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Riyadh Air signs with Microsoft, Lufthansa for digital operations

At the ongoing Dubai Airshow, Riyadh Air and Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding to drive innovation and sustainability across Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector.

As part of the agreement, Riyadh Air has selected Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform as it aims leverage the secure, scalable, and reliable infrastructure for its operational efficiency and customer service.

The announcement will see both organisations collaborating to optimally utilise the potential of cutting-edge technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, copilot experiences, the Metaverse, and Virtual Reality to enhance Riyadh Air’s offerings, services, and operational models.

Adam Boukadida, chief finance officer, Riyadh Air, said, “Leveraging the robust Microsoft Azure platform is just the beginning; we are poised to tap into the vast network of Microsoft partnerships and harness the remarkable AI capabilities offered through Microsoft’s comprehensive suite of services and solutions, empowering Riyadh Air to grow and thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. By embracing Microsoft’s platform and solution capabilities, we aim to build a unique customer and employee experience and expedite our progress in achieving our sustainability targets.”

Microsoft said it will extend its technical expertise to the carrier by offering guidance in architecture design, scalability, security reviews, and more. This support will empower Riyadh Air to make the most of their journey on Azure.

Turki Badhris, acting general manager at Microsoft Arabia, said, “In adopting a cloud-first approach, Riyadh Air is paving the way for the creation of intelligent new solutions that will not only reimagine new ways of working and doing business but also revolutionise the experiences of its employees and customers.”

Riyadh Air and Microsoft said they will also jointly establish a Centre of Excellence that will provide a structured framework for driving innovation and delivering substantial business benefits for both organisations. The partnership also sees both parties forming a dedicated board that will actively drive efforts in line with the kingdom’s national sustainability agenda.


Riyadh Air signs up with Lufthansa Systems

Additionally, Riyadh Air signed an agreement with Lufthansa Systems to implement an integrated operational suite which includes the solutions Lido Flight 4D, NetLine/Ops ++, NetLine/Crew and NetLine/HubControl.

The operational suite runs in Lufthansa Systems’ Global Aviation Cloud. Lido Flight 4D’s advanced technology computes the most efficient routes resulting in substantial savings for the airline while the next-generation operation control system NetLine/Ops ++ helps Riyadh Air to optimise the daily utilisation of their flights. NetLine/HubControl allows a fully digitised turnaround and an optimised passenger connection management at the hub.

Furthermore, the airline emphasised that it will benefit from the new web-based pairing application in NetLine/Crew.

Peter Bellew , COO at Riyadh Air said, “At Riyadh Air, it is a key goal to achieve our ambitious sustainability goals and the unique capabilities of Lufthansa Systems’ solutions will help us to maximise fuel and carbon savings using the integrated Lido and NetLine systems. The design can simultaneously drive the most effective and least carbon intense routing with the lowest cost fuel usage. Our aim is to show the wider industry how each member of the Riyadh Air family can digitally track their own carbon footprint while reducing costs. The Lufthansa Systems cloud operations suite will be a key to unlocking digital leadership in aviation sustainability.”

He added, “As a digitally native airline, we require effective technological solutions that allow us to run an efficient and sustainable business. This agreement with Lufthansa Systems clearly demonstrates our continued progress towards our first flight in 2025 and is a significant building block in our operational readiness.”

Riyadh Air’s digital and technology strategy also support its mission, aligned with the kingdom’s Vision 2030, to lead the aviation industry by transforming Saudi Arabia, into a global aviation and trade hub.