15 MENA airlines sign 10-year distribution contract with Amadeus

The agreement with Amadeus was signed on Wednesday.
Updated 08 December 2017
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15 MENA airlines sign 10-year distribution contract with Amadeus

Fifteen airlines from the Middle East and North Africa entered on Wednesday into a 10-year framework agreement with Amadeus for distribution services, negotiated and led by the Arab Air Carriers Association (AACO). The airlines participating in the framework agreement to date carried 110 million passengers in 2016, meaning that these airlines will serve over 1 billion passengers during the 10-year duration of the agreement. The contract follows a previous 10-year agreement with 13 AACO airlines, signed in 2008.
For the participating AACO airlines, the partnership will drive economies of scale, technological efficiencies and support the airlines’ vision for distribution in the future. Participating AACO airlines will work with Amadeus to explore how to further develop and maximize the potential of Amadeus’ travel agency network, including enhanced merchandising and retailing capabilities.
The agreement comes after an 18-month process during which AACO’s “taskforce for future distribution strategies” carefully assessed a variety of technology and distribution providers according to their ability to support the long-term needs of its member airlines.
Abdul Wahab Teffaha, secretary general, AACO, said: “This efficient, long-term agreement represents a landmark for a number of AACO members with a technology partner dedicated to supporting new business strategies. This framework secures a solid foundation for those AACO members as they continue to innovate and it will remain open for additional member airlines that wish to join in the future.”
Julia Sattel, senior vice president, airlines, Amadeus said: “We are proud to further deepen our partnership with AACO and its member airlines. Amadeus’ focus on innovation and technology, combined with a partnership approach were in close alignment with the requirements identified by the members of AACO’s taskforce for future distribution strategies. Amadeus’ commitment to evolving airline distribution is demonstrated through its recent IATA NDC Certification as an aggregator and our extensive work on the IATA One Order standard. This deal represents an enormous achievement for Amadeus.”
Maher Koubaa, vice president, head of airline group, Middle East and Africa, Amadeus added: “Airlines in the Middle East have been some of the most successful in the industry over the past decade. Whether their focus is on providing travelers with a premium product, capitalizing on the region as a hub between Asia and Europe, or pursuing a partnership approach, airlines see the value in an omnichannel distribution strategy, to maximize their sales with travelers across the world.”


Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Updated 20 September 2018
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Emirates NBD opens branch in Alkhobar

Emirates NBD, a banking group in the Middle East, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of its first branch in Alkhobar in the Eastern Province. Emirates NBD now covers three key regions in Saudi Arabia with a presence in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. 

As Saudi Arabia progresses plans for economic reform, in line with its Vision 2030, Emirates NBD’s presence builds on the growing economic and trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Following the establishment of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently announced The Strategy of Resolve, a joint vision for economic development through 44 joint strategic projects within a five-year time frame. 

UAE-based Emirates NBD is the first non-Saudi bank with a significant branch network across the Kingdom. The bank offers retail, private, business and wholesale banking across its network of three full-fledged branches in the Kingdom, in addition to corporate finance advisory, project and syndicated finance through Emirates NBD Capital KSA, the bank’s investment banking arm.

Emirates NBD also operates in Egypt, India, Singapore, and the UK with representative offices in China and Indonesia. 

“Our presence in Saudi is integral to Emirates NBD’s growth strategy as we continue to explore opportunities in the GCC region’s largest and most dynamic economy,” said Hesham Abdulla Al-Qassim, vice chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD. 

“Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a landmark economic transformation and we look forward to continuing to support Saudi individuals and businesses looking for a trusted banking partner.” 

Emirates NBD recently renewed its partnership with the Kingdom’s Kafalah Program, which aims to promote financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the country.

Loai Abduljawad, CEO of Emirates NBD KSA, said: “Emirates NBD’s expanded network strengthens our offering to individuals and corporates in Saudi Arabia looking to invest and trade across the MENA region and beyond. Our superior value proposition, built on the bank’s unique ‘high tech + high touch’ philosophy of offering customers a modern banking experience complemented by personalized advisory services, will enable us to strengthen customer acquisition in the Kingdom as we continue to support the country’s long-term growth and development goals, as outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.” 

Emirates NBD is a leading banking group in the region. As of June 30, 2018, its total assets were 477.5 billion dirhams, ($130 billion). The group has a significant retail banking franchise in the UAE and is a key participant in the global digital banking industry, with over 90 percent of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The bank was declared the “Most Innovative Financial Services Organization of the Year” at the 2017 BAI Global Innovation Awards.