27 May 2018 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Cargo, the cargo division of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has launched its first humanitarian freighter missions. The initiatives are part of the group's extensive Year of Zayed programme, which will take place throughout 2018.
The specially branded Year of Zayed Boeing 777 freighter aircraft departed Abu Dhabi – first to Almaty in Kazakhstan and then to Hyderabad in India – carrying special provisions to be distributed to those in need during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The humanitarian missions are taking place throughout the year in collaboration with the Khalifa Foundation, the Red Crescent, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian & Scientific Foundation. These missions represent the Year of Zayed theme of respect, one of the four key themes of Etihad's Year of Zayed activation plan.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to have commenced our first Year of Zayed humanitarian operations with our cargo aircraft which is crossing the globe to deliver vital items to help people most in need.
“The humanitarian missions embody the spirit and values of the UAE's founding father, HH Sheikh Zayed, and we are proud to play a small role in carrying forward his legacy and supporting people in need from around the globe.”
Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, General Manager of The Founder's Office, said: “The Founder's Office is proud to support Etihad Airways' humanitarian efforts, which will bring relief to thousands during the holy month of Ramadan.
“The late Sheikh Zayed initiated countless philanthropic and charitable endeavors throughout his lifetime. His spirit of altruism and generosity transcended borders, and laid the foundations for the UAE's ongoing role as a leading provider of international aid.
“This worthy initiative upholds his legacy, reflecting one of the central themes of our Year of Zayed campaign which is to reinforce the spirit of solidarity amongst community members through selfless giving, and globally extending a helping hand to all those in need.”
In addition to its freighter humanitarian missions focusing on the theme of respect, Etihad has an extensive programme to commemorate the Year of Zayed themes of wisdom, sustainability and human development.
Under the theme of wisdom, guests travelling on a specific A380 Etihad Airways aircraft will enjoy a host of content and services inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed, including themed inflight entertainment, kids' packs and a photo gallery of his life.
Another exciting initiative will be the launch of an Abu Dhabi cultural experience. During the course of 2018, Etihad Airways will fly-in 1,000 guests from around the world to experience the capital's vibrant culture scene, including visits to the Founder's Memorial, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Wahat al Karama, and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Combining the themes of flying and sustainability, Etihad Airways and the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) will host the Abu Dhabi Birdathon, a community event featuring the greater flamingos.
Several tagged flamingos, each one nominated to an Abu Dhabi partner entity, will be tracked online as they fly off during the breeding season at the end of the year. This initiative aims to drive awareness of environmental conservation, which the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was passionate about.
The final component of Etihad's Year of Zayed campaign, focusing on human development, has two elements.
Etihad will dedicate its training facility buildings to Sheikh Zayed. The Etihad Training Academy building adjacent to the Corporate Headquarters will be renamed Zayed Campus - Abu Dhabi, and the Etihad Aviation Training facility in Al Ain will become Zayed Campus - Al Ain.
In addition, Etihad will launch the Young Aviators programme for school children in the UAE.
This initiative, which aims to inspire children, will involve guided tours of the Etihad headquarters and Training Academy in Abu Dhabi, including sessions in the full flight simulators.