UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has signed up Airport Belgrade Catering (ABC) company to provide air hospitality, on-board retail services and logistic solutions for an initial period of three years covering more than 700 Etihad flights annually.
The ABC company was recently fully acquired by Emirati-owned Cirta Group, a stable of companies supported by government entity Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED).
The agreement was signed by Abdullah Al Shammari, the chairman of Cirta Group, and Ali Al Salman, the manager of Procurement and Supply Management, Etihad Aviation Group in the presence of Mouza Al Nasri, the acting chief executive of KFED and Adil Al Mulla, the VP Group (Procurement and Supply Management) at Etihad Aviation Group.
As a subsidiary of the Emirati-owned Citra Group, ABC company recently secured the biggest deal in the Serbian air hospitality sector with the country’s flag carrier, Air Serbia, and will provide catering services and logistics solutions for eight years.
This deal is renewable for a total period of 15 years and is considered one of the most prominent successes of national projects supported by KFED in foreign markets, especially in Eastern Europe.
It is considered one of the most significant contracts in UAE air hospitality sector history, and represents another substantial accomplishment for the KFED–supported Cirta Group.
Through its support of such promising projects, Khalifa Fund is making great strides in its aim to empower national entrepreneurs and increase the competitiveness and sustainability of their businesses.
Commenting on the deal, Al Nasri highlighted the significance of the contract in invigorating the role of national small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE’s economic development.
She reaffirmed the Fund’s desire to provide financial and moral support to Emirati entrepreneurs and innovative business owners as they aim to contribute to the growing national economy.
Al Nasri also elaborated on the importance of joint efforts to spread awareness on the entrepreneurial culture across different fields and sectors in the UAE and explained the necessity to encourage innovative projects that have the potential to become established at local, regional and international levels.
"The Cirta Group best exemplifies the true embodiment of entrepreneurship, which has become one of the country's most prominent and well-established companies, widely recognized for its superiority and ability to compete with leading international companies," stated the official.
"At KFED, we continue to support entrepreneurship and freelancing concepts by encouraging citizens to innovate, create new ideas and develop projects that cover various vital sectors in the country that will ultimately contribute to the socio-economic development of Abu Dhabi and the UAE," she added.
Al Shammari also spoke about the importance of the agreement, adding that the new partnership with one of the world’s leading airlines enhances ABC’s portfolio of local and regional accomplishments.
He highlighted ABC’s capabilities to provide unique services in accordance with the highest global standards in air hospitality, including on-board meals and drinks, retail products, and certain logistics solutions for an average of two flights a day, seven days per week over the duration of the contract.
He also praised the endless support provided by KFED to Cirta Group in order to enhance its leadership position in the local, regional, and global markets, and emphasised the key role of elite government entities in supporting Emirati entrepreneurs both inside and outside the UAE through a series of agreements, partnerships, cooperation and joint coordination.
Cirta, which was founded in Abu Dhabi in 2006, has now become a leading regional provider of high quality electromechanical and facility management services.
It provides and maintains all types of electrical construction requirements and mechanical services such as air conditioning systems, fire alarm and firefighting systems, chemical treatment systems and elevators.-TradeArabia News Service