Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) has concluded a year-long programme of activities and humanitarian initiatives to mark the UAE’s Year of Giving. One dirham from every ticket booked was donated to charity – and other noble initiatives that touched the lives of those in need around the world. 2017 was officially declared as the Year of Giving by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In support of this national initiative, EAG launched a strategy based on the government’s three Year of Giving pillars: Corporate Social Responsibility, Volunteering and Serving the Nation.
EAG Interim Chief Executive Officer Ray Gammell said: “We are proud that the EAG family worldwide so generously supported the many initiatives throughout the year. Volunteering and giving back to our community, as well as to the communities in which we operate, is an important part of the Etihad culture.”
A number of activities supported Syrian refugees, including a welfare trip to Lebanon where more than 3,550 Syrian refugees received winter clothes, shoes, mattresses, dry food parcels and blankets; and a trip to the UAE-Jordan Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp in Jordan where EAG staff and senior management distributed school bags, stationery sets, blankets and garments to more than 2,500 children.
In Greece, vital school and home supplies were donated to more than 1,000 Syrians at the Ritsona refugee camp near Athens. The event coincided with the United Nations Universal Children’s Day and supported the global education initiative to help underprivileged students pursue their studies.
The Year of Giving drive was also visible on its flagship aircraft, the Airbus A380, with all four engines of the superjumbo displaying the official Year of Giving logo to promote the national initiative overseas in Etihad’s A380 destinations of Sydney, Paris, London Heathrow and New York.
The EAG family also executed many community engagements within the Emirates. A special day in cooperation with Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs was planned to help determined ones in planting trees and vegetables at one of the farms. The one-day activity involved planting, harvesting, packing vegetables and feeding the animals.
‘Sharing Your Blessing During Ramadan’ was also kicked off by executing many initiatives, including hosting the Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts fundraising day to support autism in EAG headquarters. The donation drive continued with the donation of nearly 40 pallets of catering supplies to Emirates Red Crescent to support charity projects during the Holy Month. Dates packages were distributed to more than 1,800 ramp loaders at Abu Dhabi International Airport, as well as in Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka and Lebanon.
More than 3,000 Iftar meal boxes and water were distributed to labourers residing at Tafseer Camp in Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, by more than 120 EAG volunteers. A campaign ‘For Your Sake, Somalia’ targeting famine in the African nation was also planned by Etihad Guest members .
Members of Etihad Airways’ award-winning loyalty programme Etihad Guest donated 750 Etihad Guest Miles to the emergency response in the African country, with providing one meal. Etihad Aviation Group also planned a fun day event during Eid al Fitr, visiting the elderly in Shahama and Baniyas.
Students from the Future Rehabilitation Centre, a local special needs school, were whisked away from school for a surprise hands-on science lesson in Etihad Airways’ state-of-the-art flight simulator, where they learnt about flight regulations, aircraft technology and how to be an effective co-pilot. Khaled Al Mehairbi, Senior Vice President Abu Dhabi Airport, and General Manager of Etihad Airport Services Ground, who also serves as Chairman of Etihad Airways’ Sports and Social Committee, and CSR strategy said: “This year’s initiatives are representative of the kindness and generosity of our staff, as well as the wider community in Abu Dhabi.
“Together, we have been able to make a positive impact in the lives of adults and children, and reaffirm our commitment to society and to give back to those in need.” This latest initiatives builds on the Group’s track record as a socially responsible organisation. In 2017, 1000 EAG employees volunteered with more than 7437 hours of time in support of charities and community causes.