14 Apr 2016 15:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, is marking the 5th anniversary of the opening of its Al Ain Contact Centre by celebrating the achievements of its 160 Emirati female employees.
One third of the
centre’s employees are working mothers, reinforcing the airline’s commitment to
empowering women, and in particular UAE nationals, by providing a wide range of
training and development opportunities to ensure they can pursue challenging
and rewarding careers whilst upholding their social and cultural values.
The airline’s contact
centres in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Manchester serve a total of 40 markets. Last
year, the Al Ain Contact Centre handled 17 per cent of Etihad Airways’ 3
million global phone calls for 14 countries, across three continents.
The Al Ain Contact
revenue of more than USD40 million annually and since the centre’s
launch the volume of calls answered by agents has increased by 187 per cent.
Opened in March 2011,
the centre began its operations with 85 highly qualified and fully trained
Emirati women. By the end of 2012, the
number of employees at the centre had increased by 150 per cent – and since
then a further 30 Emirati women have joined.
Ali Al Shamsi,
Etihad Airways’ Vice President - Emiratisation Strategy said: “We envisaged
a highly efficient contact centre that would combine world class customer
service with the highest level of Arabian hospitality. We are extremely proud of
the service that our employees are providing to thousands of our guests every
“The centre’s 5th anniversary is the perfect opportunity
for us to showcase and celebrate the immense talent of our Emirati female
workforce, the important impact that they are having on our airline and the
crucial role they are playing in the economic diversification of Al Ain.”
All of the women
employed at the centre completed a series of rigorous assessments prior to
being offered a position. On joining the company, employees were enrolled in
several training programmes to further enhance their IT, English language and
The centre has also
worked with Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group to find the brightest
graduates and the Abu Dhabi Human Resources Authority (previously known as Abu
Dhabi Tawteen Council) to source candidates from the ‘future of Al Ain’ scheme.
Samia Barj, Etihad
Airways’ Al Ain Contact Centre Manager said: “I am extremely proud to be able to lead a team of inspirational
Emirati women who are doing so much to strengthen our national identity and
make a real impact within the company and in the city of Al Ain. It is due to
their impressive capabilities that the centre is able to provide a superior service
to hundreds of thousands of Etihad Airways’ guests each year and I am confident
that we will continue to exceed all expectations as we keep striving for
Etihad Airways is dedicated
to providing a number of opportunities for its female employees to thrive in roles
across the aviation industry with multiple options available for promotions. Since
2011, one third of internal agents have been promoted within Etihad Airways.
Dhaheri, Manager Recruitment Operations at Etihad Airways said: “I began working at the contact centre as a
team leader in 2010 and since then I have progressed to Manager Recruitment
Operations at Etihad Airways. I am extremely grateful to the contact centre for
providing me with the skills and training opportunities that I needed to pursue
a role in the wider airline industry. I
am committed to inspiring more Emirati women to take on challenging roles
across the company and I look forward to continuing to develop with the airline
for many years to come.”
Due to the continued expansion of the centre, the airline introduced a number
of new work streams in 2015 including a Government travel program and a dedicated
travel trade team to enhance the many services that it offers its leisure and
business travelers. The airline is committed to continuing to develop innovative
training and performance management strategies to ensure the centre continues to
meet and exceed its target and service levels.