Managing the world's air travel from Montreal

SITA opens unique command centre to manage the global operations of 3,200 air transport customers

MONTREAL, May 25 /CNW/ - The world's first global command centre dedicated to the air transport industry was launched today in Montreal. This unique facility, operated by SITA, the specialist provider of air transport communications and IT solutions, will monitor and manage mission-critical systems for the industry that transports over two billion passengers each year.

SITA's Command Centre is manned 24/7 by teams of IT experts who have real-time visibility of the IT and communications systems in use at airports, in airlines and aircraft by SITA's 3,200 customers. This real-time visibility enables SITA to proactively monitor and manage the systems so that issues can be mitigated before they arise, or resolved quickly and efficiently.

Just about every airport or airline in the world does business with SITA and from Montreal the operations of more than 300 airports and 2,000 airlines will be supported.

Francesco Violante, SITA CEO, said: "IT systems and communications are the backbone of the industry's business activity supporting mission-critical operations. Now, for the first time, in this centre in Montreal, we at SITA have brought air-to-ground, airport, data centre and network support together under one roof. We have invested in this centre to ensure the most integrated and proactive operational management possible for our customers around the world.

"Here we have gathered our teams of operational experts and invested in the most advanced automation, monitoring and process management tools. Together these will improve agility and effectiveness of our customer service delivery. Our team in Montreal will work with our 1,500 customer service staff based around the world at, or near, our customer operations."

Through the use of more than 10,000 routers, which have been installed at each of its customer airline and airport sites worldwide, SITA now has unique visibility at the edge of the air transport industry's communications network allowing its specialists to monitor activity and to be aware of issues where customer connections are impacted.

SITA's extensive visibility involves the management of more than 300 vendor relationships with service providers globally. SITA can not only rapidly inform the customer of any possible disruption but can also work with the vendors to quickly resolve any issues. In particular, Orange Business Services, as the industry's primary network provider, will have a team based in SITA's Command Centre in Montreal to ensure a unified level of service and enhanced responsiveness globally.

"SITA's major investment in Montréal once again highlights our city's leadership in aerospace and telecommunications," said the City of Montréal executive committee member responsible for economic development, infrastructures and roads, Richard Deschamps. "Montréal's position at the crossroads of Europe and North America places it in a unique strategic geographic location that greatly influences the decisions of large corporations such as SITA, which chose Montréal to establish its first global Command Centre for the air transport industry. This is big news for Montréal," added Mr. Deschamps.

Violante added: "This command centre is visionary and will support our customers' globally distributed complex IT systems and networks. Our investment here, and in a second command centre which we will open in Singapore later this year, will provide "follow-the-sun" operational support. This will ensure more consistent, responsive and proactive service support and reduce disruptions or downtime for our 3,200 customers."

All of SITA's operations for its customers worldwide will be managed from Montreal including; airport check-in services; self-service web, kiosk and mobile applications; baggage management and tracking; passenger management solutions including reservations, inventory and ticketing; messaging and network operations. In addition, SITA's AIRCOM services which are used by more than 220 airlines worldwide for air to ground communications will be monitored from here.

Dave Bakker, Senior Vice President, SITA Global Services, said: "The opening of this, the first of our two Command Centres, is a significant step in our strategy to provide the highest levels of continuous service and management to our global customers. With our real-time visibility and management of all applications and infrastructure through one unified global team we can provide "best-in-class" service."

More than 90 staff will operate SITA's Command Centre bringing the SITA staffing in Montreal to over 220. The team will consist of network and infrastructure specialists, process and quality assurance analysts and customer service technical support representatives who between them have hundreds of years experience in the air transport industry. The 24/7 operation is a true centre of excellence and strengthens the long-established relationship Montreal, which is the home of the headquarters of IATA and ICAO, has with the air transport industry.

    
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    About SITA
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SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions. SITA delivers and manages business solutions for airline, airport, GDS, government and other customers over the world's most extensive network, which forms the communications backbone of the global air transport industry.

SITA's portfolio includes managed global communications, infrastructure and outsourcing services, as well as services for airline commercial management and passenger operations, flight operations, aircraft operations and air-to-ground communications, airport management and operations, baggage operations, transportation security and border management, cargo operations and more. With a customer service team of over 1,600 staff around the world, SITA invests significantly in achieving best-in-class customer service, providing integrated local and global support for both its communications and IT application services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is the leading provider of in-flight connectivity, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company dedicated solely to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management.

SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for around 550 air transport industry members and 3,200 customers in over 200 countries and territories. In 2009, the company celebrated 60 years in business. Set up in 1949 with 11 member airlines, SITA today employs people of more than 140 nationalities, speaking over 70 different languages. SITA had consolidated revenues of over US$1.49 billion in 2009.

For further information go to www.sita.aero

SOURCE SITA

For further information: For further information: The Wordshop, Charlie Pryor, Director, Tel: +44 (0)20 7031 8270, Email: cp@theword-shop.com

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