Etihad Airways opens inhouse AI Academy

Etihad Airways opens inhouse AI Academy
(l-r): Ihsan Anabtawi, Microsoft Gulf and Tony Douglas, Etihad Airways.
Published: 30 January 2019 - 8:04 a.m.
By: Mark Sutton

Etihad Airways has partnered with Microsoft to launch an inhouse AI academy.

The academy is intended to help Eithad, the national airlines of the UAE, to train its staff to use AI to optimise operations and create alternate revenue streams.

As part of the AI Academy, all Etihad employees will be given access to an online training programme, and instructor led classes, to drive companywide AI literacy, empowering every employee to deliver more value to the company and its customers. Microsoft specialists will also conduct a series of AI business workshops and hands-on technical lab sessions to help identify business challenges that can be optimised with AI.

Etihad is currently embarking on a digital transformation journey in order to enhance the capacity and quality of its services to the almost 20 million passengers it carries each year.  

"There is a simple reason that we are long-term partners with Microsoft - we think alike," said, Tony Douglas Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. "Our people make us who we are. By upskilling them to use technology powered by AI, we are future-proofing our organisation. We believe that human interaction augmented by technology delivers an enhanced experience for our guests which will give us a competitive edge"   

Etihad has also adopted Office 365 as part of its strategy to become a more efficient organisation. The group's senior leadership has also spearheaded initiatives for the automation of numerous business processes, to enhance day-to-day operations. The airline plans to provide structured, flexible education programmes for its employees that will allow them to use AI and other smart technologies to ‘supercharge' their productivity and innovation. The training seminars will be carefully designed around the roles of their attendees, for maximum impact.  

"In a world where every company is becoming a digital company, it's great to see Etihad and its leadership set an example by investing in their people, and in embracing what we refer to at Microsoft as tech intensity", said Ihsan Anabtawi, Chief Operating and Marketing Officer, Microsoft Gulf. "By building their own unique digital capabilities, Etihad is becoming a fast adopter of best-in-class technology on a company-wide level - and our AI Academy partnership is a key part of that objective. AI is one of the technologies that will transform every industry, and we're proud to be partners with Etihad in readying and upskilling their world-class team and organisation, which is foundational to achieving their transformation vision and digital outcomes."

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