Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has received four honours at the Airline Economics Aviation 100 Deals of the Year Awards 2021 at a ceremony in Dubai. Etihad Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas and Chief Financial Officer Adam Boukadida accepted the following awards on behalf of the airline:
- Middle East & Africa CEO/Industry Leader of the Year 2021 – Tony Douglas, Group CEO, Etihad Airways
- Middle East & Africa CFO of the Year 2021 – Adam Boukadida, CFO, Etihad Airways
- Middle East & Africa Capital Markets Deal of the Year – Etihad USD $600M Sustainability-Linked Transition Sukuk and Liability Management of 2021 maturity
- Middle East & Africa Sustainability Financing Deal of the Year – Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) Loan for Etihad Airways
The annual accolades, now in its tenth year, pay tribute to the past year’s most outstanding companies, individuals, and finance transactions in the commercial aviation industry; recognitions that are even more significant in the last year following a prolonged period of hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, Etihad was ahead of transformation targets set in 2017, having registered a 55% cumulative improvement in core results by end-of-year 2019. Despite operating losses resulting from COVID-19, the airline has continued to serve as an industry leader, targeting a complete turnaround by 2023 by optimising core business fundamentals, developing an industry-leading health and hygiene programme, Etihad Wellness, and engaging a holistic approach to sustainability by applying it to every aspect of its operations.
Among these transformative measures was the issue of the first ever aviation Transition Sukuk in 2020. This landmark deal raised USD $600 million in order to support Etihad’s commitment to reaching zero net emissions by 2050, with a 50% net reduction by 2035, and a 20% reduction in emissions intensity in the airline’s passenger fleet by 2025.
“While the aviation industry has faced immense challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Etihad is committed to taking bold action to not only position us for recovery in 2023, but to pinpoint innovative solutions to address the most pressing issues we are facing in the years to come,” said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer. “Sustainability is a core principle in Etihad Airways’ operations, and the steps that we have taken over the past year demonstrate our ongoing commitment to preserving both the aviation industry and the planet.”
Adam Boukadida, Chief Financial Officer, Etihad, said: “We’re proud to be recognized by the industry for our pioneering approach to fiscal sustainability. Over the past two years, we’ve implemented a number of industry-first initiatives, including becoming the first airline globally to secure commercial funding based on our commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and launching the first Aviation Transition Sukuk. I’m extremely proud of what we have delivered as a finance division and we plan to keep pushing the boundaries in this sphere, with more to come very soon.”