The aviation industry gained 100 technical engineers, 89 First Officers, and 207 aviation management and administration professionals as Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) celebrated the graduation of its 2017 Future Leaders Programme members on Monday.

The graduates, comprising 181 women and 215 men, were joined by hundreds of family and friends at Zayed University’s Abu Dhabi campus to mark the completion of two to three years of intensive on-the-job and classroom training. They will all now take up roles at divisions of EAG, including Etihad Airways, Etihad Airways Engineering and Hala Group.

EAG board members also attended the ceremony, which saw 305 students from the UAE and 91 from around the world graduate as pilots, engineers, managers and administrators. Emirati women make up 45 per cent of the 2017 graduates.

“Our people are the heart of our business and it gives me enormous pride to see these talented individuals graduate and launch their careers within Etihad Aviation Group,” said Mohammed Al Mazrouei, EAG chairman. “This generation will advance Etihad and advance global aviation and will reinforce the Abu Dhabi’s position as a key player in the aviation industry.”

Since the Future Leaders Programme began in 2007, more than 2,600 people, including 2,233 UAE nationals, have launched their careers at EAG. Emiratis account for 29 per cent of the group’s core staff and are the foremost nationality occupying positions at a manager and executive level, and in the flight deck of Etihad Airways’ 119 aircraft.

“The past 10 years of the Future Leaders Programme embodies the vision of the father of this nation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and is evidence of the opportunities available across the UAE for current and future generations,” said Mr Al Mazrouei.

Addressing the graduates, Ray Gammell, Etihad Aviation Group Interim chief executive officer, said: “As you celebrate your success today, remember that this is only the beginning; learning never stops, and you are now a driving force behind Etihad and the UAE’s progress.”


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