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Bahrain's National Carrier Consolidates 15 Year Strategic Partnership by Selecting Cisco Technology Solutions for Network Infrastructure Upgrade

MANAMA, Bahrain -- 28 September 2014 – Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, has successfully implemented a major initiative that realized a comprehensive redesign of the airline’s entire IT network infrastructure, upgrading its major core components with the latest available Cisco technologies and thereby strengthening a 15-year strategic partnership between the two companies.

This recent achievement is one of the main developments in the airline’s ongoing IT infrastructure enhancements, from which numerous benefits have been realized including expanded network capacity, greater robustness, agility and resilience to meet Gulf Air’s future data growth.

Gulf Air’s commitment to implementing state-of-the-art technologies like Cisco’s solutions reflect the national carrier’s longstanding mission to deliver excellence across the airline’s broad spectrum of services and thereby ensure an enhanced passenger experience. The national carrier has pioneered various IT initiatives and innovations in the region, including Private Cloud Computing, Big Data and various ISO certifications, which have seen Gulf Air win a total of twelve Information Technology awards over the past three years. The airline’s deployment of the new, upgraded Cisco network infrastructure will further extend its commitment to offer Gulf Air passengers the latest aviation technology.

The new Cisco network solution along with Gulf Air’s private cloud has provided an ideal means to overcome some of the organization's biggest business and technology challenges. A private cloud can deliver IT as a service - this will help Gulf Air to reduce costs, raise efficiency and introduce innovative new business models that create greater agility and efficiencies while simplifying its IT infrastructure operations. The Cisco® Global Cloud Index (2011 – 2016) forecasts that global data center traffic will grow 4-fold and reach a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016 and  also foresees that Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate (79 percent CAGR).

Highlights/Key Facts:

  • Cisco will integrate unified data center architecture with intelligent, cloud-ready networks. This combination will help Gulf Air simplify its IT operations, tightening security, increasing business agility and higher availability, improving data center economics, and enabling consistent cloud experiences for users.
  • Cisco will provide the integral foundation for Gulf Air’s private cloud comprising next-generation infrastructure, Cisco Intelligent Network, which provides a consistent and highly secured user experience, increased speed and optimized operational efficiency in cloud computing and data center automation.
  • The Gulf Air network infrastructure upgrade will also include a broad selection of Cisco solutions and services that are designed to take full advantage of the private cloud foundation.

Executive Quotes:
Mr. Maher Salman AlMusallam, Gulf Air Acting Chief Executive Officer
“We are truly pleased with this development and in strengthening our ties with Cisco. Gulf Air’s mission has always been to stay competitive in the field of aviation and one of the key ways we do so is by utilizing innovative, groundbreaking technologies. Cisco’s solutions will help keep us on the cusp of technological advances while ensuring greater technology solutions to facilitate and enhance the travel experience.”

Dr. Jassim Haji, Gulf Air Director of Information Technology
“Gulf Air successfully established a powerful and energy-efficient IT data center, recognized as one of the most environment-friendly in the Kingdom of Bahrain. With this achievement we have taken the first step toward virtualizing Gulf Air’s network infrastructure in expanding our private cloud which is a pioneer initiative in this region. This key development is a testament to our ongoing mission to remain at the forefront of all technological implementations.”

Tarek Ghoul, General Manager for the Gulf, Levant, and Pakistan, Cisco
“Cisco has a long standing strategic partnership with Gulf Air that spans over 15 years now and we are proud to be further consolidating this. As we enter the era of the Internet of Everything where more people, process, data, and things will make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before, enhancing and supporting the technology offering of companies like Gulf Air  one of Cisco’s foremost goals. Cisco expects to invest over $1 billion to build its expanded cloud business over the next two years. Our partner-centric business model, which enables partner capabilities and investments, is expected to generate a rapid acceleration of additional investment to drive the global scale and breadth of services that Cisco plans to deliver to customers like Gulf Air.”

-Ends-

Photo Caption: (Right to Left)
Dr. Jassim Haji, Director of Information Technology, Gulf Air;
Tarek Ghoul, Director and General Manager, Gulf, Levant, and Pakistan, Cisco;
Mr. Maher Salman AlMusallam, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air;
Rami Azar, Territory Business Manager, Cisco Bahrain.

About Gulf Air:
Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, commenced operations in 1950, becoming one of the first commercial airlines established in the Middle East. Today, Gulf Air is a major international carrier serving 38 cities in 23 countries spanning three continents. The airline operates one of the largest networks in the Middle East, with double daily flights to over 10 regional cities, from its hub at Bahrain International Airport. Gulf Air serves all its destinations with a combination wide and narrow body fleet totaling 26 modern aircraft. Renowned for its traditional Arabian hospitality, evidenced by the airline’s signature family and business friendly products, Gulf Air is committed to being an industry leader and developing products and services that reflect the evolving needs and aspirations of its passengers.

Gulf Air connects Bahrain to the world and, as such, is a key national infrastructure asset, serving as a powerful driver for the economy and supporting the Kingdom’s on-going economic growth.

Gulf Air was the Official Airline and Sponsor of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2014 and the Bahrain International Airshow 2014.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Azza Mubarak Matar
Manager Communications
Gulf Air Tel: +973 17338765 / +973 39652012
Email: Azza.Matar@gulfair.com  

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