Riyadh Air and IBM Forge Strategic Partnership

In a groundbreaking move, Riyadh Air and IBM have officially inked a strategic agreement aimed at catapulting the digitally native airline into a new era of technological prowess. The collaboration, announced on November 6, 2023, sees IBM Consulting take the lead as the systems integrator, orchestrating the construction of a cutting-edge technology foundation for Riyadh Air. The objective is clear: to deliver exceptional and seamless travel experiences through a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced digital technologies.

A comprehensive digital and technology strategy that IBM Consulting and Riyadh Air jointly developed serves as the foundation for the partnership, which aims to strategically position Riyadh Air within the aviation ecosystem. The airline has hired IBM Consulting to advance both its business and technology. They will do this by implementing a hybrid cloud approach that includes over 50 industry-specific solutions and basic technology skills such as data platforms, security, infrastructure, and integration.

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IBM's role extends beyond technology implementation, as it will oversee programs and technical governance involving more than 40 partners. This includes project management, quality assurance, change and communications management, and training, ensuring a holistic and seamless integration process.

Adam Boukadida, Chief of Riyadh Air, expressed the airline's ambitious goal to launch its inaugural flight in 2025, positioning itself at the forefront of digital technology and innovation within the aviation industry. "IBM Consulting will be our principal partner, driving us towards our vision with their deep expertise in managing large complex systems and integration programs as well as their expertise in the travel industry," he stated.

IBM Consulting Senior Vice President John Granger echoed the excitement, emphasizing IBM's commitment to helping Riyadh Air usher in a new age for the Kingdom's aviation industry. "A technology foundation built with an open, hybrid cloud approach and AI can help them achieve the flexibility and agility needed to support their goal of delivering an exceptional travel experience for their guests," Granger added.

The heart of the collaboration lies in IBM Consulting's creation and maintenance of Riyadh Air's hybrid cloud integration platform. Leveraging IBM CloudPak for Integration and Red Hat OpenShift, the platform aims to seamlessly integrate applications and data, providing a consistent and simplified experience for both Riyadh Air and its passengers.

Riyadh Air's digital and technology strategy aligns seamlessly with its overarching objective and the Kingdom's Vision 2030, positioning Saudi Arabia as a global aviation and trade hub. As the airline aspires to provide tailored and seamless guest experiences, IBM Consulting stands as a key ally, contributing its expertise in hybrid cloud and AI technologies to enable Riyadh Air's vision.

As the collaboration unfolds, Riyadh Air is poised to become a trailblazer, embodying the spirit of progress outlined in Vision 2030.