Etihad Aviation Group showcases the future of air travel during UAE Innovation Week
His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, have visited Etihad Innovation Week, as part of UAE Innovation Week.
During a tour at Etihad Innovation Centre, the VIP dignitaries were shown the future of air travel and how the power of technology can enhance the guest experience.
HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan praised Etihad Aviation Group for its innovation strategy and for encouraging young people to embrace technology.
The airline is displaying a world where guests’ names are known before they approach check-in, favourite movies are cued up and ready prior to boarding and personalised travel itineraries are generated automatically – all supported by the latest technology, including IBM Watson.
This week’s visitors to the Innovation Centre can also meet Pepper, the humanoid robot, designed with the ability to read emotions and adapt its behaviour accordingly, while “Chef Watson” is creating original recipes for guests by cognitively analysing flavours and ingredients.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We operate in a highly competitive environment and in order to meet our guests expectations and deliver optimized efficiencies, an aggressive approach to technology and innovation is a necessity - not an option.”
Last year, Etihad Airways signed a US$700 million strategic partnership with IBM to transform the airline’s global technology operations with cloud, analytics, mobile, security and cognitive technologies.
Etihad Innovation Week also features a Hackathon where university students compete by using IBM Watson’s cognitive technology to produce solutions for the travel industry. The three-day challenge, involving students from universities in Abu Dhabi, is being hosted with Cognit, a joint venture between Mubadala and IBM Watson.
Following the tour, HE Noura Al Kaabi, commented: “I have enjoyed my visit to Etihad Innovation Week, as part of the country-wide celebrations, to see and hear the latest news on how the company is incorporating technology and innovative practices to the benefit of the customer, the economy and the wider travel and tourism industry. I was also delighted to see the participation of university students in the activities.”
Etihad Aviation Group has invested billions of dollars on technological innovation to streamline businesses across the group and enhance the guest experience, supported by partnerships with world leading technology firms, including IBM, SAP, Sabre, Adobe, Cognizant, and SITA.
UAE Innovation Week, running until 26 November, is one of the largest innovation initiatives in the world and aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global innovation hub.