The accord reflects a commitment to explore a deepened co-operation that will provide travellers with wider choices, higher quality services, and increased value, while contributing to sustainable aviation….reports Asian Lite News
Etihad Airways and China Eastern Airlines signalled their intent to strengthen their partnership by signing a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to enhance commercial and operational ties.
The accord reflects a commitment to explore a deepened co-operation that will provide travellers with wider choices, higher quality services, and increased value, while contributing to sustainable aviation.
Building upon their successful existing partnership, the airlines plan to implement a broad collaboration including an expanded codeshare, reciprocal loyalty programmes, cargo transport, maintenance, repair and overhaul, ground handling, catering, lounge access, staff training, and several sustainability initiatives. This comprehensive approach will improve efficiencies while maintaining world-renowned hospitality.
The MoU should facilitate China Eastern’s ambition to begin services to Abu Dhabi through its discussions with Abu Dhabi Airports, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi, and other key stakeholders in the UAE capital.
A combination of Etihad and China Eastern services, which would coincide with the newly opened Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport, will create a robust platform for China-UAE air traffic and establish an ideal launchpad for connections between China, the Middle East, and Africa.
Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, emphasised the significance of the partnership. He said: “Our two airlines have operated an enduring partnership for over a decade. This MoU is an important milestone and a key to establishing a long-term mutually beneficial cooperation. I am highly encouraged by the momentum of our cooperation, and I look forward to seeing further success.
“It also marks a significant development of the direct links between Abu Dhabi and China and underscores the confidence of one of the most influential Chinese carriers in Etihad. The MoU paves the way for an agreement that will boost Abu Dhabi’s economic development, as well as supporting China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative.’”
Li Yangmin, President of China Eastern Airlines Group, said: “The MoU builds upon our existing co-operation. It makes possible an agreement that would allow us to collaborate in real and practical ways as part of the continually flourishing relationship between China and the UAE.
“The connection between China Eastern’s Shanghai hub and Etihad’s network through Abu Dhabi will significantly enhance our footprint in the Middle East and Africa. It supports our commitment to the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the ‘Aerial Silk Road,’ stimulating economic, trade and cultural exchanges between China and partner countries.”
His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, the UAE Ambassador to China added: “In a remarkable testament to strengthened collaboration, our partnership goes beyond operational enhancements, emphasizing the promotion of extensive people-to-people exchanges.
“We eagerly anticipate welcoming a surge of Chinese tourists to the UAE, inviting them to immerse themselves in our nation’s unique culture. As we approach the forthcoming 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UAE and China, we express our sincere hopes for an even deeper relationship across diplomacy, trade, culture, and various other spheres.”
H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Crown Prince Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, has visited the final package of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network…reports Asian Lite News
H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Crown Prince Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, has visited the final package of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, which extends for 145 kilometres from Sharjah to Fujairah Port and Ras Al Khaimah, to review the progress of rail construction works in these emirates.
During the visit, which started in Al Suyoh area in Sharjah and concluded in Sakamkam, Sheikh Theyab inspected key landmarks on the project’s route in the final package of Stage Two of the network; starting with the rail bridge in Al Suyoh area in Sharjah, followed by a stop in Al Bithnah area in Fujairah to visit Al Bithnah bridge. He then headed to visit a number of tunnels where he witnessed tracklaying works across the tunnels in Al Hajar Mountains in Fujairah.
H.H. reaffirmed the continuous support and guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Etihad Rail’s ambitious national project throughout the past years. Today, Etihad Rail is continuing its commitment to achieving more successes, building upon the foundations established by the UAE’s leadership for developing the transport system and achieving economic prosperity through the development of the UAE National Rail Network.
Etihad Rail is enhancing its contribution to the UAE’s development by shaping the rail industry and setting business models and client behaviours. The company has made consecutive achievements, which reflect the project’s role in shaping the transport sector’s future, in line with the UAE’s journey of excellence.
Following the inspection tour, in his next stop, Sheikh Theyab, accompanied by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, witnessed the signing of an agreement between Etihad Rail and Spain’s CAF company, one of the world leaders in the railway sector, for designing, manufacturing, supplying, and maintaining passenger trains for the Etihad Rail project valued at AED1.2 billion.
Sheikh Theyab lauded the agreement, which serves as a major step in developing the UAE’s passenger transport services, in line with the company’s commitment to completing the national and strategic project on schedule, and according to the best practices.
The agreement, which emerged as a result of Etihad Rail’s success at the Middle East Rail 2022, was signed by Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail; and Josu Imaz, Chief Executive Officer Rolling Stock of CAF, in the presence of Iñigo de Palacio Espana, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE, and officials from both sides.
The agreement was signed in Sakamkam area, where the first passenger train station will be built in the heart of Fujairah city.
Under the terms of the agreement, CAF will design, manufacture, supply, and provide maintenance for passenger trains as per the European standards. Each train will have a seating capacity of over 400 passengers and will run up to 200 km/h. The trains, which will offer a variety of seating segments, will serve as a major addition to the public transport system in the UAE.
The passenger trains will facilitate transport across the cities of the UAE, providing passengers with a quick, efficient, safe, comfortable, and cost-saving travel experience.
Through its partnership with CAF, Etihad Rail will benefit from CAF’s long-standing experience for more than 100 years, in providing advanced solutions for improving the rail commuter’s expertise and providing passengers with high levels of safety, efficiency and quality.
The passenger train will connect 11 cities and regions in the UAE from Al Sila to Fujairah, including Al Ruwais, Al Mirfa, Dubai, Sharjah, Al Dhaid, and Abu Dhabi.
Passenger services will allow travellers to plan their journeys between the Emirates and cities of the UAE more efficiently, from booking their tickets until they reach their final destination. They will reduce commute time by 30-40% compared to other modes of transport, where travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and from Dubai to Fujairah, will take only 50 minutes only, travelling from Abu Dhabi to Al Ruwais will take 70 minutes only, while travelling from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah will take 100 minutes only.
The passenger trains will be equipped with the latest cutting-edge technologies that suit the topography and climate of the UAE, which is key for ensuring high performance, efficiency, and reliability. The trains will provide various amenities, entertainment, and comfortable seating at high levels of security, efficiency, and quality, allowing passengers to enjoy exceptional journeys.
The trains will be equipped with modern amenities, including infotainment systems, charging stations, and more, along with food and beverages and ample legroom, in addition to an advanced air-conditioning system, to meet the needs of all. There will also be different seating segments, including first-class, business-class, and economy.
Etihad Rail has recently signed three MoUs with Spain’s national railway operator Renfe, and the British companies High Speed 1 and GB Railfreight, to enhance cooperation and the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and the best practices in freight and passenger rail services and rail operations. This took place during Middle East Rail 2022, which was hosted by the Etihad rail in May.
In February, Etihad Rail signed an agreement with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) for financing the railway passenger transport services, with a total value of AED 1.99 billion as part of the UAE National Railways Programme. First Abu Dhabi Bank will be the Certified Lead Arranger for the loan as part of the agreement.
The National Rail Network’s route in the final package of Stage Two extends for 145 kilometres, connecting the borders of Dubai and Sharjah, going through Fujairah to Ras Al Khaimah. It comprises 54 bridges and 20 wildlife crossing points. It also has nine tunnels extending 6.9 kilometres through Al Hajar Mountains, including the largest heavy freight railway tunnel in the Arab Gulf which runs for 1.8 kilometres. The route is known for its distinct geographic location, being surrounded by mountains on all sides.
In November 2021, Etihad Rail completed the excavation works for all rail tunnels in this route, two months ahead of schedule and in compliance with the highest safety and sustainability standards. This was achieved using the latest tunnelling equipment and the best modern technology, adding a notch to the project’s records in terms of safety.
The National Railway Network supports the growth of the national economy with sustainable transportation system, which provides safety and efficiency. The network’s locomotives incorporate the latest technology for reducing emissions, where carbon emissions will be reduced by 70-80% compared to the amount emitted by trucks, with one single train journey replacing around 300 trucks on the road.
Etihad Rail employs the best global practices, and constantly conducts environmental impact assessments (EIAs) to limit the impact of the UAE National Rail Network on the environment during planning, construction, and operations.
Etihad Airways has been recognised in the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Passenger Choice Awards in a glittering awards ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, on Wednesday…reports Asian Lite News
The UAE’s national airline took home the 2022 Passenger Choice Award for Best Entertainment in the Middle East.
On Etihad’s E-BOX entertainment offering, guests will find over 200 movies, more than 350 TV shows, 15 radio channels and 800 albums in a variety of genres and languages.
Video and audio content is supplemented with a wide variety of games as well as seven channels of Live TV featuring global news channels and sport.
On the airline’s newest A350 aircraft, the latest features include wireless charging in Business class and Bluetooth headset pairing throughout the aircraft. The new flight map technology also features a fun and interactive children’s mode, where young travellers can explore the world with animated dinosaur friends.
APEX once again partnered with TripIt from Concur, the world’s highest-rated travel-organising app, to gather anonymous passenger feedback based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights for the honour. For the 2022 Awards, nearly one million flights were rated by passengers across more than 600 airlines from around the world using a five-star scale.
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing, said, “We’re consistently investing in the Etihad experience and we’re proud our inflight entertainment has been recognised in the APEX awards based on genuine passenger feedback. The content on Etihad’s E-BOX is hand-curated to cater to the wide demographic Etihad flies across its global network. On our newest fleet, Wi-Fi connectivity and other innovations like Bluetooth headset pairing and wireless device charging complement this leading entertainment offering.”
The establishment of the new cable system aims to meet the rising communication traffic and the large demand for such services between KSA and Egypt…reports Asian Lite News
Etihad Etisalat Company (Mobily) signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Telecom Egypt to build the first submarine cable system to directly connect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Egypt. The MoU was signed in Riyadh by Eng. Salman Al-Badran, CEO of Mobily, andAdel Hamed, Managing Director, and CEO of Telecom Egypt.
The agreement explores various new ways to connect international capacity to Europe in the west, through Telecom Egypt’s network, and to the GCC in the east, through Mobily’s network, which is made possible by expanding the two companies’ networks and connecting them to neighboring countries.
The establishment of the new cable system aims to meet the rising communication traffic and the large demand for such services between KSA and Egypt.
“By adopting cutting-edge technologies, we continue to expand our infrastructure and scale our capabilities across the KSA and the wider region,” said Eng. Salman Al-Badran, CEO of Mobily. “We are confident that our strategic partnership with Telecom Egypt will help achieve our goals.”
Thamer A. AlFadda, Senior Vice, President Wholesale & Carrier Services, said: “The MoU is part of Mobliy’s efforts to enhance its global infrastructure, aiming to establish the KSA as a leading international hub for communication services and data traffic, which contributes to the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.”
Adel Hamed, The Managing Director and CEO of Telecom Egypt, added: “We are pleased to build this strategic collaboration with Mobily, which helps increase the scale and reach of our networks, and adds more connections with the KSA.”
Seif Allah Mounib, Vice President, Chief International & Wholesale Officer at Telecom Egypt: “The MoU lays the foundation of a fruitful and growing collaboration with Mobily, as well as adding to our cutting-edge international infrastructure.”
Mobily follows a leading approach aiming to empower the digital economy and offer advanced digital solutions in-line with Saudi Vision 2030. This further cements Mobliy’s reliability, agility, and competitiveness, it also contributes to the company’s efforts to bolster the growth of the communication sector and digital economy in the Kingdom. Telecom Egypt is the preferred partner for subsea cable owners worldwide, offering advanced infrastructure both locally and globally, with +140 landing stations across +60 countries.
Mobliy also continuously focuses on scaling subsea cables using cutting-edge technologies, which is reflected clearly by investing in subsea cables, in addition to recently joining two new consortiums to increase global capacity and presence, and cement the leading position of the Saudi communication sector globally.
Etihad Engineering receives business recognition at Aviation Achievement Awards 2022
Etihad Engineering, one of the world’s leading commercial aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services providers, has won ‘MRO Service Provider of the Year – Commercial Aviation’ award at the Aviation Achievement Awards 2022…reports Asian Lite News
Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer at Etihad Engineering, was honoured with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Aviation Industry’ award at the event held in Dubai, UAE.
The Aviation Achievement Awards, celebrate and recognise exceptional resilience, innovation, growth, and leadership in the aviation industry. Etihad Engineering, driven by the visionary leadership of Abdul Khaliq Saeed, has continued to serve customers across the globe whilst expanding its global footprint by diversifying its product portfolios, despite the challenges faced during the pandemic.
Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer at Etihad Engineering, said: “We appreciate the recognition we have received from our industry at the Aviation Achievement Awards. Although the aviation industry faced unforeseen challenges in recent years, we honoured our existing commitments and also managed to expand our services, capabilities, and strategic partnerships. Our achievements have been made possible by the unwavering support of our stakeholders, the confidence of our customers, and the outstanding passion and workmanship of our people.”
Etihad Engineering’s state-of-the-art 500,000 sqm facility is located in Abu Dhabi, adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport, with 140,000 sqm of aircraft parking area, aircraft hangars covering 66,000 sqm, and a custom-designed hangar that can accommodate up to three Airbus A380 aircraft simultaneously. The company has successfully completed maintenance projects over the years for airlines from all over the world.
Etihad, Abu Dhabi Airports joins to launch Etihad Guest’s "Miles on the Go" (WAM)
Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad Guest, the award-winning loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, have signed an agreement to launch the “Miles on the Go” product at Abu Dhabi International Airport…reports Asian Lite News
Etihad Guest members can now instantly earn and spend Etihad Guest Miles when shopping at participating merchants located at Abu Dhabi International Airport. By simply downloading the Etihad Guest app and linking up to five Visa cards to their profiles, members can spend their miles and receive cashback on their cards.
Members can earn 1 Etihad Guest Mile and 1 Etihad Guest Tier Mile for every AED3 spent at any of the 119 participating outlets, including lounges, luxury retail stores, dining establishments and Duty-Free outlets from over 35 brands.
FRANCOIS BOURRIENNE, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER, ABU DHABI AIRPORTS: “Abu Dhabi Airports always strives to strengthen ties with strategic partners to provide a remarkable customer experience at our airports. We are pleased to collaborate with Etihad Guest at their home airport, and we are committed to introducing innovative solutions that will enhance the passengers’ journey through Abu Dhabi International Airport.”
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand & Marketing, Etihad Airways, said, “We are continuously enhancing our Etihad Guest loyalty programme for our valued members. The ‘Miles on the Go’ product offers our members a rewarding experience with more options to earn and spend miles. We are delighted to welcome Abu Dhabi International Airport to our award-winning mobile app. (WAM)
Etihad Cargo launches Forever Home for animal rescues
Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has launched Forever Home, to support not-for-profit live animal at risk transportation…reports Asian Lite News
The new policy enables the UAE’s national carrier to consider requests from bona fide rescue and animal welfare organisations for not-for-profit transportation of animals at risk.
MARTIN DREW, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT SALES AND CARGO, ETIHAD AVIATION GROUP: “Forever Home reflects Etihad Cargo’s desire to assist in the relocation of live animal rescue missions, which may involve animals which have been abandoned, seized by authorities, or neglected, and can range from domestic animals to endangered species under CITES and the IUCN Red List– the multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. This policy will ensure any rescue mission is conducted by an approved and reputable organisation in line with Etihad Aviation Group’s own ethics and compliance.”
Forever Home significantly expands Etihad Cargo’s existing animal welfare and conservation policy, which commits to identifying and implementing actions to help prevent the illegal wildlife trade and encourage responsible sustainable tourism.
“As one of the first airlines to sign the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce Declaration, Etihad Cargo has a strong track record in animal welfare,” said Drew. “Forever Home expands that commitment to cover all animals – whether they are pets, racehorses, or exotic species. All rescue requests will be subject to due diligence and, if approved, the rescue organisations or individuals can be assured of specialised animal transportation at the best possible rate.”
Etihad Cargo’s dedicated LiveAnimals and SkyStables products provide customised solutions for transporting animals and horses, from family pets to global conservation projects. Adhering to all regulatory requirements, Etihad Cargo ensures the safest treatment of all species entrusted in its care with dedicated handling, pallet build-up, and ramp transport by specially trained staff.
The UAE’s national carrier recently earned IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Live certification for its LiveAnimals product, which provides additional accreditation and reassurance to customers for Etihad Cargo’s expert handling of live animals.
The launch of the policy further strengthens the nation’s commitment to the protection of animals, after highly respected Emirati conservationist and managing director of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, and managing director of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, H.E Razan Al Mubarak, was elected President of the Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in September 2021.
In an industry-first, EY20 was the first commercial flight to explore contrail-avoidance…reports Asian Lite News
Last week, Etihad Airways operated its most sustainable flight ever, leveraging the learnings and efficiencies developed over the last two years of its comprehensive sustainability programme to reduce carbon emissions (CO2) by 72% in absolute terms compared to the equivalent flight operated in 2019.
The London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi flight is part of the Etihad Greenliner Programme – a two-year partnership between Etihad and Boeing using Etihad’s Boeing 787 fleet as a test bed for sustainability improvements in partnership with organisations across the industry. It required huge collaboration across the aviation ecosystem to deliver a sustainable in-flight product, coordination with airspace management for optimised flight routing, new technology flight deck tools, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), contrail reduction and airport handling processes.
Etihad Cargo expands pharma sector to Africa
In an industry-first, EY20 was the first commercial flight to explore contrail-avoidance. Working with UK-based SATAVIA, the team identified potential areas of ice super-saturated regions in the atmosphere where harmful contrails are likely to form, and the flight route was adjusted to avoid these areas. Based on the original and adjusted flight plan, the strategy avoided the production of approximately 64 tonnes of CO2e, with a fuel penalty of only 100kg, or 0.48 tonnes CO2.
“These are noteworthy savings,” said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. “When Etihad committed to achieve net zero, it was acknowledged that it was only possible if the airline worked collaboratively and positively with our industry partners. That is exactly what Etihad has done with the Sustainable Flight. Of equal importance, Etihad, Boeing and its partners – airports, ANSP, and suppliers – used the flight to learn where further improvements could be made.
Talking after the flight, Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “I want to pay particular tribute to our partners; Boeing, NATS, Eurocontrol, GE Aviation, Vitol, SATAVIA, deSter, Sola The Netherlands, ButterflyCup, Agthia, Jubail Island Mangroves and DNata Catering. This is only possible when we all work together, and we all commit to making whatever savings we can. Each of these partners played their own, significant role in the step we took today.”
The contributions covered three phases, planning, in-flight and post-flight. This included preparing the aircraft, engines and route planning systems to optimise take-off, en-route and landing flight paths and trajectories, minimising contrail formation, working with our guests to reduce their luggage and rewarding those that travelled light.
Etihad provided catering that was appropriately sourced and served on sustainable crockery and with light-weight cutlery. The crockery itself is part of a circular recycling process where they are returned to the manufacturer at the end of their serviceable life and ground down to its raw material and remade. Guests were also provided with environmentally friendly plant-based water bottles and limited-edition tote bags from upcycled aircraft materials. 80% of all single use plastics were eliminated.
Once the aircraft arrived at Abu Dhabi, it was serviced by Etihad’s new fleet of electric vehicles for ground logistics such as baggage unloading. Where electric vehicles were unable to be used, Etihad purchased bio-diesel to fuel equipment such as the airline’s passenger coach service between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, meaning all passengers, including those transiting to Dubai, were completely carbon neutral for the entirety of their journey.
The data gathered from the aircraft’s sensors was added to Etihad’s growing database on flight performance, and analysed using tools from Greenliner partner, GE Digital to improve understanding of flight performance and allow quick recognition of unsustainable activities.
“A fundamental part of the Greenliner programme is to explore the art of the possible. It is well known that SAFs are a credible alternative to current fossil fuels, however they are currently very expensive, and difficult to source and load onto the aircraft. EY20 was a dramatic example of those constraints wherein Etihad was unable to directly load the 38% SAF blend into the aircraft given inherent infrastructure constraints at Heathrow Airport. Instead, the SAF purchased by Etihad was loaded into the fuel hydrant system, which serves all airport users. While the EY20 did not in itself realise the full potential of the SAF, the potential benefit in CO2 reductions is real. Industry and governments must work together to address these issues through the funding of the research and development of SAFs and other parts of the planning and operating of flights. Etihad is looking forward to working on these issues,” Al Bulooki said.
Douglas added, “The entire emissions reduction we achieved on this flight was through the operational steps and efficiencies employed and did not rely on off-sets. Nonetheless, off-sets, if done rigorously, also play a part in our sustainable future. The UAE has a large stock of mangroves which present nature-based solutions. In addition to their ability to reduce pollution from water and the atmosphere, if maintained properly, mangrove forests have the potential to avoid the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. That is why each guest on board this Etihad flight will have a tree adopted for them in Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island Mangroves plantations. Adoption involves the maintenance and reforestation of existing forests with carbon storage potential. This is an important initiative for greening the UAE.”
“EY 20 Sustainable Flight brought together a long list of small changes that had been developed over the past two years under the Greenliner Programme, which was designed to identify opportunities that are available today to reduce emissions, rather than waiting for future technologies. Our single greatest learning from the past two years has been that even when solutions are available, they are not easily deployed on a regular basis due to constraints throughout the entire aviation eco-system. What was demonstrated on EY20 was the art of the possible; the next step is to work on how these can be deployed sustainably,” said Al Bulooki.
“That is the challenge Etihad faces, and the challenge that Etihad accepts in collaboration with our partners. Etihad is determined to operate with sustainability as a core principle alongside safety and security, and is looking forward to many more of these small steps making a big difference.”
Etihad Cargo strengthens its digital footprint with a revamped website
Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has revamped the etihadcargo.com portal to provide customers with a heightened and intuitive online experience…reports Asian Lite News
The new-look website includes the introduction of quicker booking processes and streamlined flows, a personalised dashboard, recommendations, and dynamic pricing.
Following customer feedback, the site also now incorporates a new dynamic map of the carrier’s global network which provides detailed information on Etihad Cargo teams and its global network outstation capabilities.
Migrating to a customer-centric platform has cut the time customers take to complete a booking from more than two minutes previously to less than 45 seconds, equating to only 12 clicks, compared 23 needed before.
New features such as requesting shipping quotes, booking ad-hoc prices which have been negotiated offline and booking shipments based on arrival timelines have been introduced to streamline the user experience. Customers will also have the ability to create and manage booking templates based on previous purchases.
MARTIN DREW, SVP SALES AND CARGO, ETIHAD AVIATION GROUP: “With a fresh look and feel incorporating key features requested by customers, the site’s entire user experience has been enriched to provide improved response time and functionality across customers’ booking journeys.”
Etihad Cargo’s ongoing digital investment follows soaring online trade. The carrier registered 60 per cent growth over the past year and currently received 42.4 per cent of its booking online through its own portal and aggregators.
“The digital portfolio investment builds on the success of Etihad’s Cargo’s iCargo platform and underlines the commitment to become a leading digitised air cargo carrier that constantly innovates to sharpen the overall customer service value proposition,” Drew added.
The new Etihad Cargo platform represents a larger company-wide initiative to expand its digital portfolio to streamlining services for its customers. The initiative, which began in March 2020, saw the successful launch of a mobile app that enables anywhere, any-time tracking and real-time, on-the-go access to information including flight status.
Etihad Cargo is committed to shipping and storing pharmaceuticals with passive packaging between main temperature ranges…reports Asian Lite News
Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group, has expanded its pharma sector reach into Africa with the signing of a Service Legal Agreement (SLA) with Astral Aviation and Kenya Airways to provide reliable and cost-effective airfreight solutions across the continent.
Operating a fleet of 14 freighters out of its Nairobi and Johannesburg hub, Astral Aviation services a network of 15 African destinations, which Etihad Cargo will leverage for increased vaccine distribution across Africa. Both carriers are members of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and Pharma.Aero, whose joint Project Sunrays initiative offers cross-industry collaboration for pharma shippers managing complex vaccine distribution logistics.
The SLA, a first Pharma Interline agreement, ensures Etihad Cargo partners are fully compliant with latest GDP and IATA Pharma regulations and standards, and guarantees processes, from booking to handling of such sensitive goods, are standardised and performed to the highest quality.
Etihad Cargo defined the steps and responsibilities of the SLA to ease the transfer between the two airlines, boost transparency and make sure pharma specific documentation, labelling and messaging are used and shared under a precise order and form.
MARTIN DREW, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT SALES AND CARGO, ETIHAD AVIATION GROUP: “In addition to significantly expanding Etihad Cargo’s reach across Africa, this inter-airline agreement ensures complete adherence to the specific requirements of pharmaceutical product transportation. Customers can be reassured that Etihad Cargo partners will expertly maintain cool chain integrity.”
Etihad Cargo is committed to shipping and storing pharmaceuticals with passive packaging between the main temperature ranges known as COL (+2 to +8°C), CRT (+15 to +25°C) and ERT (+2 to +25 °C).
“We are honoured to partner with Etihad Cargo and participate in the critical distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to and within Africa. The equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa will be enhanced with the help of partnerships and collaborations within the aviation sector, such as the one enacted between Etihad Cargo and Astral, which will offer one-stop solution for the vaccines to and within Africa,” said Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation.
“Kenya Airways Cargo is excited to join Etihad Cargo in the HOPE Consortium initiative through providing logistical solutions in our home continent. With only 2.5 per cent of the African continent vaccinated against COVID-19, this will go a long way toward achieving the Africa Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population by the end of 2022 which will result in. This is a fundamental need and pre-requisite toward aviation recovery in Africa,” commented Peter Musola, Head of Cargo Commercial at Kenya Airways.
With Etihad Cargo’s agreement with Kenya Airways and Astral Aviation providing a timely boost in Abu Dhabi’s positioning as a global logistics hub capable of facilitating vaccine distribution in Africa, which now covers 27 offline stations and four online stations, the partnership also enhances the capabilities of the Hope Consortium – the UAE capital-based private-public sector supply chain specialist which provides global COVID aid to the world.
“The World Health Organisation has recently reported that only 2.5 per cent of African citizens are vaccinated against COVID-19 and that millions more doses are required to meet even modest targets,” explained Drew. “Through Etihad Cargo’s ever-expanding portfolio of partnerships and collaborations, the HOPE Consortium can play a greater role in meeting vaccine demand.”
Since the pandemic, Etihad Cargo has carried almost 2,500 tonnes of pharmaceuticals to Africa, including 41 dedicated flights on behalf of the UAE government. The carrier currently services 72 network destinations across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. It’s fleet of 65 aircraft operate 430 weekly rotations, in addition to charter flights which service demand across non-network destinations.