Etihad Airways is aiming to get closer to its customers with a major digital transformation programme to help it understand individual customers and boost its deployment of personalised marketing techniques.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates has signed a deal with Cognizant to support the new strategy; it follows the appointment of the Cheil Network to the handle the company’s global digital and social marketing account in the summer.
Etihad not only bankrolls Manchester City FC, it also has sponsorship deals with New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, England Cricket Teams, Mumbai Indians Cricket Team, Major League Soccer, Formula One, golf, hurling, triathlons, and even The Sydney Opera House.
The airline has an established loyalty programme, Etihad Guest, which covers Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional, while it has a raft of partner airlines including Alitalia, Airberlin and Air Serbia.
Cognizant will manage Etihad’s existing web applications and portals and integrate them into a new digital platform. A digital centre of excellence will be established to drive innovation with the airline’s key technology partners.
The three-year, multi-million-dollar deal will see Cognizant carry out a comprehensive study of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad’s business and technology programmes as part of plans to create new revenue streams and commercial models.
Etihad Airways chief information officer Robert Webb said the agreement is core to the company’s technology and innovation strategy. “We chose Cognizant because of its leadership in digital transformation programmes, deep travel and hospitality industry experience, and long-term partnerships with digital technology leaders,” he said.
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