MIAMI — In an unprecedented move, rival carriers Emirates and Etihad have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in aviation security. Both airlines reached the agreement through alternate holdings, Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG)
Emirates Group Security employs more than 400 staff directly and over 2,000 security staff through its service partner Transguard Group (TG). It extends its special aviation security services to other airlines that operate in and out of Dubai International Airport on a commercial basis.
Etihad Aviation Group and Emirates Group Security have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in aviation security. pic.twitter.com/mXGfptHrZP
— Etihad Airways (@EtihadAirways) January 8, 2018
Likewise, it has also set up its learning and development arm called Centre of Aviation and Security Studies (CASS) in partnership with Edith Cowan University to develop career-ready professionals for the aviation and general security industry.
Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising five business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners.
Hamad Abdulla Al Shamsi, Etihad’s Vice Chairman, stated, “The signing of a MoU between the two largest aviation groups in the country will have a positive impact on local and international operations by significantly enhancing aviation security measures.”
Al Shamsi added that “by working closely together and pooling our expertise and resources, Etihad Aviation Group and Emirates Group Security will build a stronger platform from which to share best practice and knowledge, allowing us to provide the safest traveling environment for our customers.”
As part of the MoU, The UAE airline giants will be sharing information and intelligence on critical aspects of aviation security with the primary goal “to effectively exploit joint synergies to enhance efficiency and security for the benefit of both groups’ customers.”
Additionally, both carriers will also work together in operational aspects. “Security is one of the foremost priorities of the global aviation industry. Through this agreement, Emirates Group Security will collaborate with Etihad Aviation Group to share know-how and extend aviation security services in order to better handle shared challenges, which ultimately benefits travelers,” said Sheikh Ahmed, Emirates Chairman, and CEO.
A First In The Gulf
This is the first agreement made by both group airlines. According to Hamad Abdulla Al Shamsi, “this is a landmark partnership and one which is as important symbolically as it is strategically.”
He also added that “as the national airline of the UAE, we have a responsibility to seek and develop greater collaboration with our major aviation partners in the UAE for the continued safety and convenience of millions of travelers worldwide.”
Under the MoU, Emirates Group Security will also extend its security training and education programmes to Etihad Airways and will support the Abu Dhabi-based airline in the development of its security escort capability.
In the longer term, Emirates Group Security will also share the content and structure of its extensive security development curriculum and work with Etihad Aviation Group in setting up a structured in-house security education programme with possible university level accreditation.
The MoU was signed in Dubai by Tim Clark, Emirates President, and Tony Douglas, Etihad CEO, in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman, and CEO; Hamad Abdulla Al Shamsi, Etihad Vice Chairman; and senior representatives from both airlines.