Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been voted the airline with the region’s best treasury team by the Association of Corporate Treasurers Middle East (ACTME).
ACTME is the regional arm of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), the international body for finance professionals working in treasury, risk and corporate finance. The main objective of the ACTME is to develop the knowledge and expertise of its members across the region.
The awards are based upon a survey of the region’s financial professionals, who were asked to nominate their most admired treasury team, based on their achievements in 2009. The gala awards ceremony was held on October 28, 2009 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s treasury team received nominations from a number of leading banks within the region.
Etihad’s treasury team was praised for its extraordinary professionalism, skills and knowledge across a number of fields; including capital structuring, handling of corporate deals for aircraft and engines orders and strong focus on cash and risk management.
James Rigney, Etihad Airways’ chief financial officer, said: “2009 was an extremely busy year for Etihad and for the treasury team in particular, helping to support the airline as it has continued to expand and mature into a world-class international carrier.
“Our vision at Etihad Airways is to become the best airline in the world, and the treasury team is committed to playing its part in achieving this goal. To receive recognition from your industry peers is always satisfying and it’s a great honour to pick up this award.”
Stuart Siddall, ACT chief executive, said: "The Association of Corporate Treasurers is delighted to recognise excellence in treasury in the Middle East through our Deals of the Year Awards. Despite the difficult market conditions the nominations for these awards were excellent. The judging panel was impressed by the innovative structure of the winning Treasury Deal and by the integrity, knowledge and flexibility of the winning Treasury Team."
Recognition was also given to the team’s achievements against a backdrop of rapid expansion during 2009, a year which saw the airline consolidate the treasury function at its new Abu Dhabi headquarters.
During the last 12 months, the team has played an instrumental part in concluding the largest engine deal in commercial aviation history, securing aircraft financing deals valued at more than US$ 800 million and also supporting the setting up local finance teams to support the launch of seven new international destinations. Etihad’s treasury team also received recognition in 2007 and 2008, winning the Airfinance Journal’s Middle East Deal of the year for two years in succession.
So far this year, Etihad Airways has won more than a dozen major global awards for the quality of its services and products covering the entire journey experience with the airline and demonstrating its commitment to excellence in all areas. Awards have been given for the airline’s first class, business class, in-flight entertainment and on-board catering, lounges, etihadairways.com website, Etihad Guest loyalty programme, advertising campaigns and sponsorships. The airline is also currently ranked the seventh best in the world according to the annual Skytrax poll of 16 million air travellers.
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