30th January 2019, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, today announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to launch the first ever in-house AI Academy in the region, which will revolutionise the way the airline serves its customers by upskilling its workforce, optimising operations and creating alternate revenue streams.
part of the AI Academy, all Etihad employees will be given access to an online
training programme, and instructor led classes, to drive companywide AI
literacy, empowering every employee to deliver more value to the company and
its customers. Microsoft specialists will also conduct a series of AI business
workshops and hands-on technical lab sessions to help identify business challenges
that can be optimised with AI.
is currently embarking on a digital transformation journey in order to enhance
the capacity and quality of its services to the almost 20 million passengers it
carries each year.
is a simple reason that we are long-term partners with Microsoft – we think
alike,” said, Tony Douglas Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. “Our
people make us who we are. By upskilling them to use technology powered by AI,
we are future-proofing our organisation. We believe that human interaction
augmented by technology delivers an enhanced experience for our guests which
will give us a competitive edge”
has also adopted Office 365 as part of its strategy to become a more efficient
organisation. The group’s senior leadership has also spearheaded initiatives for
the automation of numerous business processes, to enhance day-to-day operations.
The airline plans to provide structured, flexible education programmes for its employees
that will allow them to use AI and other smart technologies to ‘supercharge’
their productivity and innovation. The training seminars will be carefully
designed around the roles of their attendees, for maximum impact.
“In a world
where every company is becoming a digital company, it’s great to see Etihad and
its leadership set an example by investing in their people, and in embracing
what we refer to at Microsoft as tech intensity” ,” said Ihsan Anabtawi, Chief Operating and Marketing Officer,
Microsoft Gulf. “By building their own unique digital capabilities,
Etihad is becoming a fast adopter of best-in-class technology on a company-wide
level - and our AI Academy partnership is a key part of that objective. AI is
one of the technologies that will transform every industry, and we’re proud to
be partners with Etihad in readying and upskilling their world-class team and
organization, which is foundational to achieving their transformation vision
and digital outcomes.”
are signs that private and public organisations across the Middle East are becoming
bolder in their stances towards AI. According to a recent Microsoft survey, more
than 72% of the region’s companies are planning to spend on AI in 2019, and previous
adopters are planning further investments. As many as two in five Middle East
organisations have already adopted AI solutions, and more than one third are
planning to adopt an AI-based solution this year.
significant surge in the demand for its cloud services in the region, Microsoft
has announced that this year (2019) it will make available the secure, flexible
and intelligent Microsoft cloud to its middle east customers through two
dedicated cloud data centres, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai. Organisations
in the region can make the most out of the Microsoft Cloud by availing
themselves of enterprise-grade
reliability and performance, combined with data residency and the broadest