China Eastern is not only one of China’s big three airlines but also one of the top 10 airlines in terms of annual passenger numbers in the world. Its entrance to the SkyTeam Alliance and overall network expansion plans triggered China Eastern to rethink the way of sharing operational and commercial related data with its partners – SITA Community Messaging proved to be the solution.
- Like many other airlines, China Eastern decided to boost its online sales by selecting online travel agent partners to sell seats globally. In a highly competitive and rapidly growing e-commerce market, online travel agents need to have accurate and reliable information about available seats at any given point in time. Prior to using SITA Community Messaging, China Eastern was using direct links between their host provider and its top online travel agent to share this data. China Eastern realized that the direct links did not deliver the expected service reliability and performance, which negatively impacted the sales experience. So China Eastern started to look for a more reliable service that would support a larger volume of data exchange and at the same time bring cost savings to the airline.
“We selected SITA as our no. 1 messaging partner because they offered the best ROI. They have really simplified how we exchange business-critical information with our partners and enabled us to focus on our core business,” according to Yan Zhenghong, IT General Manager, China Eastern.
- In parallel, China Eastern faced the excitement and challenge of joining the SkyTeam Alliance. Such a milestone is critical and implies the implementation of more interlining and codeshare agreements. An increasing volume of operational and commercial data would need to be exchanged with its new alliance members. To ensure a smooth integration in the SkyTeam Alliance, China Eastern had to adapt its messaging distribution service on three levels which were also the main pre-requisites for choosing the right partner: volume, reliability and cost.
"Community Messaging evolves with technology and the changing business practices of our customers. Our strength is our unique ability to offer agile and cost-effective messaging solutions that respond to changing needs,” says Dominique El Bez, Director, Community Messaging Solutions.
China Eastern addressed both challenges by choosing SITA Community Messaging and more specifically its Availability Status message (AVS) distribution package as the suitable messaging solution. This sends data between their host provider, GDS, partner airlines and other sales channels, supporting their transition into a world-class airline.
In the first month of its introduction into Skyteam, China Eastern’s volume of data exchange increased significantly. This required a cost-effective solution.
A new way of collaborating
Today, China Eastern no longer needs direct links to share data as they have selected our Community Messaging solution as their single access point to connect and collaborate with the largest community of air transport industry professionals.
By using SITA’s Community Messaging, China Eastern enjoys the benefits of using a fully managed service. The complexity of exchanging day-to-day business-critical operational messages with hundreds of companies and thousands of destinations in a heterogeneous IT environment becomes transparent and simple. Connect once and collaborate with all.
Our messaging intelligence, the transparency we provide and the reliability of our services are just a few of the features why China Eastern selected us.
China Eastern and SITA have a longstanding relationship starting in 1990 when the airline joined SITA and was reinforced through a recently signed three-year contract.
China Eastern is also a global user of SITATEX, the leading operational mail service. From over 50 international locations, their staff use the user-friendly SITATEX mail service to exchange operational information with their business partners that include station managers and ground handlers. The service is also used for disruption management of flight handling.
SITATEX handles over 800 million messages every year and connects over 20,000 users.
SITA community messaging facts
- The largest air transport community of over 2,400 customers, including airlines, airports, governments, ground handlers and OEMs. We handle over 30 billion messages per year.
- Follow-the-sun support model and a fully redundant infrastructure. Over 99.99% service availability has been reported on our messaging services during the last 12 months. A recent survey of 220 customers reported 98.6% are satisfied or very satisfied with SITA Community Messaging services.