UAE’s Etihad Airways signs huge deal with IBM

Etihad partners include Airberlin (Germany), Etihad Regional (Switzerland), Austria's Niki, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Air Seychelles and India's Jet Airways.

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Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways said Tuesday it signed a 700 million U.S. dollar deal with United States IT giant IBM for a range of security and technology, infrastructure services.

The 10-year agreement covers Etihad and its partner firms across Europe and Asia, the state-owned airline said in an e-mailed statement.

The deal “will allow the airline to enhance guest experience, develop world-class infrastructure and security, and improve efficiency,” the company said.

It hailed the agreement as “one of the most important strategic collaborations by Etihad Airways” as it will provide access to the latest cloud-based technologies and services for the airline, its group companies and equity partners.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer (CEO), said the agreement is a game-changing one for Etihad Airways, for its partners and employees, and for Abu Dhabi.

The deal includes the creation of a new cloud data center, to be developed and operated by IBM, in Abu Dhabi.

Martin Jetter, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services, said “by this partnership, Etihad Airways is accelerating the move to new technologies such as cloud computing and cognitive.”

Etihad Airways, which carried 14.8 million passengers in 2014, serves 113 passenger and cargo destinations.

Etihad partners include Airberlin (Germany), Etihad Regional (Switzerland), Austria’s Niki, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Air Seychelles and India’s Jet Airways.

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