It has been announced that IBM has secured a $700m (£455m) deal with Etihad Airways to provide cloud computing services.
Etihad Airways believes the deal will help to make air travel easier. The technology agreement will span 10 years and IBM will offer new IT service to the airline, among others, through an Abu Dhabi data centre.
IBM will develop and operate the centre, which is set to be one of the most advanced technology facilities in the region. There is currently a lot of competition in airlines around the world, which is leading to more investment in technology. Airlines want to reduce queuing times, boost security and help to bring down costs.
A number of other airlines have already adopted cloud computing services to help with flight departure and arrival information sharing, baggage information and passenger information.
Lufthansa has already signed a similar deal with IBM, while British Airways is using Red Hat for its cloud computing technology.
Providers believe that the new technologies will help with luggage drops, label-printing services, self-boarding gates and the maintenance of aircraft; in addition, there could be better management of loyalty programmes and better estimates of travel times.
The president and chief executive of Etihad, James Hogan, described the agreement as game-changing. He sees it as a long-term, strategic partnership and the two companies hope to offer more personalised travel systems in the future.