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18 Apr 2015 20:30

The General Command of the Armed Forces, represented by the National Service and Reserve Authority (NRSA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Etihad Airways. 

The ceremony at Etihad Airways’ Headquarters in Abu Dhabi also included a tour of the airline’s Medical Centre which has been certified to conduct the National Service’s medical examinations and screenings.

The MoU was signed by His Excellency Major General Pilot Sheikh Ahmed Bin Tahnoon, Chairman of National Service and Reserve Authority, and His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Etihad Airways Chairman. His Excellency Hamad Al Shamsi, Etihad Airways Deputy Chairman, and His Excellency Mohamed Hamad Al Mehairi, Etihad Airways board member, also attended, accompanied by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer.

UAE nationals from across Etihad Airways have been undertaking national service training since the end of 2014 and more are expected to join the program during the year. 

Under the MoU, the Etihad Airways Medical Center will conduct examinations for the airline’s staff who are called upon for national service. The airline will comply with the agreed guidelines and report the results to the National Service and Reserve Authority.
Etihad Airways was applauded by His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoon for its initiatives which show the airline’s commitment and capabilities in promoting the national service program.

He said: “The MoU will ensure close collaboration and coordination between all parties, especially in the area of medical examinations, which will be conducted at the world class Etihad Airways Medical Centre.”

Etihad Airways announced last week that it had received accreditation from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to operate the country’s first Aeromedical Centre (AeMC), allowing the Medical Centre to perform functions on behalf of the GCAA.

His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Etihad Airways’ Chairman said: “We are delighted today to build upon the partnership with the National Reserve and Service Authority and cement Etihad Airways commitment to UAE national service initiative, which has been approved under Federal Law No. 6 of 2014, issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

“We are proud of the role that UAE nationals play in the national airline and the crucial role they’ll play as part of the national service program.”

James Hogan said: “As the national carrier of the UAE, Etihad Airways is committed to growing and developing a highly qualified cadre of UAE nationals and empowering them to play an even greater role in the airline’s world-class business. 

“Since the launch of our UAE national development strategy in 2007 the composition of our UAE national workforce has increased from four to 23 per cent, and we now employ more than 2,200 UAE nationals across the spectrum of our operations.”

Mr Hogan stated that Emiratis are now the number one nationality group in Etihad Airways as well as the number one nationality group at the manager and higher management levels. 

Currently there are more than 150 UAE nationals working in positions at the airline’s offices and airport destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. 

Many of them have also been placed on assignment with Etihad Airways’ partner airlines worldwide. More than 6,000 UAE nationals are set to join the airline by 2020. 

Mr Hogan added: “Etihad Airways will continue to utilise strategic collaborations with a wide a range of UAE government, educational and Emiratisation institutions, including the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, Higher Colleges of Technology, Ministry of Higher Education, and Abu Dhabi University.”

UAE nationals also have the opportunity to join 21 Graduate Development Programs which are certified by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). These areas include cadet pilot training, technical engineering, information technology, finance, sales, airport operations and human resources.  

The programs are designed to match the needs of the airline with career opportunities for the national workforce. 

Upon completion Graduate Managers are also awarded an IATA diploma depending on their chosen specialisation.

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