Etihad Airways and Microsoft team up to launch AI academy

Academy to train staff to use AI to optimise operations and create alternate revenue streams

All Etihad employees will have access to an online training programme as well as instructor-led classes.
All Etihad employees will have access to an online training programme as well as instructor-led classes.

Etihad Airways has launched an in-house AI academy, in partnership with Microsoft.

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

All Etihad employees will have access to an online training programme as well as instructor-led classes. 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.

“By upskilling (our employees) 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," said Tony Douglas Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.

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.”

Microsoft has announced that this year (2019) it will make available Microsoft cloud to its Middle East customers through two dedicated cloud data centres, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai.

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