Trans States Airlines, based in St. Louis, flies approximately 237 routes a day on behalf of United Airlines (as United Express) and American Airlines (as American Eagle), providing service to over 70 cities in North America.
Their commitment to providing safe, reliable and on-time air transportation and to delivering the highest standards in professionalism and customer service means their systems need to be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their phones need to work flawlessly and their data network must be 100% reliable to serve the needs of their crews, carriers, clients and the FAA. Their flight management software, maintenance records, equipment record updates, content network and scheduling system must be operational at all times. No exceptions.
Being reliant on a single communication path for those applications exposed the airline to outage risks. In an effort to mitigate this risk, Trans States Airlines deployed a backup carrier link several years ago. With two MPLS networks that are a combination of T1 and fiber, they intended to implement a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) solution — but the configuration never worked right.
Network outages aren’t just a nuisance for the airline industry. In recent years, outages have cost other airlines millions of dollars in revenues and fines.
“When our links didn’t fail over, we were dead in the water,” said Paul Washburn, Trans States Airlines’ network administrator. “If our team can’t get weather reports, we have to ground aircraft.”
Clarus Communications, a national telecommunications provider and master agent, teamed up with professional services subagent Kb Data to recommend an Ecessa WANworX solution that included software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) features.
With Ecessa’s WANworX, Trans States Airlines not only enjoys fully automatic failover, they now have additional software-defined features that help them conserve resources. The solution’s VPN tunnels create a more stable pathway for Trans States Airlines’ VMware virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) by reducing jitter, lag and drop from remote sites.