Etihad Airways holds symposium for potential suppliers

ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways today hosted a symposium for more than 500 representatives of local and global businesses, suppliers, commerce and government departments.

Arranged by Etihad Airways Procurement and Supply Management department, the symposium aims to further strengthen Etihad Airways’ reputation and brand in the global procurement market, underscore the importance of partnerships with suppliers, as well as highlight joint procurement opportunities.

In his opening keynote address, James Rigney, Chief Financial Officer of Etihad Airways, outlined the great potential and opportunities for global companies to work with Etihad Airways and its equity partner airlines around the world.

“Today Etihad Airways is a US$6 billion business supporting the growth of Abu Dhabi s economy and its 2030 vision. However, if we are to sustain our present level of growth, we will need a solid and ever-growing supplier base.

“We currently have around 2,000 suppliers and the capacity to add many more as the Middle Eastern aviation industry and our business continue on its current growth trajectory.” According to the latest study by leading UK think tank, Oxford Economics, Etihad Airways and its partners continue to play a crucial role in supporting and driving economic growth in the UAE.

The Etihad Airways group contributed a total of US$15.6 billion to Abu Dhabi s GDP in 2013. This represents 12.8 per cent of the non-oil GDP in the Emirate. The group supported 181,852 jobs in total, while its rapid expansion is expected to help create more than a 100,000 jobs by 2018.

“As we work with our equity partners to achieve shared cost efficiencies through joint procurement initiatives, we are open to discussions on global agreements to leverage our combined purchasing power, geographical coverage and continuing growth,” Rigney added.

Adil Al Mulla, Vice President Procurement and Supply Management of Etihad Airways, gave an overview of the airline s procurement policy and practices and their reliance on transparency, integrity, accountability and strong governance. He also outlined the procurement and supply chain opportunities in areas such as corporate services, fuel, airline and inflight services, Etihad Airport Services and sustainability.

“Our suppliers have played a vital role in helping us to meet our corporate goals. We are actively looking for mutually beneficial partnerships and global agreements that will support our continued growth.” He also highlighted the airline s adherence to sustainable procurement principles, working with suppliers and partners to seek environmentally and socially responsible products and services that meet its commercial and operational needs.

In an active discussion with delegates, the Procurement and Supply Management team covered a range of topics including: how to enhance the partnership with Etihad Airways, how to become a supplier with Etihad Airways and its equity partners, the partner selection process, quality and regulatory requirements, current supplier concerns and geographic proximity.

Culminating the symposium, Etihad Airways presented the “Partnership in Excellence” awards to partners who had performed exceptionally in terms of providing reliable service, remarkable and innovative products and supporting the airline s operations.