The far-flung air transportation industry stays in touch because SITA sees to it. A telecom and IT services cooperative created by airlines to enable global information sharing, SITA has more than 550 member-owners -- airlines, airports, aerospace companies, travel agencies, and governments -- in more than 200 countries. SITA offers pretty much everything IT-related to air travel -- air traffic control technology, security gates and software, baggage tracking software, cargo management software, ticket-dispensing kiosks, passenger processing software, and wireless in-flight Internet access.
Subsidiaries OnAir (a joint venture with Airbus) and CHAMP Cargosystems (a joint venture with Cargolux) provide in-flight mobile telephony services to airlines and IT services to the air cargo industry. CHAMP Cargosystems expanded its technical abilities and its client base with the acquisition of SOFTAIR, a Switzerland-based developer of supply chain-related software for the air cargo industry.
SITA also expanded its capabilities with partnerships. In 2009 the company signed a $2 billion deal with Orange Business Services for telecom services. In another strategic alliance using wireless Motorola Solutions devices, the SITA Mobile Workforce allows airport employees to handle baggage, manage crews and ground equipment, manage onboard services, and track aircraft refueling and maintenance.
Mobility is not the only IT trend SITA is following. It has also been focusing on developing services in cloud computing, such as the SITA Air Transport Industry Cloud (ATI Cloud), which shares more than 10,000 distributed and shared desktops and servers and is supported by six regional virtual data centers, and virtualizaiton, including a project to consolidate 13 data centers into four. In the realm of another developing technology, the company's Unified Communications system allows communication between any point in a network through integration of messaging, calling, conferencing, and other telecommunications services.
Despite economic conditions surrounding the air transportation industry, SITA continues to be a profitable endeavor, since so many travel companies and governments rely on its products and services.
SITA (formerly Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques) was founded in 1949. – less