Children are to be inspired to become pilots as part of an Etihad Aviation Group vision to celebrate the Year of Zayed.
A Young Aviators Programme will give school children the chance to tour the Etihad headquarters and Training Academy in Abu Dhabi, take sessions in the full flight simulators and get inspired to choose a career at the controls.
It is one of four initiatives to commemorate the Year of Zayed, marking what would have been his centenary year.
Other commemorations include a specially branded freighter aircraft to carry out humanitarian missions, a Zayed themed Etihad Airways aircraft and a birdathon to promote flamingo conservation.
The initiatives are based on the four Year of Zayed themes of wisdom, respect, sustainability, and human development.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, said the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, was a visionary leader whose determination, wisdom and guidance enabled the UAE to become the prosperous, modern and harmonious nation it is today.
“His vision and legacy have directly impacted the lives of millions of people in the UAE and around the world, many of whom have been beneficiaries of his philanthropic activities,” he said.
“Etihad Aviation Group is especially honoured, on the occasion of the one hundred years since the birth of Sheikh Zayed, to pay a tribute to his vision by promoting the values he embodied, and showcasing the impact he has had on the UAE as a whole, and on the aviation industry in particular.”
Etihad Airways will launch a specially branded freighter aircraft, under the theme of respect, which will conduct humanitarian flights for charitable organisations across the globe throughout 2018 with the first mission to be launched in May
Guests travelling on a Zayed themed Etihad Airways aircraft will enjoy a host of content and services inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed, including themed in-flight entertainment and a photo gallery of his life.
A thousand guests from around the world will have the chance to experience the capital’s vibrant culture scene during the course of 2018 in another initiative – ‘the Abu Dhabi cultural experience’.
Guests can visit the Founder’s Memorial, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Wahat al Karama, and Louvre Abu Dhabi during the tour.
The Abu Dhabi Birdathon, will be a community event featuring the greater flamingos, hosted jointly by Etihad Airways and the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD).
The mini-festival will combine themes of flying and sustainability, in which several tagged flamingos will be tracked online as they fly off during the breeding season at the end of the year.
This initiative aims to drive awareness of environmental conservation, which the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was passionate about.
The final component of Etihad’s Year of Zayed campaign is focusing on human development with two dedicated training facility buildings in the name of Sheikh Zayed.
The Etihad Training Academy building adjacent to the Corporate Headquarters will be renamed Zayed Campus - Abu Dhabi, and the Etihad Aviation Training facility in Al Ain will become Zayed Campus - Al Ain.