The 10-year agreement covers Etihad and its partner firms across Europe and Asia. Etihad Airways partner airlines include Alitalia, airberlin, Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional. Etihad Airways carried 14.8 million passengers in 2014, and serves 113 passenger and cargo destinations.
The focus of the IT deal is to allow the airline to enhance guest experience, develop IT infrastructure and security, and improve efficiency.
IBM said its technology services will be allowing Etihad Airways and its partners to transform their IT infrastructure into flexible and agile cloud-based platforms to better serve their guests and employees.
The cloud, analytics, mobile, security and cognitive technologies will drive increased efficiencies and effectiveness for all Etihad Airways businesses, as well as for the Etihad Airways Partners.
The agreement includes plans for the creation of a new cloud data center in Abu Dhabi.
IBM and Etihad Airways will create a technology and innovation council in Abu Dhabi to develop more personalised travel solutions using IBM’s global research capabilities and the airline’s industry expertise.
Robert Webb, chief information and technology officer of Etihad Airways, said: “This agreement, a fundamental part of our technology and innovation strategy, will bring us a global IT delivery platform that is secure, resilient and future-ready for Etihad Airways’ companies and equity partner airlines.”
Etihad Airways’ current data center, IT infrastructure, applications and security operations will be migrated to the new data center in Abu Dhabi, and disaster recovery will be managed at an IBM Cloud data center in Europe. This approach will allow the airline to scale and manage its IT resources more efficiently, while ensuring business continuity.
As part of the agreement, around 100 Etihad Airways information technology employees will transition to IBM. IBM will manage the entire data center operation, including individual infrastructure services and IT helpdesk for Etihad Airways.