Emirates, one of the world's largest airlines, has signed a 10-year IT services agreement with IBM, worth about $300m.
IBM said that infrastructure would be delivered as a service to the Dubai-based airline, which would enable it to improve efficiency on its passenger support systems and functions.
Emirates has run its ticketing and reservations system on IBM mainframes for more than 30 years, with z Systems being used to process business transactions such as flight reservations, inventory, check-in, ticketing, and flight information.
Its latest agreement will see IBM provide a fully managed service for the IBM mainframe and storage that aims to help Emirates encrypt data in near real-time. In addition, IBM said that the platform would allow the airline to build new apps that will support the commercial exchange of business functions, capabilities or competencies as services packaged in APIs.
By using the managed services delivery model, IBM hopes that Emirates will be able to improve business application performance, resilience, scalability, and make operational savings.
Emirates had collaborated with IBM earlier this year to enhance its Passenger Service System (PSS).
Back in October 2015, Etihad Airways signed a $700m deal with IBM that provided the Abu Dhabi-based airline and its partners with cloud, analytics, mobile, security and cognitive technologies.
The agreement included plans for the creation of a new cloud data centre in Abu Dhabi, while the Apple-IBM partnership would provide the airline with better mobile capabilities for its employees and guests. Around 100 Etihad Airways IT employees would transition to IBM as part of the deal.
At the time, Robert Webb, Etihad Airways' chief information and technology officer (CITO) said: "This landmark 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."
In September 2015, Finnair signed a five-year hybrid cloud deal with IBM.
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