HONG KONG --- AT&T today announced that it has won a major contract in the Asian airline industry by winning a global networking service contract with Air China, the mainland's biggest airline. The multi-million dollar deal includes both connectivity and network management services covering 48 sites in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the US.
Air China asked AT&T to transform its corporate network to an IP-enabled global network platform, which will allow Air China to improve its operating efficiency and enhance internal communications. Air China's customers will in turn benefit from enhanced services and greater reliability. AT&T will provide global networking solutions that support Air China's rapidly expanding international business operations, including its passenger reservation system, customer management, frequent flyer program, operation information, cargo and airplane planning systems.
"China's strong economic growth is driving healthy demand for air travel and air transport services, both domestically and internationally. At the same time, airline companies all over the world are under enormous pressure to provide ever-greater quality of service and returns on their investment," said Mr. Huang Jianxiong, Vice General Manager, Information Technology Centre.
"We are delighted to be working with AT&T as we expand our international operations because AT&T has an unrivalled reputation globally for quality and service. AT&T also has a strong local presence in all of the markets where we do business, so it can provide the globally consistent and scalable solution we need around the world," added Mr. Huang.
"We are very excited to be working with Air China," said Bill King, General Manager of AT&T Greater China Group. "Air China's mission critical international networking needs fit well with AT&T's global solutions and state-of-the-art infrastructure. This contract and others that we've won recently prove that AT&T has gained the trust and confidence of large Chinese enterprises."
"With millions of transactions and real time information sharing each and every day, airlines like Air China demand reliable and dependable network infrastructure. We're delighted that Air China has chosen to entrust their networking needs to AT&T," Mr. King said.
Under the agreement, AT&T will provide end-to-end global Frame Relay services supplemented by bilateral International Private Leased Circuits (IPLC) to link Air China's global network and data center in Beijing with its branches offices around the world. On the network management side, AT&T will provide Managed Network Services from its Global Client Support Centre (GCSC). As one of AT&T's regional hubs, the GCSC will constantly monitor the entire Air China network and provide early fault diagnosis and prevention services, as well as monitor the network performance to help ensure maximum efficiency.
Headquartered in Beijing, Air China is the largest air carrier in China in terms of traffic volume and company assets. The revenue of Air China in 2002 reached 23.19 billion Yuan (equivalent to US$2.79 billion). It operates 322 international and domestic routes with more than 2472 scheduled flights on weekly basis, including 56 international flights and 266 domestic flights. It has 48 overseas representative offices and 29 domestic offices with over 23,000 employees worldwide. In recognition of Air China's outstanding safety record, the International Civil Aviation Organization awarded the Honorary Medal to Air China. In addition, China's State Council and General Administration of Civil Aviation also awarded Air China with the "National Safe Flight Pacesetter" award.
AT&T is among the premier voice, video and data communications companies in the world, serving businesses, consumers, and government. The company runs the largest, most sophisticated communications network in the US, backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs. A leading supplier of data, Internet and managed services for the public and private sectors, AT&T offers outsourcing and consulting to large businesses and government. The company is a market leader in local, long distance and Internet services, as well as transaction-based services like prepaid cards, collect calling and directory assistance. With approximately US$37 billion of revenue, AT&T has relationships with about 50 million consumers and 4 million business customers, who depend on AT&T for high-quality communications. AT&T has garnered several awards for outstanding performance and customer service. AT&T Wins Global Networking Service Contract For Air China