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Egyptair in digital transformation partnership with IBM

Egyptair has partnered with IBM to accelerate its digital transformation and provide better, more secure customer services. The Egyptian national carrier has selected a hybrid cloud approach with IBM, adopting IBM Cloud to scale and modernise the back-end operations of Egyptair’s duty free and enhance the customer retail experience.  

The news follows a recent survey by IBM that revealed 74 per cent of CEOs will turn to the cloud to help them deliver operational agility and flexibility to thrive in a post-pandemic reality, and more than 75 per cent of executives expect changed customer behaviour to continue after Covid.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline industry has started to look for new technologies to reinvent its services and unlock an array of new experiences for customers. With a hybrid cloud approach from IBM, Egyptair’s duty free operation will migrate its ERP workload to IBM Cloud while staying connected and fully integrated with its frequent flyer programme to provide shopping services from its duty free outlets and help attract new customers. For example, Egyptair duty free customers will make all payment transactions through a secured point of sale that is part of IBM Cloud infrastructure.  

With IBM Cloud, Egyptair can leverage IBM’s industry-leading security capabilities, which are described as including “confidential computing and encryption capabilities backed by the highest level of security certification commercially available”. This gives enterprises the ability to retain control of their own encryption keys so IBM clients are the only ones who can control access to their data.   

As part of this engagement, IBM will provide technology and industry expertise to enhance the digital services for Egyptair duty free by using IBM Watson Assistant.  The AI virtual agent will be designed to provide Egyptair customers with a differentiated shopping experience, enabling them to do online shopping through the duty free website, including order placement, payment and delivery inside the plane, thus providing a smooth retail experience. 

Commenting on the initiative, chairman and CEO of Egyptair duty free Reda Metwally said: “The new technology will help us to reinvent our services and unlock an array of new choices for our customers. With IBM and SAP technology, we will modernise our operations through the supply chain to meet the evolving needs of our customers and suppliers.” 

IBM Cloud GM Harish Grama added: “In choosing a hybrid cloud approach and migrating to IBM Cloud, Egyptair can provide its customers with a secured and enhanced retail experience. IBM has decades of experience driving transformation within the travel industry, and looks forward to helping [the airline] modernise its operations to meet the needs of today’s customer.” 

This collaboration comes within the framework of Egyptair’s strategy in line with Egypt’s digital transformation roadmap to create an easy, digitised and personalised customer experience.

Digital transformation is being witnessed across all areas of the aviation industry: at the end of last year, Iberia Maintenance announced that it had chosen Ramco Systems to implement its aviation software, Ramco Aviation M&E MRO Suite. The ERP (enterprise resource planning) software will replace multiple systems to unify Iberia operations across airframe maintenance, engine and component shops as well as the supply chain.

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