Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, official airline partner of the World Games and the national airline of the UAE, highlights the success of the Middle East’s first Special Olympics World Games, which concluded this week in Abu Dhabi.
This March, the airline carried more than
4000 athletes and support team members from more than 100 countries to Abu Dhabi
to participate in the event.
Around 500 Etihad employees volunteered
throughout the Games which accounted for more than 1500 working days. Staff
wishing to volunteer at the event were given up to a week in paid leave in
support of the Games.
Throughout the Games, Etihad Airways Cabin
Crew and Etihad staff volunteers participated in every medal ceremony and
presented more than 10,000 medals to the athletes competing in 24 sports.
Over 740,000 miles were donated to the
Special Olympics by Etihad Guest members through the mileage donation
programme, which was matched by Etihad Guest, bringing the total donation to
almost 1.5 million Etihad Guest miles. This generous donation will go directly
to helping athletes from all over the world to fulfil their ambitions of
competing on a global stage.
Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group Chief
Executive Officer, said: “The Special Olympics movement has engaged with our
entire organisation and I am particularly proud of our contribution. From the
teams in our airports around the world who have diligently supported the
athletes on their journey, to the hundreds of employees who have volunteered at
In February, Etihad unveiled a Special
Olympics branded Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring the faces of four UAE Special
Olympic athletes, which has been taking the spirit of the Special Olympics to
the skies. The aircraft has travelled to Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Jeddah,
Kuala Lumpur, Manchester and Shanghai, as well as being on display at the Saudi
Airshow earlier this month. The aircraft symbolically delivered the World Games
Flame of Hope from Athens to Abu Dhabi, bringing a message of tolerance and
inclusion to the world.