Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was honoured today by his Excellency Gerard Michels, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE.
His Excellency was at the Etihad Training Academy in Abu Dhabi to present a Certificate of Appreciation to Etihad’s Aviation Security Document Verification Unit (AVSEC DVU).
This was in recognition of the unit’s successful endeavours in stemming illegal migration into Europe’s Schengen area and in helping to clamp down on international organised crime through joint actions with the Dutch Immigration Liaison Office (ILO).
Welcoming the Ambassador to the Etihad Training Academy and accepting the certificate, Captain Richard Hill, Etihad Airways’ Chief Operations Officer, congratulated the Etihad AVSEC DVU team on their achievement, which he said demonstrated that Security remained a top priority for the airline.
“Our primary contact for all issues regarding the 25-country Schengen area has been the Dutch ILO in Dubai, which is part of the Dutch Consulate. We have worked very closely together over the last few years to ensure that passengers travelling onwards to Europe and vice-versa into the UAE have the correct documentation.”
Emphasising that this was the first time that he as Dutch Ambassador had shown his appreciation to an international airline in the region, His Excellency said Etihad had proved itself time and time again to be highly efficient in dealing with joint security issues.
“Our combined efforts to address the ongoing issue of improperly documented persons seeking entry into Europe’s Schengen area have achieved great success, and I look forward to closer professional cooperation in the years ahead between Etihad’s AVSEC DVU and the Dutch ILO.
Etihad operates 64 weekly frequencies to the Schengen cities of Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Athens, Milan and Geneva.
Traffic on these routes in 2011, is expected to grow by 15 per cent year on year, to 1 million passengers. Average growth on these routes has been 200,000 passengers per annum since 2006