Ray Gammell, Etihad Aviation Group Interim Group CEO, said: “It is critical that we engage and inspire the young people of the UAE and that ethos is at the heart of Fikra, which, in its first year has showcased the incredible talent that exists in this country.
“So much creativity and innovation has been generated through Fikra already and I look forward to seeing how the concepts will evolve in the coming months across Etihad Aviation Group as well as how the competition develops over the next few years."
The Fikra competition focused on delivering ideas around digital evolution, stopover visits to Abu Dhabi, ancillary sales opportunities, improving loyalty schemes, specialist cargo opportunities, social media, youth engagement, airport experience and the environment.
In addition, there was a special category called ‘Out of the Box’ which allowed students to pitch game-changing ideas. These ideas were in-line with some of the concepts that Etihad Airways has previously introduced, such as The Residence, the airline’s private three-room cabin on the A380 aircraft.
The students’ ideas were judged by members of senior management at EAG and the winning students have been offered an internship at some of the group’s key strategic suppliers, including: BT, Cognizant, SAP, TATA Consultancy Services, Sabre, Stelia Aerospace, Zodiac Aerospace, CAE, B/E Aerospace, Recaro Aircraft Seating and Thales Avionics Inc.
The internships will provide the students with an opportunity to develop themselves and their idea in a professional environment and to experience first-hand how major multinational businesses use and benefit from innovation on a day-to-day basis.