Etihad Airways reaches milestone in Emiratisation programme

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 2 Feb 2016

The Abu Dhabi-based airline already employs 3,000 Emiratis, and is aiming for 5,000 more

Etihad Airlines has celebrated the arrival of its 3,000th Emirati employee (who represent 29 per cent of its staff) and is aiming to employ 5,000 more by 2020.
Its Emiratisation programme is in line with UAE employment policy, which favours employing UAE nationals in the private sector. The 'nationalisation' or 'Emiratisation' policy was developed because Emiratis are a minority in the UAE and the private sector's working population is dominated by workers from overseas.
In 2015, the airline hired 1,300 Emiratis, which included a record number of 26 Emirati executives and senior managers. A further 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.
“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 pursue their goals,” says James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer. “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.”
The airline employs an equal number of male and female Emirati staff, and has a strong focus on learning and development. UAE nationals hold a variety of roles across the organisation, from technical roles to customer service, operational and commercial posts.
“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,” says Sultan Al Mahmoud, Etihad Airways’ vice president of corporate strategy.
“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,” adds HR business partner Hind Al Hosani, who is one of the Emiratis hired in 2015.