14 Sep 2014 10:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced plans to establish a dedicated Revenue Accounting Centre of Excellence in Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and create job opportunities for more than 1,000 Emiratis over the next three years.
The centre will be a
global leader in revenue accounting, offering a range of competitively priced
services that will bring cost savings and operational efficiencies to airlines,
including Etihad Airways. It will also create long-term economic value for the
emirate of Abu Dhabi.
More than 500 Emiratis
will be hired during the project’s first year of operation. Total employee
numbers are forecast to exceed 800 by the end of 2016, and more than 1,000 by
the end of 2017, depending on the level of demand from participating airlines
around the world.
In addition to serving
Etihad Airways, the centre will be equally available to a number of its network
partners and other airlines around the world. Customers will be provided with access
to global best practices, proven techniques and the latest airline developments
in order to optimise results, redirect valuable internal resources, and focus their best
people on core business.
James Hogan, President
and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Revenue accounting is an
expensive and time consuming aspect of the global airline business. However,
through the establishment of a world-class centre of excellence, Etihad Airways
and other airlines can achieve both financial and operational success. A range
of outsourced support services will be offered by the centre, with a focus on optimising
processes and platforms to boost efficiency, and combining back office
functions to attain economies of scale.
project is also aligned with a long-term commitment to grow our Emirati
workforce. It is Etihad Airways’ most ambitious Emiratisation project to date
and follows the success of existing programs for cadet pilots, engineers and
graduate managers, together with our Al Ain Contact Centre. By the end of 2017,
the new centre of excellence will provide opportunities for more than 1,000
Emiratis to progress their careers in revenue accounting and other areas of
finance, or move into other areas of the airline business and develop into future
Almost 100 Emiratis have
already been hired as part of the ambitious project, following a successful
recruitment campaign in Al Ain, held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Tawteen
Council (ADTC). To continue the momentum, a nationwide newspaper campaign to
promote recruitment opportunities will soon commence in leading publications
across the UAE.
The first group of
employees has also received globally recognised certification from the
International Air Transport Association (IATA), as part of a comprehensive
six-week training program. They will join the Revenue Accounting Centre of
Excellence from 1 October 2014, working to integrate with the major functions
of each airline, such as revenue management, network planning, alliances,
commercial strategy, financial accounting, and reporting.
The centre will initially
be based at the Al Ain campus of Abu Dhabi University (ADU), in close proximity
to Etihad Airways’ award-winning contact centre, the first phase of which is
staffed and managed by a team of 170 UAE national women, while a second phase
opened last month with an additional 70 agents providing bilingual Arabic and
English assistance. A permanent base is currently being finalised in Al Ain to support the project’s long-term development.
Etihad Airways currently
has a workforce of 20,675 employees, an increase of 28 per cent year-on-year.
Within the core airline, 1,681 employees are UAE nationals, 29 per cent more
than the same period in 2013, and Emiratis are the number one nationality group
at manager level.
Earlier this year, Etihad
Airways welcomed the latest group of graduates from its innovative development
program to join divisions across the airline as pilots, managers, contact
centre staff and technical engineers. The 217 graduates were recognised at a gala ceremony held in Abu Dhabi and included 65 Emirati cadet
pilots and 20 cadet pilots of other nationalities; 74 Emirati graduate
managers, 44 Emirati contact centre staff and 14 Emirati technical trainees.