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Background

Most people attending meetings in distant locales will opt to fly because of efficiency. So when airline staff need to hold meetings, what option do they choose to be more efficient? Air China upgrades their flight operations with the installation of a new video conferencing network by Huawei.

China’s Largest Airline Takes Flight

Air China Limited, also known as Air China, was founded in Beijing in 1988, and is one of the major airlines owned by the China National Aviation Holding Corporation. Air China has branch offices in Zhejiang, Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, and Tianjin, as well as hubs in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. In 2007, Air China officially joined the Star Alliance global aviation agreement. In 2017, the group’s operating income was US$17.92 billion (CNY 121.36 billion), a 7.71 percent year-on-year increase, with a total profit of US$1.70 billion (CNY 11.48 billion) and year-on-year growth of 12.34 percent. The group’s total transportation capacity was 35.67 billion available tonne-kilometers (tkm), up 5.61 percent year-on-year; the total transportation volume was 25.39 billion revenue tkm, which was a 7.12 percent year-on-year rise. In May 2018, Air China ranked fifth on World Air Stewardess Association’s list “Top 10 Safest Airlines in the World” and ranked fourth on their list of “Top 10 Airlines for Comprehensive Competitiveness in the World.”

Headquartered in Beijing, Air China has branches in southwest China, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, and Tianjin, as well as hubs in Shanghai and South China. Air China’s business includes engineering, technical, and corporate aircraft branches. The company is a controlling shareholder of Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation (Ameco) Beijing, Air China Cargo, and Beijing Air Catering. Air China is also a shareholder of Shenzhen Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways. They are the largest shareholder of Shandong Airlines, and a controlling shareholder of Air Macau.

Challenges

Video Conferencing Network Covers 9.6 Million Square Kilometers

Video conferencing is an important method to improve efficiency for a large organization such as Air China. The airline deployed its first videoconferencing system in 2005. After several years of upgrades, the system now covers 76 conference venues — 65 venues throughout Air China’s Beijing headquarters and branch offices, and 11 venues located at its subsidiary companies. The videoconferencing system can support conferences in Standard Definition (SD) with over 10 groups at the same time. It can also support simultaneous 60-way SD (720p) video conferencing.

After almost 10 years of use, the system’s reliability and stability no longer met high performance demands for Air China’s video conferencing needs. The system suffered from poor performance, incompatibility, and limited functionality that impacted the company’s ability to host productive meetings. Faced with limited communications capability, Air China chose to replace the obsolete equipment with an upgraded solution.

Air China defined a number of goals for upgrading their videoconferencing system, including improved stability and increasing the number of conference functions to achieve more effective conferences.

Solution

First-Class Video Conferencing Experience

Huawei’s End-to-End Video Conferencing Solution fully supports 1080p60 Ultra-High-Definition (UHD), and offers backup capabilities for carrier-class reliability. This enables customers to confidently conduct business over their new videoconferencing platform. The Huawei solution is designed to interconnect and integrate with existing office and business systems. This results in a high-level continuity of service. These advantages are why Air China ultimately chose Huawei to help upgrade its videoconferencing system.

Huawei also built a core media resource pool for Air China and completed building the main part of the video conferencing system. The system supports dual-active and load balancing for the core equipment. Huawei created a unified management platform that provides comprehensive equipment and network topology management, as well as fault warnings. This ensures a professional video conferencing experience.

Benefits

Improves Air China’s Operational Effectiveness

Huawei’s videoconferencing solution has helped Air China implement full HD video conferencing and dynamic interactivity with HD video conferencing, dual-displays, and camera tracking possible in all conference rooms. This helps the airline improve the effectiveness of its video conferencing and functionality. Many different conference scenarios have been added to meet Air China’s various needs.

  • Conference room video: Comprehensive improvements to the videoconferencing systems at Air China’s headquarters and branch offices provide the ultimate video and audio experiences. Conference attendees can now clearly see, hear, and interact with each other. The immersive video conferencing rooms are used to hold high-level internal and external video conferences. This enables virtual face-to-face meetings, so executives in different regions can feel like they are in the same room.
  • Desktop video: Desktop video conferencing functions enhance communication methods.
  • Mobile video: Integrating software video and mobile video functions into Air China’s internal instant messaging tool, Air China Wings, links the system with the airline’s office and business systems. This allows a more convenient and efficient conference experience.
  • Also, the openness of the solution allows Air China’s videoconferencing system to interconnect with external systems. The airline can host video conferences with people from other companies to boost efficiency further.

    Air China’s videoconferencing system upgrade has laid the groundwork for continued cooperation between Huawei and Air China. In the future, Huawei’s full-stack digital platform will further improve Air China’s operational efficiency as the airline takes off into the blue skies of a digital future.

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