Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, was named winner of the ‘Nationalization Initiative of the Year’ award at the Middle East HR Excellence Awards 2015.
The award was presented during a gala reception held here, attended by senior professionals from across the Middle East HR sector. The airline was also shortlisted in two other categories, including HR Team of the Year and Innovation in Executive & Leadership Development.
The Middle East HR Excellence Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams and organizations that have contributed to the development of the HR profession in the region. The awards showcase best practice in HR and talent management in the Middle East, and honor HR professionals in the public and private sectors for their contributions in creating a high-performing workforce.
Ray Gammell, Etihad Airways’ Chief People and Performance Officer, said: “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Middle East HR Excellence Awards. Our People and Performance team of more than 300 professionals has worked exceptionally hard this year, and I’m delighted to see the efforts of the team acknowledged by our peers in the human capital sector.
“We continue to invest in developing UAE nationals into future aviation leaders through our highly successful training, business exchange and educational opportunities, which is our top priority. This year alone we welcomed more than 1,000 UAE national employees, and we are delighted to be appreciated for the way in which we source and develop our local workforce.
“UAE nationals are now ranked the No. 1 nationality group within the airline, as well as amongst employees at manager level, executive level and within the pilot community.”
More than 2,700 Emiratis are employed by the airline across a range of positions, within the UAE and in 45 cities in 25 countries. Under plans to accelerate its employment of UAE nationals over the next five years, Etihad Airways is expected to recruit more than 6,000 UAE nationals by 2020.
As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, Etihad Airways has over 25,000 employees worldwide and prides itself on offering exciting opportunities for personal development and internal progression to its workforce, through a culture of performance, recognition and reward.
Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2014 carried 14.8 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to or has announced plans to serve 113 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 66 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and five Airbus A380s.
Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.
Etihad Airways, along with airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI, also participate in Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand that brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.