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Emirates Group signs with SITA to upgrade IP network

Emirates Group and SITA sign five year deal, worth $60 million to upgrade and extend IP network, over the next six months. Project will also introduce VPN functionality.

Emirates Group in conjunction with SITA, is upgrading and extending its huge, high speed IP network for Emirates Airlines and strategic partner SriLankan Airlines.

The five year contract, worth in excess of $60 million, will connect Emirates and SriLankan personnel in 90 offices across 61 countries.

Once implemented the data network will significantly reduce communications costs.

“For decades the airline industry has found it hard to maintain profitability because of its high cost base. Now there are concrete ways of reducing costs and improving productivity and service,” said John Watson, SITA’s director general, during a speech to the Arab Air Carriers Organisation AGM.

Watson went on to add that infrastructure investment was “the best way to realise the commercial opportunities of Internet-based applications that point to the future of the aviation industry — a future characterised by lower costs, [greater] profitability and better customer service."

The rollout of the extended network will begin at Emirates Group’s main centres in Dubai, Colombo, London, New York and Singapore in June. The project will take an estimated six months to complete. The deal will also enhance the security of the network, with the introduction of virtual private network services.

“We have ambitious plans to expand the operations both Emirates and SirLankan. This strategic investment in the latest telecommunications is an important feature of our extension programme,” said Hugh Pride, director of information technology, with Emirates Group.

“For 15 years, SITA has successfully supported the Group in providing data network services. We want to take that extra step — to implement a single multi-service VPN to support advanced Internet-based solutions provided by IT division Mercator.

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