A United Arab Emirates national, Miss Al Badi will be responsible for aligning the airline's IT strategic work program with its business strategy in areas relating to pricing, crew planning, flight operations, inflight catering and business intelligence. She holds a Masters Degree in Business and Management and a Bachelors Degree in Computer Sciences from Strathclyde University in the United Kingdom.

Miss Al Badi has over 15 years' experience in the field of IT, having worked with various multinational organisations within the UK, Switzerland, Germany, and the UAE.  She joins Etihad from Mashreq Bank where she held the position of Assistant Vice President of Treasury and Capital Market Business Development.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer, said: "I am delighted to welcome Khawla to this position and to our airline. Khawla brings a vast amount of experience and expertise to the role, which will benefit both the Information Technology area and our airline as a whole.

"We currently have Emiratis in senior roles across our expanding network and we recently announced we will increase our efforts to directly recruit skilled UAE nationals, with a target of 75 per cent of new Emirati employees drawn from this talent pool.

"We are deeply committed to increasing Emirati talent at Etihad and with our new recruitment strategy in 2010, we are anticipating a substantial number of top Emirati talent like Khawla will join our airline."

The Etihad Airways Emiratisation Program offers a wide range of training opportunities for UAE Nationals, including a cadet pilot scheme, a technical engineering development program and a graduate management development program.

Etihad's Emiratisation program has more than 150 UAE national trainees deployed across the airline, including 102 cadet pilots, 30 graduate managements and 30 technical engineers.