Egyptair Tourism & Duty Free Co to enhance digital services with IBM deal

By Andrew Pentol |

Egyptair Tourism and Duty Free Co and IBM have announced a new agreement under which the airline will leverage IBM Cloud to scale and modernise Egyptair Duty Free’s back-end operations and host its SAP travel retail system.

By adopting IBM Cloud, Egyptair Duty Free will also leverage IBM Watson Assistant to create an artificial intelligence virtual agent to help transform travellers’ shopping experience.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline industry has been seeking new technologies to reinvent their services and unlock new experiences for customers.

As a result, Egyptair Duty Free selected IBM as its technology provider for cloud architecture.

With a hybrid cloud approach from IBM, Egyptair Duty Free will migrate its Enterprise Resource Planning workload to IBM Cloud while staying connected and fully integrated with Egyptair’s frequent-flyer programme and Star Alliance partners. The aim is to provide shopping services from Egyptair’s duty free outlets and help attract new customers.


Egyptair Duty Free customers, for example, will make all payment transactions through a secured point of sale that is part of IBM Cloud infrastructure.

Egyptair can leverage IBM’s security capabilities which include the highest level of security certification commercially available.

With IBM Cloud, Egyptair can leverage IBM’s security capabilities, which can include 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 the agreement, IBM will provide technology and industry expertise to enhance the digital services for Egyptair Duty Free. This will be achieved by using IBM Watson Assistant, running on IBM Cloud.

The artificial intelligence agent will be designed to provide Egyptair Duty Free customers with a differentiated shopping experience. It will enable them to do online shopping through the duty free website including order placement and payment and delivery on the plane.

Reda Metwally, Chairman and CEO, Egyptair Duty Free 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.”

Harish Grama, General Manager, IBM Cloud 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 Egyptair modernise their operations to meet the needs of today’s customer.”

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

IBM has a long history of working with airline and leading travel and transportation companies around the world. It has collaborated with Egyptair for decades to host core applications on IBM hardware and software.


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