Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, have partnered to develop initiatives and conduct research into how AI could transform key aspects of the nation’s integral aviation sector. This is in line with the university’s commitment to enhancing AI competitiveness across vital sectors, including aviation and logistics in the UAE, while paving the way for sustainable growth and innovation.

The agreement was signed at Etihad Airways’ headquarters in Abu Dhabi to advance knowledge, technology, and collaboration through shaping the future of aviation with the transformative solutions of AI. As part of the agreement, both organisations will establish joint training programmes and explore research opportunities, as well as jointly conduct seminars, workshops and conferences on a range of topics exploring AI in aviation.

The partnership encompasses training opportunities for MBZUAI students, focusing on deepening their understanding of the aviation industry and exploring the potential of AI in addressing its challenges. Additionally, it will facilitate scientific research and expertise exchange to develop innovative solutions that enhance crucial aspects of aviation.

Sultan Al Hajji, MBZUAI’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, said: “We are proud to collaborate with various stakeholders in driving the integration of AI into their core operations, solidifying MBZUAI's vision to fostering technological advancement in the UAE. Aviation is a key strategic sector in the UAE, helping to drive commerce and tourism and positioning the nation as a global hub. Through this partnership with Etihad Airways, MBZUAI aims to bring the power of AI to the aviation industry. Close collaboration is key in enabling our faculty, students and researchers to understand the challenges that this sector faces and the opportunities for growth that they see. The partnership will also give our students – many of whom have undertaken internships with Etihad Airways – and our researchers, the opportunity to gain valuable experience and insights, opening up new areas of specialisation.”

Mohamed Hasan Al Mansoori, Vice President Emiratisation Strategy & Government Relation at Etihad Airways, said: “As the UAE’s national airline, Etihad Airways prides itself on being an industry leader. We’re excited to partner with MBZUAI to explore opportunities presented by artificial intelligence, particularly in terms of long-term planning in areas such as customer service, flight planning, workforce and fleet management, and security. We look forward to developing this collaboration, maintaining our lead as an aviation innovator, and helping position the UAE as the world’s foremost hub for aviation.”