and operates the world’s most extensive communications network, which is dedicated to the air transport industry. More than 600 customers use SITA’s IPVPN service and more than 130 airports use IP VPN@Airports.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is one of the world’s leading airlines and has received a range of awards, including ‘World’s Leading Airline’ at the World Travel Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Etihad’s fleet of 73 aircraft operates from its hub in Abu Dhabi, serving an international network of 89 passenger and cargo destinations in 55 countries.
With its codeshare, it enjoys a combined passenger and cargo network of 344 destinations and around 13,000 flights per week, more than any other Middle Eastern airline.