Altitude 22: Etihad prepares to return to…

The Gulf airline’s chief digital officer, Frank Mayer, addressed the airline executives’ summit in Dubai this week.

Gulf Carrier Etihad hopes a renewed partnership with GDS and tech giant Amadeus will benefit all airlines as they work together on Altea’s aviation technology platform advancements.

Etihad is due to return to the Amadeus fold in March 2023, having left for a partnership with rival GDS Saber in 2012.

Speaking at this week’s Amadeus Altitude22 airline executives conference in Dubai, Frank Meyer, Etihad’s chief digital officer, said the airline never stopped investing in technology during COVID.

“In 2019, we decided to embark on a major technology transformation by looking at all of our front-end, back-end systems, and data. We continue to invest and make some important decisions during the pandemic.”

Meyer said Etihad has “high expectations” for the Altea platform and the suite of Amadeus platforms with which it will integrate.

The airline plans to use them to make its offering in one sector stand out in a sector where differentiation is difficult to achieve, Meyer said.

“Etihad has historically been an operator that has always invested heavily in revenue management and inventory control.”

Meyer said Etihad has “put a lot of pressure on Amadeus” to fill gaps in its platforms. “We believe that by March 2023 we will bring much more capacity to the platform in partnership with Amadeus, than we expect other Altea customers to benefit from.”

Etihad is ready to implement a wide range of robotics and automation technology as the recovery from the COVID pandemic continues.

The airline aims to automate as much as it can in its back office and contact center with self-service applications.

Meyer said Etihad has “seen a shift during the pandemic to direct,” which he said the airline wants to keep.

The operator is investing in a range of digital capabilities on its .com website and mobile app and in its self-service centres.

“We’ve done a lot with digital and technology to take the anxiety out of people when they fly,” he said.

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