Subscribe Free
in Events

Etihad Airways marks one year since UAE announces grounding of flights

Posted 22 March 2021 · Add Comment

Etihad Airways has marked one year since the UAE announced flights were to be grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Etihad Airways marks one year since UAE announces grounding of flights.  Image:  Etihad Airways

Tony Douglas, Group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “As the pandemic took hold, the announcement on 23 March 2020 to ground the UAE’s airlines was not entirely unexpected, yet it was the toughest day of my career. Despite the unthinkable challenges, we recognise there have been so many accomplishments and small victories over the past year.

 

“We quickly realised that we needed to turn this negative into an opportunity, and that’s when the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit we’re known for kicked in. Our agile operation allowed us to react quickly to the changing market conditions and regulatory framework, at the same time as developing the pioneering Etihad Wellness programme. Having been the first airline to require 100% PCR testing before departure and again on arrival, we then became the first airline to operate with all crew on board vaccinated.”

 

At the start of the pandemic, Etihad took advantage of having most of its fleet on the ground to complete the most extensive aircraft maintenance programme in its history. All 96 passenger aircraft were surgically and clinically refreshed so they looked like they were fresh out of the hangar. This included minor maintenance tasks, such as seat repairs and updates to Inflight Entertainment Systems, to bringing forward scheduled engine changes and modifications on several aircraft.

 

In addition to normal scheduled flights, Etihad operated special freighter and humanitarian flights to countries in Africa, Europe and Asia including Havana and Costa Rica – destinations the airline had never flown to before.

 

Etihad Cargo, the airline’s freight operation, had a strong year, driven by huge demand for medical supplies such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and pharmaceuticals. In November 2020, Etihad joined the Hope Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led coalition formed to facilitate the distribution of Covid vaccines across the world. The consortium has a complete end-to-end supply chain solution covering demand planning, sourcing and world-class facilities for transporting temperature sensitive cargo at ultra-cold conditions up to -80⁰.

 

Internally, Etihad also launched ‘Project Vision’, which prioritised envisioning what the travelling public would want from an airline post-Covid.

 

The first initiative to be inspired by this, in June 2020, was the Etihad Wellness programme. This involved the introduction of Wellness Ambassadors, who are available to support guests with their health and wellbeing needs online, at the airport and on board.

 

 On 10 February 2021, the airline announced 100% of its crew on board – both cabin crew and pilots – were vaccinated against Covid. This achievement was a result of the organisation’s tremendous efforts to ensure the health and wellbeing of its employees.

 

More recently, as a result of Project Vision, Etihad is working with a variety of different companies to develop the technology required for a global health certification system that would help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for Covid tests or vaccines.

 

Douglas concluded: “In my opinion, Abu Dhabi has handled the response to the pandemic exceptionally well and this leaves us in a strong position as we move forward. I’m optimistic, thanks to the efforts of the UAE government, coupled with the strength and resilience of our turnaround strategy, that global passenger demand will start to recover very quickly.”

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Combi unlocks Texel's loads of potential...

As lead operator of the new Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi freighter conversion, Bahrain-based Texel Air is looking towards more distant horizons, as Alan Dron reports.

TAV Technologies receives IDC award for passenger flow management solution

The Passenger Flow Management Platform developed by Turkey’s TAV Technologies received the highest accolade in the category of customer experience during the CIO Summit, organised by International Data Corporation (IDC) Turkey.

Qatar Airways opens new state-of-the-art engine facility

Qatar Airways has opened a new state-of-the-art Engine Facility as part of the vision to streamline the cost of its Technical Maintenance operations by more than $2.2m per year.

UK Qatari combined Hawk and Typhoon flight training

The UK and Qatar have been working together with combined delivery of Hawk and Typhoon flight training activity in support of the two countries close defence ties.

Middle Eastern airlines saw demand fall 83.1% in February

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that passenger traffic fell in February 2021, both compared to pre-COVID levels (February 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (January 2021).

Emirates announces latest policy updates

Emirates has announced the latest updates to its booking policies.

DIT DSO SK2101210421
See us at
World Defence Show 2022DAS21_BTAviation Africa 2021 BTNNAviation MENA 2021