Etihad Aviation Group is has launched a new programme for suppliers in the UAE who would like to partner with the airline to provide their products and services.

Vendors across the supply chain are encouraged to join Etihad’s Al Watani programme provided they fulfil its application criteria.

To be eligible, suppliers must demonstrate their active contribution to the UAE’s market by having an operating business in the country. Successful suppliers who meet the criteria will receive a ‘Local Content Partner’ certification valid for two years.

The programme’s main objective is to establish a strong base of partners to ensure the consistent and reliable supply of products and services to the airline from the local market.

“Currently, only 30% of the organisation’s spend is with UAE-based vendors,” said Akram Alami, chief transformation officer, Etihad Aviation Group.

“We have established this programme to be able to expand further and work closely with the local supplier community.

“The UAE is a thriving hub that encourages a diverse market of growing businesses including multinationals and SMEs, as well as innovative start-ups.”

While suppliers who are not certified through the programme continue to be eligible to participate in sourcing and procurement activities held by Etihad Aviation Group, certified suppliers will be deemed strategic partners across the supply chain in the local market.

Additionally, all contractual payments will be routed through identified local banks in the UAE.

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