IT in travel
SITA - a global link with local support
Aleading provider of information and telecommunications solutions to the air transport industry for more than 50 years, SITA offers fully managed end-to-end or desktop-to-desktop solutions, with global service backed by local support.The company provides its services to 740 air transport industry members and 1,800 customers in over 220 countries and territories. "SITA's portfolio of value-added information technology (IT) solutions are provided to the air transport industry over a single, seamless global voice and data network - the largest in the world," says a SITA spokesman. "It aims to be the first-choice partner for the provision of the entire integrated IT and telecommunications infrastructure for air transport organisations worldwide. "It is already the trusted partner and service provider to almost all airlines, travel and global distribution companies - as well as to numerous airport authorities, aerospace and air-freight companies, and governmental organisations." SITA says its business is based around two main areas: Application services and a wide portfolio of customer infrastructure and desktop services. And it is providing increasingly sophisticated solutions to support and simplify every step of a passenger's journey or a shipment of cargo - from reservation to safe and timely arrival. "E-commerce and e-business applications, along with Application Service Provision (ASP) are areas of strong focus and are fully integrated with SITA's desktop and network infrastructure solutions," said the spokesman. The company recorded revenues of over $1.57 billion last year. SITA's main activities are: E-business, ASP and IP services: SITA is taking a leading role in transforming e-business within the air transport industry. It has an independent Application Service Provider (ASP) venture with SAP, and with Aerospan, the comprehensive, neutral, e-marketplace to enable the global air transport industry to plan, source, buy, sell and collaborate online. These ventures form a major part of SITA's e-business capability to help customers reduce costs, improve efficiency, automate transactions and take benefit of web-based solutions. These are complementary to SITA's digital certification service and portal, sponsored by Airbus, for the distribution of technical documentation, called IDIS (Interactive Distributed Information and Support). SITA has also been chosen by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to implement registration services for '.aero', the top-level domain name for the air transport industry. IP and network infrastructure: SITA is leading the migration to network computing and IP solutions for global high-speed and Internet-related services with customers across the world, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and KLM. It also supports a full portfolio of managed network services and offers a growing range of emerging technologies including integrated voice and data over IP; wireless; mobile; security; customer information and service management solutions. Desktop end-to-end solutions: With over 20 years specific desktop experience and managing over 150,000 units of customer equipment worldwide, SITA provides a complete desktop integration solution - covering design, implementation and maintenance of the desktop and local infrastructure environment. A recent contract for desktop infrastructure provision has been signed with British Airways. SITA has a current network outsourcing portfolio of over $1 billion with leading airlines and global distribution services and a number of other air transport customers worldwide. Application Services: As the largest single provider of industry and enterprise solutions to the air transport community, SITA continues to strengthen and expand its range of applications and integrated services covering airlines, airports, aircraft, governments and aerospace, the company said. Airline - Created by the airlines and with over 50 years' dedicated industry experience, SITA's portfolio of value-added solutions includes integrated reservation and booking solutions to manage fares analysis, passenger reservation and automated ticketing; baggage solutions; flight management services; and aeronautical mobile services air-ground communication among other services. Airport - Providing services to more than 500 airports on six continents, SITA is driving the total integration of all technology systems and helping airports to combat congestion, maximise limited resources, improve operating efficiencies, reduce costs and help identify new streams of revenue. Its 'Airport in a Box' integrates all critical airport applications, network, hardware and support systems to automate and combine both operational and business activities. Aircraft - SITA Aircraft Services provides airlines with air-ground communications for flight operations, aircraft maintenance and engineering, air traffic control and cabin administrative communications, as well as inflight e-mail, web access, telephone and fax services for passengers. A total of 990 commercial aircraft of more than 40 airlines, and over 500 corporate aircraft routinely use SITA's Aircom for air-ground communications, more than any Inmarsat service provider. Aerospace - Aeronet - the world's first Intranet - now has over 100 users, and using industry forums such as the Aerospace Focus Group, AeroNet Technical Advisory Board and the establishment of the Digital Certification Workgroup, SITA continues to develop and provide IT solutions specifically for the air transport industry. Government - SITA's iBorders' portfolio of integrated services enables governments to streamline passenger processing while considerably improving border security management. Over 200 airlines, forwarders and ground handling agents worldwide use SITA's cargo management solutions, managing the operating environment at some 140 airports. SITA has the world's largest multi-hosted cargo automation service, SuperCargo, currently in use by over 50 airlines worldwide, processing over 6 million airwaybills in 2000.