Saskatoon-based TSI lands air­line con­tract

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Business - By Cas­san­dra Kyle

Eight years ago, Ter­mi­nal Sys­tems In­ter­na­tional (TSI) set its sights on work­ing with the coun­try’s largest air­line.

A short 96 months later, the Saskatoon-based flight in­for­ma­tion sys­tems com­pany saw its goal turn into re­al­ity when it was awarded a con­tract to pro­vide exclusive flight in­for­ma­tion ser­vice to Air Canada.

The deal, which be­gins in the six­fig­ure range and could move into the seven-fig­ure zone if the con­tract is ex­tended, is a tes­ta­ment to the com­pany’s in­dus­try lead­er­ship, said David Reid, TSI’s CEO.

“It’s kind of nice to be in a po­si­tion whereby you fi­nally get rec­og­nized by some­body you’ve courted for as long as we’ve courted them,” Reid said about ob­tain­ing the con­tract two weeks ago.

TSI’s work be­gins in 13 of the coun­try’s largest air­ports, in­clud­ing Saskatoon and Regina, by con­fig­ur­ing and dis­tribut­ing Air Canada flight in­for­ma­tion back to the air­ports. The Saskatoon com­pany will then re­place Air Canada sys­tems with TSI’s com­pact Flight In­for­ma­tion Data Sys­tems, or FIDSin-a-box, for in­ter­nal flight in­for­ma­tion sys­tems. If the con­tract is ex­tended, the com­pany could be mov­ing on to do work for the air­line in Canada’s smaller air­ports as well as in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nals.

Cur­tis

Reid,

TSI’s

vice-pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions and David Reid’s son, be­lieves Air Canada’s de­ci­sion re­flects the rep­u­ta­tion the small com­pany has built for it­self in the in­dus­try. While the con­tract with Air Canada is the com­pany’s first deal with an air­line, it al­ready does busi­ness in 42 air­ports in North, Cen­tral and South Amer­ica as well as Asia.

“The (Cana­dian) air­ports are all happy that Air Canada is go­ing with us and they just couldn’t be­lieve Air Canada would go with TSI in­stead of IBM,” Cur­tis said.

“Now that we have the ma­jor­ity of Cana­dian air­ports, it’s a log­i­cal de­ci­sion for them to use us for their op­er­a­tional dis­tri­bu­tion as well.”

Busi­ness is boom­ing for the com­pany, said Reid. In Novem­ber, Pro­moware Corp., a sis­ter com­pany to TSI, launched its Ho­tel Flight In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem to much suc­cess.

The sys­tem, which was in­stalled in about a dozen ho­tels in Canada and the United States by the end of 2007, dis­plays lo­cal air­port flight in­for­ma­tion in ho­tel lob­bies and was de­signed so trav­ellers could spend more time at the ho­tel and less time at the air­port if flights were de­layed.

The com­pany is also about one-third of the way through in­stalling data sys­tems at an air­port in Peru.

Work has al­ready be­gun on the Air Canada con­tract, said Reid. The first phase of the con­tract is ex­pected to be com­plete by Aug. 16.

ck­yle@sp.canwest.com

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