Etihad Airways will support technology start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Gulf state having signed a partnership with Hub71 community.
The flag carrier has become the official airline of Hub71 and will offer the 100-plus early stage firms in the community special rates and a dedicated booking platform.
Hub71’s technology community has expanded from 35 members to 102 in under two years and raised $50.4 million for start-ups in 2020.
The global tech ecosystem now includes start-ups from Israel, South Korea, Czech Republic and Nigeria.
Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operating officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad is looking forward to collaborating with Hub71, a flagship initiative of Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi’s accelerator programme.
“Together, both entities will play a vital role in supporting the Emirate’s development by investing in business, innovation and people.
“The MOU will support the government’s efforts in diversifying the economy by rewarding businesses who choose to develop innovative technologies in Abu Dhabi.”
Etihad will tap into Hub71’s fast-growing community and global network of partners to drive innovation and will also offer mentorship opportunities, workshops, and community events.
“Technology and innovation play a key role in supporting the restart of the aviation industry during the COVID pandemic.
“Etihad looks forward to working with Hub71’s global pool of innovators to actively source, support and enable the rapid trial and production of promising solutions for the aviation industry,” said Al Bulooki.
Hanan Al Yafei, chief executive of Hub71, said: “As the world prepares to open up, global connectivity will be vital for our growing community of start-up founders to be in a position to export their innovative products and services to new markets.
“Our strategic partnership with Etihad Airways reflects the value we place in unlocking global opportunities from Abu Dhabi, and together we will help grow technology-driven businesses that can sustain the aviation industry with bold new ideas and innovations.”