Etihad Airways has celebrated a major milestone in its Emiratisation programme with over 3,000 Emirati nationals now employed by the UAE’s national airline. In 2015 alone, the airline welcomed more than 1,200 UAE nationals to its global workforce, representing 29 per cent of its core staff. The airline plans to employ a further 5,000 Emirati employees by 2020.
The airline hosted a celebratory event to raise awareness of its successful Emiratisation drive, starting with a panel discussion involving Emirati staff from various departments within Etihad Airways.
A commemorative video was premiered at the event profiling 12 national employees hired in 2015, highlighting the diverse role Emiratis are playing in the aviation industry.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Since its inception in 2003, Etihad Airways has been a driving force in the nation’s Emiratisation programme, recognising and promoting the role of Emiratis in the aviation sector and empowering them to peruse their goals. Today, as one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing major airlines, we are proud to have delivered on our commitment to develop a cadre of highly qualified Emirati aviation professionals.”
In 2015, Etihad Airways also recruited a record number of 26 Emirati executives and senior managers across its various departments and disciplines.
Additionally, 280 Emiratis graduated from the airline’s development programme, making it the largest graduation year to date, and 90 graduates were offered the opportunity to represent the UAE at the joint Alitalia-Etihad Airways Pavilion at EXPO Milan.
The airline currently boasts an equal ratio of male to female Emirati employees, and in August last year celebrated the first Emirati Women’s Day, acknowledging the increasing number of female staff in its workforce and the diverse roles they perform across the airline’s business, from pilots and engineers to cargo ramp managers and aviation medicine specialists.
Etihad Airways also offers UAE nationals the opportunity to work in a dynamic, multi-cultural environment and to be posted on international assignments to accelerate their development. More than 90 UAE nationals are currently positioned at the airline’s offices and airports across the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
The airline has formed strategic collaborations with a range of UAE educational and Emiratisation institutions, including the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, Higher Colleges of Technology, Ministry of Higher Education, Zayed University and Abu Dhabi University, with the aim of offering UAE nationals various opportunities to develop into world-class industry professionals.
The diverse range of roles includes cadet pilots, technical engineers, sales managers, guest service agents, contact centre agents, administrative positions, as well as various posts in the airlines’ operations and commercial functions.
Sultan Al Mahmoud, Etihad Airways’ Vice President Corporate Strategy, said: “Etihad Airways provides a great platform for learning, accompanied by a strong sense of corporate identity and culture which in turn contributes greatly to our continued growth and success.”
Dr Zahra Al Balooshi, the most recent addition to the team of skilled medical practitioners at Etihad Airways’ acclaimed Medical Centre, said: “I am very proud to be part of a national airline which has become a globally recognised brand renowned for excellence in all areas of its business, including aviation medicine. I intend to continue in this field and to specialise in aviation and travel medicine so as to provide the necessary primary and secondary healthcare services to all Etihad employees.”
Hind Al Hosani, Etihad Airways’ HR Business Partner and one of the Emiratis hired in 2015, said: “I chose to work for Etihad Airways due to its global presence, which has offered me the unique opportunity to be part of an exciting multicultural team and to gain valuable insight into international business practices.”
In December 2015, Etihad Airways won the Middle East North Africa and Middle East Human Resources awards for Emiratisation and also received the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance in Human Resources Development.
Photo caption: Etihad Airways’ UAE national employees taking part in a panel discussion included: (left to right) Amina Taher, Head of Corporate Communications; Salah Awadh Alfarajalla, Senior Vice President, Security and National Pilot Development; Muna Al Hammadi, First Officer; Ali Al Shamsi, Vice President Emiratisation Strategy; Ameena Al Marzooqi, Guest Service Agent; Faisal Al Mulla, Senior Manager Graduate Engineering Program; and Arwa Al Shehhi, Marketing Manager - New York.