Complex Made Simple

Etihad Airways celebrates UAE Innovation Week

HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan tours the Etihad Airways Innovation Centre and Training Academy

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will be hosting a series of events and activities to showcase its approach to innovation in technology and sustainability during the UAE Innovation Week being held between 22 and 28 November.

The nationwide Innovation Week was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as part of the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy launched in October 2014. The week-long activities seek to promote the country’s position as a global innovation hub, and encourage innovative thinking within the government and private sectors, as well as from the public.

In celebration, Etihad Airways’ state-of-the-art Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi is playing host to government entities, and members of the media, who will all have the opportunity to explore lifelike mock-ups of the airline’s revolutionary Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft cabins. Etihad Airways’ A380 includes the ground-breaking The Residence by Etihad™, First Apartments and Business Studios, while the B787 contains the award-winning First Suites.

Today’s tour of the Etihad Airways Innovation Centre was led by the airline’s President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, who welcomed His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Transport Department and member of the Executive Council, Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police and member of the Executive Council; and Saeed Saif Al Neyadi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Monitoring and Control Centre.

Members of Etihad Airways’ executive team were also present to receive the senior delegation including Khaled Al Mehairbi, Senior Vice President Government and Aeropolitical Affairs; Hareb Al Muhairy, Senior Vice President Corporate and International Affairs; and Abdul Qader Hussein Ahmed, Vice President Government and International Affairs.

Etihad Airways has invested billions of dollars in technology and innovation to transform its operations and businesses, leveraging technology platforms, digital capability and supplier partnerships across its equity partner airlines to achieve economies of skill and scale. Etihad Airways now collaborates with the world’s largest technology companies such as Accenture, Adobe, IBM, SAP and Sabre to enhance the group’s guest experience using a resilient and secure cloud-based infrastructure.

The Innovation Centre is a research centre of excellence where fresh ideas are brought to life. It is also home to Etihad Airways’ Training Academy which comprises the largest A380 and B787 cabin service and safety trainers in the world.

Guests touring the product innovation and themed rooms of the facility between 23 and 25 November will be able to better understand how the inspiration for the airline’s award winning products and services was brought to life in partnership with the Etihad Design Consortium, which was established in 2008.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “In a competitive market environment such as aviation, a sustained innovation process is fundamental to providing the best possible products and services to our guests now and into the future. In seeking new ideas and challenging the standards, we benchmark ourselves outside the airline sector to take inspiration from global best practice of leaders within the hospitality industry.”

The Innovation Centre tour also showcases developments in the airline’s information technology services, which include the cabin crew tablet application ‘iKnow’, and the benefits it brings to both crew and guests. In addition, it features applications developed for pilots, technical staff and those used for disruption support.

“We leverage the extraordinary capabilities available through emerging technology, whether in the design of new generation aircraft and interiors or the creation of digital solutions that allow our service to be more efficient and customised when looking after our guests,” Mr Hogan said.

An interactive display of the Panasonic eX3 Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system provides a first-hand demonstration of its many innovative features such as video sharing, shopping and hospitality apps, 3D moving map display and Android games.