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Etihad Airways awards air hospitality contract to ABC

The Airport Belgrade Catering (ABC) company, recently fully acquired by Emirati-owned Cirta Group, a stable of companies supported by government entity Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), has signed an agreement with Etihad Airways to provide air hospitality, on-board retail services and logistic solutions over an initial period of three years that will cover more than 700 Etihad flights annually.

The agreement, which is subject for renewal upon its expiration, was signed by Abdullah Al Shammari, Chairman, Cirta Group, and Ali Al Salman, Manager, Procurement and Supply Management, Etihad Aviation Group. Witnessing the event were Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer, KFED and Adil Al Mulla, Vice President, Group Procurement and Supply Management, Etihad Aviation Group. 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, KFED is making great strides in its aim to empower national entrepreneurs and increase the competitiveness and sustainability of their businesses.

Commenting on the agreement, Mouza 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.

She said: “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. The agreement with Etihad Airways falls in line with the directives of the UAE's wise leadership to promote locally owned SMEs, consolidate their position in the local markets and expand their reach to newer audiences. 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.”

Abdullah 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 s portfolio of local and regional accomplishments. He spoke of ABC’s capabilities to provide unique services in accordance with the highest international 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.

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.

Cirta Group was founded in Abu Dhabi in 2006 and has evolved to 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, elevators and many more, in addition to comprehensive facilities management services such as miscellaneous maintenance, energy and waste management, among others.

Established in 1952, ABC is the largest independent aviation and air catering service provider in the Republic of Serbia. Located in Belgrade's airport zone and owned by the UAE-based Cirta Group, ABC provides hospitality services to reputable international and domestic airline restaurants, with a large production capacity of up to 10,000 full meals per day. It has a proven track record of successful achievements, especially in terms of hygiene, quality and safety, and this focus is integrated in its organizational structure and set policies.

 
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