Emirati Women In Aviation

Etihad Airways highlights the diverse and unconventional role of Emirati women in Aviation in the UAE

Emirati women make up 37 per cent of Etihad Airways’ total UAE based female workforce*

Etihad Airways marked the inaugural Emirati Women’s Day by hosting a series of events under the theme of ‘Celebrating Emirati Women in Aviation’. The airline will focus on raising awareness of the important role Emirati women play in aviation and will demonstrate the immense and diverse opportunities this vital economic sector can present for women.

Announced by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, to highlight the achievements of women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and their critical role in society, the occasion will be marked on 28 August every year.


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In celebrating Emirati Women’s Day, Etihad Airways joined the UAE in celebrations through a series of events and activities, which started on 26 August 2015 with a high-profile panel discussion and the profile of 20 employees, highlighting the diverse and unconventional role Emirati women have played in the aviation industry and their contribution to future growth and development.

Mona Walid, Etihad Airways Vice President Talent Acquisition, said: “Since the launch of Etihad Airways in 2003, we have focused our efforts on attracting and developing young Emirati men and women in equal measure to be future aviation leaders at national and global levels.

We currently employ 1,269 Emirati women covering various roles, representing 49 per cent of a total of 2,560 UAE nationals in our workforce.

“Emiratis represent 25 per cent of our UAE based workforce, excluding cabin crew. We currently employ 1,269 Emirati women covering various roles, representing 49 per cent of a total of 2,560 UAE nationals in our workforce. These include 46 female pilots and five engineers and technicians. Our Vice President Medical Services, Dr Nadia Bastaki, is also the first Emirati woman to be registered as a specialist in aviation medicine.”

The panel discussion, which took place at Etihad Airways’ headquarters in Abu Dhabi, saw five successful women with aerospace and aviation experience sharing insights into on their careers and shedding light on the opportunities and challenges faced when stepping out of their traditional roles.

Etihad Airways - Captain Aysha Al Hamili

Etihad Airways – Captain Aysha Al Hamili

Proceedings were initiated with a keynote video speech by the UAE’s first female pilot, Captain Aysha Al Hamili, who is the Permanent Representative of the UAE on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), based in Montreal.

Etihad Airways employs 500 Emirati women in its commercial departments including sales and marketing. The airline’s award-winning Contact Centre in Al Ain is exclusively managed and operated by 160 women who play a critical role in maximising revenue and showcasing its commitment to excellent customer service.

The number of Emirati women enrolling in Etihad Airways’ unique Aviation Bachelor of Science degree program at Abu Dhabi University, which was introduced to support the growth of Etihad Airways’ Cadet Pilot Program, is steadily on the rise.Approximately 30 per cent of the first-year students and 20 per cent in all four years of the course, are women. In aviation courses elsewhere in the world, women only comprise between eight and 12 per cent.

*Figure excludes cabin crew residing in the UAE.

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Etihad Airways which began operations in 2003 carried 14.8 million passengers in 2014. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to or has announced plans to serve 111 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 118 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 66 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and six Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit www.etihad.com

Image above from right to left: Amina Taher, Etihad Airways Head of Media Relations; Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Etihad Airways Vice President Medical Services; Haya Al Ahbabi, Etihad Airways Contact Centre General Sales Agent; Muna Abdul Kabeer, Etihad Airways Aircraft Engineer; Alaa Al Rahma, Etihad Airways Cargo Ramp Graduate Manager; Noura Al Mulla, Etihad Airways Sales Graduate Manager. Images courtesy Etihad Airways.

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