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Wed 13 Aug 2008 05:08 PM

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Middle East Airlines makes connection with SITA

MEA signs five year contract with SITA for IP VPN connection for worldwide sites

Lebanon’s national airline Middle East Airlines has signed a $3 million contract with aviation IT specialist SITA to deploy an IP Virtual Private Network (VPN) across all of the airline’s sites worldwide.

The five year agreement will connect the airline’s headquarters at the Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, and nineteen other offices, through SITA’s own global VPN, to improve performance and security.

The project will take the airline from relying on 8kbps or 16kbps connections, or occasionally local internet connection, to a secure VPN connection with at least 64kbps performance.

Adib Chreif, chief information officer of Middle East Airlines said: “SITA’s IP VPN will enable us to connect our offices around the world reliably and seamlessly through one service provider. The IP VPN network will improve the effectiveness of our business applications and cut down on our operating costs. SITA has demonstrated that it has the advanced technologies, industry expertise, and round-the-clock support required to meet our evolving communication needs.”

MEA is running a number of applications over the VPN, including the Gaetan reservation/inventory/departure control application, Oracle financials, cargo scheduling and communications. The network will also be able to cater to any future requirements of the airline.

Hani El Assaad, SITA regional vice-president, Middle East & Turkey said: “SITA is very glad that despite the various challenges faced in Lebanon in recent times, we were able to work closely with Middle East Airlines to understand their business and address the challenges together to make this IP migration a success. It clearly demonstrates MEA’s commitment to provide their global customer base with the latest and best services to simplify their travel.

“The new solutions will help MEA by adding more flexibility, security and bandwidth to their network-supported services over SITA’s (IP VPN) secure network, the world’s largest private communications network,” he added.

SITA’s global team will handle installation and service at each of the remote sites.

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