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Where available, SITA Express IP* is a preferred solution at the airports we fly to, as it has proven to be easy to implement, reliable and cost effective.

Nick Teale, Worldwide Data Networks Manager, British Airways
Published
12 August 2013

*SITA Express IP has a new name: CommunityConnect DCS.

When British Airways, one of the world’s leading premium airlines, took over bmi from Lufthansa, they were tasked with not only managing the strategic, commercial, human resources and legal implications but also its information and communications technology (ICT).

A fundamental challenge when integrating an airline is to align the ICT that supports day to day operations as quickly as possible.

Business challenges

Various international bmi operated routes serving 14 destinations were scheduled to be taken over and operated by British Airways going forward. As British Airways had no previous presence in these locations, their IT team was tasked to find and implement in the shortest time possible a cost-effective connectivity solution to support common-use check-in services. The aim was to ensure that airport operations could be effectively handled at the newly acquired destinations within a 1 day cut-over and without impacting any scheduled arriving and departing flights.

A seamless cutover from the bmi host system to the new British Airways host was imperative, allowing little time for testing.

Setting the requirements

British Airways success factors for determining the right solution were:

  • Implementing a new connectivity solution at 14 destinations within two to three months.
  • Finding an affordable and cost-efficient solution that fitted their needs.
  • Securely accessing future-proof infrastructure that can support any new applications.
  • Flexibility and compatibility. As part of its overall global strategy, a solution was sought where British Airways could seamlessly tap into existing common-use infrastructure.

Our solution

British Airways selected our network solution ‘SITA Express IP’ for its newly acquired destinations; this would mainly be used for CUTE related activities, such as check-in services and bag tag printing.

Based on an IP VPN infrastructure, SITA Express IP allows airlines to share IP infrastructure and to adopt new technologies as a means of streamlining the airport travel process. The result is that British Airways can capitalize on the ability to increase common use terminal equipment (CUTE) capacity with reduced lead time.

The additional Internet access option is interoperable with all current and future CUTE technology, thus providing a greater degree of flexibility. Our solution allows for predictably priced IP services. Upgrades require simple configuration only.

Benefits of Express IP

  • The infrastructure is already in place. In-house wiring and a simple configuration path can activate a new service within hours or days, instead of weeks.
  • Tail circuits are bundled in the price and shared onsite, making SITA Express IP much more affordable than dedicated IP solutions.
  • SITA Express IP is mission critical by design; no need to compromise Service Level Agreements for the sake of cost.
  • SITA Express IP provides a cost-effective shared network solution for those airport sites where you simply do not require continuously high bandwidth levels: it is a “no more and no less than what you need” solution.

Challenging 1-day cut over

As SITA CUTE was already in place in these 14 locations, British Airways was able to migrate the connectivity at the destinations to SITA Express IP very quickly – so fast that all sites were migrated and connectivity provided in around one month instead of the 2 to 3 months previously expected for airport connectivity cutovers.

To simplify the roll-out for British Airways, SITA’s single point of contact Alexandra Brown – based at the British Airways premises in London Heathrow - had been appointed to entirely project manage the delivery of the new connections so that a swift integration from bmi into British Airways could be guaranteed.

This included close collaboration with the British Airways ordering team and facilitating the entire SITA Express IP ordering process for all sites. Upon implementation, it involved coordinating the required LAN changes for these sites with the central SITA LAN activation team and finally connecting CUTE to the British Airways host.

"To keep things as simple as possible for British Airways, I acted as a single point of contact coordinating the roll-out of this project with over 17 different teams,” says Alexandra Brown, Service Manager, SITA.

Change on a global scale

The 14 impacted sites tapping into SITA Express IP were Addis Ababa, Almaty, Amman, Amritsar, Baku, Beirut, Bergen, Bishkek, Casablanca, Damman, Hanover, Yerevan, Stavanger and Tiblisi.

Did you know that...?

SITA Express IP is available at more than 300 airports spread across over 200 countries. The standard lead time for connecting to SITA Express IP is 15 days. British Airways uses SITA Express IP in 98 cities across 57 countries.

"Where available, SITA Express IP is a preferred solution at the airports we fly to, as it has proven to be easy to implement, reliable and cost effective,” says Nick Teale, Worldwide Data Networks Manager, British Airways.

SITA Community Messaging

As a founding member of SITA, British Airways has always relied on our Community Messaging solutions for distributing operational messages. Today, British Airways exchanges  over 340 million operational messages yearly with 480+ counterparties through SITA, more than 290 million are  Class Availability Messages.

SITA Community Messaging solutions form the backbone of collaboration within the air transport industry. It enables the industry to connect reliably with over 2,400 companies through a fully managed service – today and in the future.

Operational messaging may be invisible, but it’s critical to keep the business going. It underpins every operational aspect of air transport including: commercial and flight operations, ground support baggage and cargo handling, passenger services, and aircraft maintenance.

SITA Community Messaging solutions handles more than 30 billion operational messages every year. It is the leading provider of managed messaging services to the air transport industry. The portfolio consists of Message Distribution, Operational Mail, Transformation, Integration Middleware and Message Intelligence Services.

"We have been working with British Airways since our formation. Today we’re providing British Airways with connectivity at over 190 locations in 88 countries across the globe.” says Sebastien Fabre, Director Integrated Networks. SITA.
 

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