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LONDON - 31 July 2007 – India’s international flag carrier, Air India, today announced that it is joining over 180 other leading airlines around the world as a user of SITA's air ground communications services for both voice and data link.

Air India Chairman and Managing Director, V. Thulasidas, said, "SITA’s worldwide AIRCOM network is critically important to us as an international airline flying to over 40 destinations. We can fly anywhere in the world knowing that our voice and data communication needs will be covered by the most reliable VHF and Satellite AIRCOM voice and data service available in aviation today.

"We will be using SITA's AIRCOM Server which is a turnkey solution for airline implementation of the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System known as ACARS. In addition to straightforward communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, ACARS also allows, for example, the uploading of weather and flight plans and downloading of engine performance data which will help us to reduce costs and maximise our IT investment.”

Globally, SITA operates over 850 VHF ground stations in over 160 countries making it the world’s largest private data radio network.

Francesco Violante, SITA CEO said, “Air India has been a member of SITA since 1952 and we are very pleased to be part of a new chapter in the airline’s business development. In addition to the global coverage we can provide, we are also investing heavily in our AIRCOM network in India and will be adding another 13 VHF ground stations to the ten which are already operational across the country.”

The Airports Authority of India has pioneered the use of SITA’s data link service in its oceanic airspace that covers the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea which delivers operational benefits enabled by remote airspace surveillance and data link communications between air traffic controllers and pilots.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Sales Director, India and South Asia, said, “We are very pleased to welcome Air India into the SITA AIRCOM family which already includes three other main players in Indian aviation Jet Airways, JetLite and Kingfisher. With the support of SITA, data link communications is becoming standard around the world and the ability to depend on data rather than voice communications relieves pressure on pilots. AIRCOM Server will also support cost savings in areas like flight dispatch, maintenance and fuel control.”

More than 8,000 commercial aircraft operated by over 180 airlines, use the SITA AIRCOM service. These aircraft all use the VHF AIRCOM data link service and 2,000 of them also use the Satellite AIRCOM voice and data service.

About SITA

SITA is the world's leading service provider of integrated IT business solutions and communication services for the air transport industry. SITA manages complex communication solutions for its air transport, government and GDS customers over the world's most extensive communication network, complemented by consultancy in the design, deployment and integration of communication services. Its broad range of airline and airport IT applications and services includes airport operations and integrated baggage services, common use and desktop services, flight operations and air-to-ground communications and end-to-end airline distribution and fares services.

SITA has two main subsidiaries: OnAir, which is leading the race to bring in-flight mobile telephony to the market, and CHAMP Cargosystems, the world's only IT company solely dedicated to air cargo. SITA also operates two joint ventures providing services to the air transport community: Aviareto for aircraft asset management and CertiPath for secure electronic identity management. In addition, SITA sponsors .aero, the Internet top level domain reserved exclusively for aviation.

SITA covers 220 countries and territories and the head office is in Geneva, Switzerland. SITA had consolidated revenues of US$1.481 billion (€ 1.194 billion) in 2006.

Further information can be found at www.sita.aero.

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For further information please contact:-

Joanna Masson / Mandy Meredith
Octopus Communications for SITA
T: +44 (0) 845 3700655
E: sita@octopuscomms.net

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Octopus Communications in the following categories: Computing & Telecoms, Transport & Logistics, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.