As the national carrier of the UAE, and a leading regional and international brand, our CSR strategy focuses on initiatives that positively and genuinely impact the environment in which we operate and the communities across our network.
As part of that our corporate social responsibility program has expanded considerably in recent years along with our commitment to a CSR policy and plan that is wholly embedded in our business.
One of the most effective ways an airline can provide support is by logistics support, transporting experts, field workers, volunteers and essential cargo to the places where they are needed the most and for many charities and NGOs this constitutes the highest part of their overheads.
Our efforts in this area have been significant and we worked with and through other organisations, including Airlink, a free web-based portal aimed at addressing developmental and emergency humanitarian air transportation needs.
We also support and manage a number of local and international projects and initiatives that improve the lives and wellbeing of the communities in which we operate.
Last year, these projects included teaming up with the UAE Red Crescent and Shelterbox in support of Syrian refugees; flying relief kits to refugee camps and hospitals in Somalia; providing flights and cargo space for humanitarian aid to the Philippines; collaborating with the Monyati Initiative to help improve the lives of children in the Uttar Pradesh area of India as well as orphans, abandoned street children, subsistence farmers and day labourers in Delhi and donations to social welfare organizations in Kathmandu; supporting efforts to provide clean and safe drinking water in Tanzania; and continuing the grassroots community initiatives with Manchester City Football Club by hosting special football clinics for children in Lagos, South Africa and India.
What are your major CSR activities in Pakistan? How many charities do you support here?
In Pakistan, our CSR policy centres on projects that assist communities in need and in the longe-term, drive development and empowerment that will allow communities to become self-sufficient.
More recently Etihad Airways collaborated with the Monyati Initiative, a non-profit social development organization to empower underprivileged women in Kashmir, Pakistan. Through this collaboration the airline provided sewing machines and sewing packages to the KDRC Vocational Sewing Centre for women.
In addition Etihad Guest, Etihad Airways’ award winning loyalty program, supports Pakistan’s Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF) by allowing Etihad Guest members to donate miles in support of the education and vocational skills training of hearing impaired children.
The donated miles are converted by the airline into cash donations to cover children’s monthly or annual tuition fees and school expenses.
Etihad Airways’ other CSR initiatives in Pakistan include ongoing flood relief, sponsorship of the Special Olympics team and support for Deaf Reach Schools and Training Centres.
Can you explain how the Art Competition at the “Deaf Reach School & Training Center” and other similar activities, help Etihad Airways fulfill its CSR objectives?
The Art competition helped us engage and personally interact with children at the Deaf Reach School and Training Centre. We also believe in promoting art and culture to build bridges globally and the art competition helped us achieve this objective.
What are Etihad’s future plans for and inclinations towards reaching out and building a better community in Pakistan?
Etihad Airways will continue to support credible organizations in Pakistan and will continue to identify ways where we can use our resources and people in a range of projects that will contribute to the holistic reconstruction and development in the country including health, education, vocational training and infrastructure development.