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New connections: Airbus, SITA INC and Tenzing to jointly offer in-flight mobile phone and broadband Internet services

The needs of airlines to equip their aircraft cost-effectively with a full suite of passenger communications services will now be easier to meet…

The needs of airlines to equip their aircraft cost-effectively with a full suite of passenger communications services will now be easier to meet, following today`s announcement that industry leaders Airbus, SITA INC and Tenzing will form a new company. These services will allow passengers to keep in touch via their own mobile phones, laptops and PDAs in flight.

The portfolio of solutions to be offered will meet passengers` expectations to be able to use their own devices and to be billed through their normal mobile operator or Internet Service Provider (ISP). Typical international roaming rates will apply for mobile use and laptop and PDA connectivity will be charged on a usage basis.

The advantage to airlines is the availability of a cost-effective, evolutionary and commercially viable path for full bi-directional broadband communication to and from each aircraft. The services, to be available on Airbus and Boeing aircraft, will be based on technology that offers airlines a minimal up-front capital investment, a straightforward up-grade path to new services, and low overall operating costs.

SITA,as the majority shareholder, will play a leading role in the new company. Francesco Violante, Managing Director of SITA INC, said, The aim of the new company is to become the world`s leading provider of cabin connectivity products and services. These services will seamlessly extend the personal communications world of all travellers to the aircraft cabin. Airlines will benefit by having the ability to tailor the offer to their short and long haul fleets and the control to create the social environment that best suits their passengers. We believe this breakthrough will create a new dimension in airline passenger services.

Patrick Gavin, Executive Vice President of Customer Services at Airbus, said, I see this New Company as the `first-in-the-class` in its business, and capable of providing a fleet-wide, scalable and affordable offer to the airlines and the passengers. The teaming of SITA`s expertise and strength in communication services for the airlines with Tenzing`s unique e-mail/internet capability is a key improvement in the offer available today to our airline customers.

Co-Founder & Managing Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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