Dubai’s Emirates airline has awarded the US’ IBM a 10-year technology services deal worth an estimated $300m.

The contract entails the delivery of information technology (IT) infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS). This means the IBM mainframe and storage that run Emirates’ mission-critical applications, such as ticketing and reservations, will now be provided by IBM as a fully managed service.

The deal includes the provision of a platform that would allow the airline to build new applications (apps) more quickly through available application programme interface (API) tools.

It is understood the airline had earlier upgraded its passenger service system in collaboration with the US technology firm.

By moving its IT infrastructure delivery into a managed services model, Emirates is expected to  benefit from “improved business application performance, resilience, scalability… and [achieve] significant operational savings,” an IBM statement said.

Emirates has run its ticketing and reservations system on IBM mainframes for more than 30 years.

The airline carried 51.9 million passengers and added 29 new aircraft while phasing out nine in 2015.

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