Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced the appointment of Othman Aleghfeli, a UAE national, as Area Manager Gulf Cooperation Council from his current position as Assistant General Manager for the airline's Abu Dhabi Hub.
In the new role, Othman will be responsible for overseeing the airline's operations and driving growth in the GCC. He will be the first UAE national to hold this position which is critical to the delivery of service excellence and a superior guest experience across the GCC region having joined Etihad Airways in 2007, Othman has almost a decade of operational experience in the aviation industry. His career started when he joined the airline's Graduate Management Programme – a training scheme that offers young, dynamic and professionally qualified Emiratis orientation and practical training in different functional areas within the airline to enable them to assume specific job roles upon completion of the program. After 18 months, Othman obtained his Etihad Airways – Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) diploma in leadership and management.
At the age of 30, Othman started his first operations role as Etihad Airways' Airport Duty Manager in Chicago, where he spent more than a year handling above the wing and below the wing day-to-day flight operations activities and managing the airline's customer service at O'Hare International Airport.
Since then, he has been involved in different airport and ground services management aspects and honed his operational skills as Duty Manager at Jeddah International Airport between 2010 and 2011 and Airport Manager at Seoul International Airport from 2012 to 2014.
Othman has demonstrated exceptional commitment and been recognised for self-motivation, creativity and taking responsibility. He won the airline's Employee of the Year Award twice; in 2012 for Best Emirati Operations Employee in the Network and in 2014 for Best Station Manager Performance of the Year.
Ray Gammell, Etihad Airways Chief People and Performance Officer, said: "We are proud of Othman and his valuable contribution to the operational side of our business. His story is one of determination, aspiration and can-do attitude. He is a true embodiment of the success of our UAE National Development Program and a remarkable example of our Emirati employees' enthusiasm for becoming aviation leaders."
As part of developing the UAE national workforce and offering them the opportunity to gain international work experience, Etihad Airways has recently deployed more than 140 UAE nationals to various positions at the airline's offices and airport destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
Also part of its UAE National Development strategy, the airline supports Emirati employees by offering them advanced training and education opportunities locally and abroad.
Chris Youlten, Senior Vice President Airports and Network Operations at Etihad Airways, said, "I am delighted to have someone of Othman's calibre in our team. I have known him as a graduate manager and long been an admirer of his successful operation in Seoul. With his strong expertise in operations, he will be able to lead the team to develop our business in the GCC region."