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Tenzing signs distributor for in-flight e-mail system


March 19, 2002

Tenzing Communications Inc. of Seattle said its in-flight e-mail service will be offered to the corporate and private aircraft market through Baker Electronics Inc., a well-established installer of communications and entertainment systems for aviation.

Tenzing said its software, distributed by Baker as CabinLink, will enable passengers using laptops or on-board workstations to securely send and receive e-mail and browse up-to-the-minute news, business, sports and other information. The software is installed on Baker's CabinLAN server, which connects to any of the existing air-to-ground communications systems.

Tenzing spokeswoman Laura Alikpala said installing a server can cost between $50,000 and $80,000. She said the system can typically use a plane's existing communications wiring.

"We're getting a huge amount of interest," she said. "Baker has been very successful in promoting the product."

Financial details of the deal with Sarasota, Fla.-based Baker were not disclosed. The first scheduled installation will be on a Dassault Falcon 900 aircraft, Tenzing said.

Tenzing, in which Airbus Industrie owns a 30 percent stake, in October cut its work force by half to about 70, citing the sharp downturn in commercial aviation. Alikpala said the company has since hired a few new employees.

In June, Tenzing said Air Canada would become the first North American airline to install its Internet service on an entire fleet. But Alikpala said that in the wake of Sept. 11, the company is "still in negotiations with Air Canada" over the planned installations.

Copyright © 2002 American City Business Journals Inc.


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