In Brief

The Emirates Group and Dubai Future Foundation to launch centre of excellence for aviation robotics

Emirates Group dives into aviation robotics

The Emirates Group and Dubai Future Foundation have signed a significant partnership to launch the Emirates Centre of Excellence for Aviation Robotics (ECEAR). The agreement was signed at ForsaTEK, the Group’s innovation forum.

With this initiative, the Emirates Group and Dubai Future Labs, an initiative of Dubai Future Foundation, will take a leading role in driving industry-focused research and development (R&D) with practical use cases and delivering them with global impact. ECEAR will serve as a R&D space devoted to harnessing science and technology to solve complex challenges faced by the global aviation industry.

ECEAR is designed to help transform Dubai into the world’s premier location for R&D and innovation – attracting top global talent, providing a platform for local students to develop their skills, inspiring more interest in STEM degrees, and building the ecosystem for the highest levels of research.

The Centre will explore key themes, including human-robot interaction; cargo and luggage handling; logistics and intralogistics; and aviation standards and regulations. 

Travelport secures $200m investment

TRAVELPORT, a global technology company that powers travel bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide, announced a $200 million investment from the company’s owners, Siris Capital Group and Elliott Management. Following a strong first quarter performance, including best-in-class tech achievements and the acquisition of Deem, the new injection of capital will allow the company to continue executing against its aggressive growth strategy.

Last month, Travelport announced the game-changing acquisition of Deem, a leading corporate travel management platform, in order to fulfil a growing need for a tight, fully-integrated tool that provides access to all multi-source content, including NDC.

It also launched Smartpoint Cloud, delivering a more intuitive and efficient way for travel agents to sell and service travel, all while increasing sales of higher-value services for suppliers.

It became the first GDS to offer a complete solution for American Airlines’ NDC content.


AI improves Munich Airport car rentals

Munich Airport is sharpening its focus on passenger and visitor services and making car rental even faster and more straightforward. This is possible thanks to a partnership between Munich Airport, the turnaround service provider Assured Europe, and the Norwegian start-up Wenn AS. The innovative scanning tunnel from the provider of leading, AU-based solutions for the automotive industry has been installed in the car rental centre at Munich Airport. It allows the fully automated documentation of a vehicle’s condition as it passes through and the detection of any damage in a matter of seconds.

Car rental customers drive their rental car through a structure at the entrance and exit of the parking garage. The cameras installed there capture the car from various angles, and the data obtained is automatically evaluated and documented by artificial intelligence in real time. Within a minute, the information is available to the vehicle check-in staff for the return process.


Amadeus expands Travel4Impact in EMEA

Travel4Impact is an initiative run by Amadeus alongside IE University, a leading international higher education institution, recognized as one of the first carbon neutral universities in Europe.

Travel4Impact Network first launched in Spain and then expanded to Europe over the first two iterations. This year, it welcomes organizations from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. Applications for the third edition opened on March 1 with more than 30 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expected to participate in 2023. 

The programme is designed to improve the competitiveness and social and environmental impact of SMEs in the travel sector. This is done through the creation of a network to support enterprises that see digitalization, collaboration, and sustainability as key elements of their value proposition.

Travel4Impact is open to SMEs with more than two years of activity within the tourism ecosystem and two or more full-time employees.