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Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has celebrated the graduation of 310 future leaders from the company’s Future Leaders Programmes. The graduation event at Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi was attended by His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group and board members, His Excellency Hamad Abdulla Al Shamsi, His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh and His Excellency Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi. 

HE Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said: “We all share great pride and congratulate our graduates on what they have achieved. We also look forward to their contributions making Etihad Aviation Group even more successful and bringing us closer to our goals. The group has made a major commitment to investing in its people, the cornerstone of our service excellence and success.” 

HE Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei added: “Over the past 13 years, the company has built a workforce of 27,000 employees, representing 150 nationalities to deliver world-class services. The team includes more than 3,000 UAE nationals, covering areas such as marketing, customer service, ground operations, cockpit crew, engineers and technicians.”  

UAE nationals currently make up 29 per cent of the airline’s core staff and form the largest nationality group amongst Abu Dhabi-based employees. Emiratis are also the number one nationality occupying positions at manager level, executive level and in the cockpit. 

The 310 graduates are spread throughout different divisions: 65 working as Cadet Pilots at Abu Dhabi University; 19 at Etihad Flight College in Al Ain and 74 graduates are based in Technical Engineering. A further 152 are learning about the business within the Graduate Management Development Programme based at various Etihad Airways offices. 

James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “A new batch of future leaders has graduated and they should be very proud of what they have achieved – the programmes are challenging and form a major commitment to learning and development. What is important for them now is to take this further and bring their new found knowledge into the business so we can work together to develop the next generation of leaders.” 

The star performer awards for 2016 were presented to Cadet Pilot, Abdalla Ismail Al Zarooni; Technical Engineer, Khalid Ismail Al Hammadi and Sales Manager for Los Angeles, Khamis Al Blooshi. 

Attendees at the ceremony – the eighth of its kind - also heard from Aircraft Engineer, Muna Abdulkabeer, who reflected on her experiences in the programme, stating: “A friend encouraged me to apply to the Etihad Airways summer internship starting at the airport, and while I was nervous at first, I was overwhelmed by the support given by different levels of management within the company. 

“This led me to one of Etihad’s UAE National Development Programmes, and I’m now living my dream of being an Aircraft Engineer, working on one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry and supporting a key area of the UAE economy.” 

In other achievements, Omar Abdulla Al Marzouqi from Flight Operations, Yasser Al Yousuf from Etihad Guest and Adel H Al Maghrebi from Global Airports, were recognised for completing their Executive Aerospace MBAs at Toulouse Business School. 

Etihad Aviation Group has formed strategic collaborations with a range of UAE educational and Emiratisation institutions, including the Human Resources Authority, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET), Ministry of Higher Education, Zayed University and Abu Dhabi University, to offer UAE nationals opportunities to develop into world-class industry professionals.

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