Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CIAS Limited, trading as College Ireland Aviation Services, to establish a long-term strategic partnership. The collaboration will further support the airline's existing training programmes to develop and empower young U.A.E. Nationals to play an even greater role in the airline's world-class business. The MoU was signed during a special Irish delegation visit, led by the head of the Irish government, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, at the airline's headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Under the terms of the MoU, Etihad Airways and CIAS will collaborate to develop and offer a series of specialised aviation and executive development programmes to U.A.E. nationals currently employed across the airline's various departments in Etihad Airways' expanding global network. Most of the programmes will be conducted at Etihad Airways' state-of-the-art Training Academy in Abu Dhabi except for the English language training, which will be offered in Ireland. The programmes will be jointly delivered by qualified and experienced trainers from CIAS and Etihad Airways. Ray Gammell, Etihad Airways' Chief People and Performance Officer, said, "As the national airline of the U.A.E., and to support the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan and the Absher initiative, Etihad Airways is committed to training and developing a national workforce of skilled motivated Emiratis. "We are pleased to collaborate with a world renowned educational institution such as the CIAS to support the development of young U.A.E. Nationals and prepare them for exciting and rewarding careers in the aviation industry." CIAS was established in 2010 to provide a "one-stop-shop" to unite providers and market Irish education, training and consultancy services to the international aviation market. The company has the support of the Irish Aviation Authority and Enterprise Ireland and offers state-of-the-art courses across a broad spectrum of the aviation industry. Brian Joyce, the Chairman of CIAS, said that this is an exciting opportunity for College Ireland. "We are delighted to be associated with one of the world's premier airlines. This MoU confirms that CIAS is a leading provider of a broad mix of courses to the aviation industry and further proves that Irish companies can compete on a global scale for prestigious business." Etihad Airways is renowned as one of the U.A.E.'s leading Emirati employers and has been widely acknowledged for its National Talent Development programme. Currently the airline has more than 1,400 U.A.E. Nationals employed in various jobs spanning the spectrum of its operations. Etihad Airways enjoys strong commercial and cultural ties with Ireland, operating ten flights a week to Dublin and a code-share partnership with Aer Lingus. According to this partnership, Etihad code-shares on Aer Lingus' transatlantic services out of Dublin to Boston, Chicago, New York and a number of destinations across Europe and Aer Lingus code-shares on Etihad Airways flights to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manchester, Melbourne, Muscat and Sydney. Furthermore, the airline has a number of key investments in Ireland, including a line maintenance facility and premium lounge at Dublin Airport, as well as cultural partnerships with the GAA All-Ireland Hurling Championship and The Gathering Ireland 2013.