Abu Dhabi: Etihad Aviation Group has announced the launch of its new Al Watani programme, a new local content programme for suppliers who would like to partner with the national airline of the UAE to provide their products and services.
To be eligible, suppliers must demonstrate their active contribution to the UAE’s market by having an operating business in the country. Successful suppliers who meet the criteria will receive a ‘Local Content Partner’ certification valid for two years, which can be renewed.
The programme’s main objective according to Etihad is to establish a strong base of partners to ensure the consistent and reliable supply of products and services to the airline from the local market.
“The Al Watani programme aligns with our efforts as the UAE’s national airline to support Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 which strives to build a sustainable, diversified and value-added economy,” said Akram Alami, chief transformation officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
“Currently, only 30 per cent of the organisation’s spend is with UAE-based vendors, we have established this programme to be able to expand further and work closely with the local supplier community,” he added.
“The UAE is a thriving hub that encourages a diverse market of growing businesses including multinationals and SMEs, as well as innovative start-ups,” Alami said.
Certified suppliers will also be deemed strategic partners across the supply chain in the local market. Additionally, all contractual payments will be routed through identified local banks in the UAE.
Etihad also recently announced that it will resume passenger operations to 58 destinations through July-August, with the resumption of flights subject to the lifting of international restrictions and the reopening of individual markets. The airline plans to reach 45 per cent of its pre-Covid operational capacity by August.