Air Canada and IBM have formed a seven-year, C$1.4billion ($900 million) partnership to "e-enable" the airline and build an IT infrastructure which the carrier expects to save it C$200 million. The partners are establishing a marketing alliance which will offer solutions to other companies. The partners will study future capabilities, such as wireless and self-service applications, while IBM will manage all of the airline's IT operations. SITA's aerospace exchange Aerospan has signed up the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) as its latest customers. Six members of the 18 airline grouping have signed the agreement and two of these, Gulf Air and Kuwait Airlines, already use Aerospan. The deal follows a similar agreement with the African Airlines Association. AACO airlines have a purchasing capability of approximately $3.5 billion. Aeroxchange conducted its first fully integrated e-procurement transaction earlier this month. Founding member of the airline-led internet exchange, Cathay Pacific used the portal to purchase 100 items across nine part numbers from airline parts manufacturer Wencor West. Grupo TACA has signed a three-year contract with SITA to use its i-traveldirect product. The service will allow passengers of Aviateca, LACSA, NICA, TACA and TACA Peru to book tickets, select seats and request special meals over the internet. Independent exchange PartsBase has reduced its loss and increased net revenues for the first half of the year, but chief executive Robert Hammond concedes that it is encountering a "slow down" in sales with subscription revenues continuing to fall. Net loss for the first half of the year, excluding stock-based compensation, litigation and other costs, was $3.13 million, down 14% on last year's first half, while revenues climbed to $2.95 million from $1.49 million. To cut costs the exchange has reduced staff and salaries, but it is facing a law suit from shareholders concerning information contained in its initial public offering.

Source: Flight International