06 March . 2024

Riyadh Air and IBM Take Further Steps Forward in their Collaboration to Redefine Travel Experiences

IBM announced today the next steps in their collaboration with Riyadh Air, the digital-native airline currently scheduled to commence operations in early 2025, to revolutionize the airline’s travel experiences. The airline plans to introduce next-generation, channel-fluid guest and traveler interactions, tapping into IBM Consulting's open ecosystem of business partners and deep industry expertise spanning strategy, experience design, technology and operations.

Today, IBM hosted a signing ceremony, announcing the collaboration at the 3rd edition of LEAP 2024, the international technology conference held annually in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; in the presence of Tony Douglas (Chief Executive Officer, Riyadh Air) and Arvind Krishna (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IBM) and executive management from both entities.

“We’re on a mission to shape the future of air travel at Riyadh Air,” said Tony Douglas, CEO at Riyadh Air. “By teaming up with IBM, we’re pushing the boundaries of innovation to create a transformed passenger experience that is more seamless, personalized and sustainable. From AI-powered check-in systems to immersive in-flight entertainment, we’re leveraging the latest technologies to make air travel more enjoyable and accessible for everyone.”

Committed to delivering unique, intelligent and hyper-personalized guest journeys, Riyadh Air will harness IBM Consulting’s expertise across generative AI, experience orchestration, marketing and customer engagement platforms, mobile,  web and in-flight applications. All of these capabilities will be accelerated through the proven, collaborative engagement model of IBM Garage, to help craft guest experiences that are culturally enriching across the travel journey, on ground or in the air.

“We’re excited to extend our collaboration with Riyadh Air, working together to revolutionize the way people experience travel,” said Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO at IBM. “We will combine user-friendly design, cutting-edge technology, and a shared commitment to innovation in order to create a seamless, enjoyable, and unforgettable travel experience for passengers.”

IBM consultants will utilize IBM Consulting Advantage and its capabilities including IBM Consulting Assistants, which are powered by IBM watsonx, and IBM iX Experience Orchestrator to help Riyadh Air to build and enhance their digital guest experience across mobile, web, and in-flight entertainment. IBM Consulting will also help streamline end-to-end customer experiences across digital channels, using a comprehensive technology portfolio. This work will be based on Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Platform, spanning Adobe’s marketing and customer data solutions, digital experience orchestration, digital media activation and campaigns across web, mobile and social. Further, IBM Consulting aims to build for Riyadh Air a curated suite of apps for managing airline operations, empowering their employees to serve guests with ease and speed.

Saudi Arabia's ambitious aviation and tourism plan aims to serve 330 million air passengers by 2030, increasing air cargo capacity to 4.5 million tons, and expanding air connectivity to more than 250 destinations. Riyadh Air, launched in March 2023 is planning for its inaugural flight in early 2025 and aiming to connect passengers to over 100 global destinations by 2030.

This announcement builds upon Riyadh Air's ongoing collaboration with IBM Consulting, establishing the technology foundation for the digitally-led airline. The airline had previously unveiled its collaboration with IBM Consulting in November 2023 to develop mission-critical technology and business capabilities, supporting the journey to its first flight.