Etihad Airways empowers the UAE aviation industry with key national experts

Adgully Bureau |

Etihad Airways today announced the appointment of three accomplished UAE nationals to executive roles in flight operations, sustainability, and revenue management. These promotions reflect the airline's commitment to nurturing Emirati talent and highlight its long-term Emiratisation strategy as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The new positions: Vice President of Flight Operations, Director of Sustainability, and Director of Revenue Enhancement, are vital and highly specialised positions requiring exceptional knowledge, skills and leadership experience. Selecting internal talent with proven track records in their respective fields, Etihad has demonstrated its commitment to developing and rewarding Emirati employees who excel.

Commenting on the appointments, Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “As we proudly celebrate Etihad’s 20th anniversary and joins the celebrations for UAE Civil Aviation Day, we are witnessing the culmination of our long-term strategy to nurture and develop UAE national talent. 

Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Chief People and Corporate Affairs Officer at Etihad, said: "The remarkable achievements of our appointees speak for themselves, underscoring their invaluable contributions to our organisation. Their capabilities are not just beneficial; they are essential. I trust that their inspiring successes will ignite the ambitions of many young Emiratis, motivating them to embark on their own journeys within the aviation industry throughout all various sectors of society.”

Captain Mohamed Anwahi – Vice President of Flight Operations, Etihad

Etihad has promoted Captain Mohamed Anwahi to the role of Vice President of Flight Operations, a strategic position that oversees the airline’s entire aircraft fleet, flight operations, flight and cabin crew personnel, fuel efficiency and flight operations support. The role also bears the responsibility of being a registered post holder of the General Civil Aviation Authority.

Captain Anwahi joined Etihad in 2006 as a First Officer and graduated as a Captain in 2011. Over the last 17 years, he has fulfilled several roles in Etihad such as Head of Fleet for Airbus, Head of Cargo Fleet, Head of Fleet Technical and Director of Flight Operations.

In his capacity as Director of Flight Operations, Captain Anwahi spearheaded several key initiatives that delivered cost savings, improved operational efficiency, and played a major role in Etihad’s transformation programme. He also represented the airline in the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) during the covid-19 pandemic.

Captain Mohamed holds an MBA in Aerospace Management from the Toulouse Business School.

Mariam Al Qubaisi – Director of Sustainability, Etihad Airways

Mariam Al Qubaisi has been promoted to the position of Director of Sustainability, having joined Etihad in 2019 as the first Emirati leader of sustainability. During her tenure, Mariam has played an instrumental role in driving Etihad’s industry-leading sustainability efforts, resulting in the airline being named Environmental Airline of the Year by Airline Ratings in 2022 and 2023.

During her four years at Etihad, Al Qubaisi strengthened the airline’s sustainability credentials and has been the driving force behind Etihad’s partnerships with industry giants including Airbus, Boeing, GE and Rolls Royce to form the Greenliner and Sustainable50 research programmes. As well as spearheading eco-flights to test and improve the impact of flying on the environment, Al Qubaisi also led a partnership with Satavia to research the effect of contrails and identify contrail avoidance techniques to further reduce the carbon footprint of flying, not just for Etihad but for the benefit of the entire industry.

Al Qubaisi is a trailblazer for Emirati women in the field of environmental sustainability, having graduated from the UK’s Cambridge University with a masters in environmental engineering, and then joining the esteemed academia at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University, before her time with Etihad.

The role is Etihad’s first Director of Sustainability position, which is a testament to the UAE national airline’s commitment to sustainability. As Director of Sustainability, Al Qubaisi’s role continues to support the UAE’s Year of Sustainability under the theme ‘Today for Tomorrow’.

Aysha Al Kaabi - Director of Revenue Enhancement and Strategic Pricing, Etihad Airways.

Etihad has promoted Aysha Al Kaabi to the role of Director of Revenue Enhancement and Strategic Pricing. The business portfolio is responsible for revenue systems including solutions and innovation, pricing distribution, data analytics, revenue integrity as well as staff travel functions.

Al Kaabi’s promotion is a home-grown success story as she joined Etihad in 2014 as part of the airline’s respected graduate trainee programme, following the completion of her bachelor’s in mathematics from the UAE University.

Through Etihad’s highly regarded graduate trainee programme, Al Kaabi gained valuable experience in cross-departmental rotations, including Demand and Pricing and Market Manager, before taking on a Head of Revenue Management role.

At the age of 33, Al Kaabi is Etihad’s youngest Director, and is also the first female Emirati Director of Revenue, paving the way for further growth of Emirati women in the aviation industry.

Al Qubaisi and Al Kaabi’s promotions follow a long history of success stories for UAE nationals at Etihad. In 2021, Dr Nadia Bastaki became the first female Emirati Chief at the airline, now holding the position of Chief People and Corporate Affairs Officer. In 2022, Captain Aisha Al Mansoori, became the first female Emirati to become a Captain in a commercial airline, having joined the airline’s cadet pilot programme in 2007. Fatma Al Mehairi, now Regional General Manager in the UAE, and the first Emirati female to lead the UAE sales team, was also the first female Emirati country manager in Canada in 2016.