The days when Europe-based airways were dominating the market are gone, as competition from the Middle East is growing strong. After several acquisitions, Etihad Airways managed to become one of the most important players. Also, they managed to fix a new deal with a very important technology company.
According to Value Walk, Etihad Airways and IBM agreed on a $700 million deal this Tuesday, consisting in building an information technology network. To be more specific, the main purpose is upgrading the airline’s reservations system and, in the same time, reduce costs in network operations.
A new data center will rise
The same source claims IBM will develop a new technology able to predict weather patterns, in order to improve the management process for the flights, designed for the Abu Dhabi hub. Besides this, it will also integrate a customer analytics platform. Finally, IBM will build a data center close to Abu Dhabi too.
After the deal is done, about 100 Etihad Airways employees will become IBM’s.
“We want to invest in innovation,” said Robert Webb, Etihad’s CIO/CTO, in a recent interview. “We want technology to be pervasive throughout the business,” he added.
IBM is just another name on a big list
Before teaming up with IBM, the airline company also signed deals with names like Panasonic Avionics, SAP or Sabre Holdings, spending millions for minority stakes in small airlines, like Air Berlin, Alitalia or India’s Jet Airways Ltd.
As for IBM, Etihad Airways is not their only important partner. The tech giant is currently working with Deutsche Lufthansa AG, after a $1.14 billion contract was signed last year, in order to revamp their IT network.
Most likely, this won’t be the latest deal signed by the airline company, as they’re hardly trying to improve the quality of their services and become an even bigger player on this market.