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Sun 12 May 2019 03:25 PM

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Indian firm in talks with Gulf carriers over software upgrades

IBS Software plans to open a new office in Abu Dhabi to manage the increasing business requirements in the region

Indian firm in talks with Gulf carriers over software upgrades
Middle East currently accounts for roughly 5 percent of IBS Software’s global revenue

IBS Software, Indian-based global provider of end-to-end software solutions to airline and travel industry, sees great potential in working with Gulf-based airlines to migrate to next generation technology platforms.

In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, V K Mathews, executive chairman of IBS Software, said the company is currently in discussions with leading carriers in the Middle East, including Emirates airline, Saudia and Oman Air, to provide digital solutions for their flight and crew operations, customer loyalty and cargo management.

IBS, which last month inked a contract with Etihad Airways to replace the airline’s existing network control system and develop a hub management system, is also in further talks with the Abu Dhabi-based airline about modernising its cargo operations, he said.

Mathews said IBS is bullish about increasing its business in the Middle East and Africa and will be opening a new office in Abu Dhabi soon – its second office in the region - to manage the increasing business requirements in the region. IBS Software’s Dubai office has been in operation for 10 years.

Middle East currently accounts for roughly 5 percent of IBS Software’s global revenue. US, Europe and the UK contribute major chunk of the company's global revenues.

“After a 10-year long stellar performance, fuelled by strategic location advantage, open sky policy, superior technology efficiency and cost advantage due to access to highly skilled talent pool from the Indian sub-continent, airlines in the Middle East have started slowing down of late, with most of them reporting losses or lower profits in the recent quarters,” Dubai-based Mathews said.

Emirates on Thursday reported a 69 percent year-on-year decline in profit for FY ’19, while Etihad posted a third consecutive annual loss in excess of $1 billion in calendar 2018.

According to data on international air passenger traffic by airline region for March 2019, Middle East was the only region which has registered a negative growth of 3 percent in the airline industry for the month.

In contrast, globally the airline industry clocked a 3 percent growth in March 2019. Latin America, with 5.5 percent growth led the table, followed by Europe (4.7 percent), North America (3 percent) and Asia Pacific (2 percent), according to the IATA data.

“Many of the Middle East airlines are currently taking strategic initiatives to migrate to new generation platforms to regain their operational and cost advantages. IBS, with its world class enterprise software products and track record of working with leading global airlines, is in a great advantageous position to partner with them in achieving their goals,” he said.

IBS, which has a suite of software products for the airline, airport and ground  handling companies, has worked with several leading airlines globally such as British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM and American Airline, to upgrade their systems dealing with various aspects of their operations.

Its iFly Res helps airlines to seamlessly manage their business flexibility, while its iFly Staff is for travel management solution, iFlight NEO is for fleet, crew and hub management, iFlight Lite is for flight scheduling and operations, and iTravel is for managing the ecommerce activities of airlines.

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