Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, has celebrated the graduation of nine young Serbians from a world-class career development programme with Etihad Airways.
The group were presented with certificates at a special ceremony held yesterday afternoon at the Al Raha Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi where they were joined by close to 300 graduating classmates from Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles.
Milica Marjanović, Milica Bungin, Jovan Đukić, Stefan Radovanović, Ivan Bikić, Nikola Drenovac, Milan Milić, Aleksandar Jeličić and Iva Karadžić embarked on the course in December 2013 and have now returned to take up managerial positions at Air Serbia.
Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “We congratulate our talented graduates for successfully completing one of the most demanding aviation courses in the world with Etihad Airways. This is a phenomenal achievement.
“Our graduates have picked up a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills, and have now returned home to Belgrade where they are making an important contribution to Air Serbia every day.
“As the national airline we put a strong focus on developing our human resource capacity, especially when it comes to the next generation of Serbian aviation professionals, and are delighted to work with our partner Etihad Airways to make this possible.
“Etihad Airways is one of the world’s leading airlines and its Training Academy is likewise a class-A education facility. Together we can offer young Serbians unrivalled career opportunities.”
The nine graduates are the first group of Serbians to finish the Etihad Graduate Management Programme (EGMP), a 24 to 30 month-long development course introduced in 2013 with the aim of developing human resources at Air Serbia.
The comprehensive course involves four months of foundation level training where participants learn about the airline industry, followed by on -the-job training across key Etihad Airways business areas, before specializing in a particular airline role.
The graduation ceremony was attended by senior management of Air Serbia including Davor Mišeljić, Chief Operations Officer at Air Serbia and Michael Youlten, General Manager Services at Air Serbia.
Additional statements from graduate managers:
Milica Bungin gained experience in the Airport Operations and Network Operations teams at Etihad Airways and, after completing the programme, joined Air Serbia in Services where she oversees projects at Nikola Tesla Airport. She said: “These past three years have been the most valuable professional experience of my life. In addition to the training, certifications and practical work, I gained a lot of firsthand experience and knowledge. After the first few months of lectures, I worked as a graduate manager at Abu Dhabi International Airport where I was involved in a wide variety of projects, and now I have come out ready for a future in the airline industry.”
Stefan Radovanović was given a placement in the Sales department as part of his specialization and is now working at Air Serbia in the Eastbound Sales role. Upon graduating, he said: “The programme was well-planned and organized, with specific sales training as well as rotations across different areas such as corporate and trade sales. After the initial training in Abu Dhabi, I was sent to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where I was involved in the entire business of running the station. This equipped me with the skills needed to grow sales in distant offline markets, which I am putting to good use in my current role at Air Serbia.”
Aleksandar Jeličić underwent training in the Airport Operations and Network Operations teams and upon returning to Air Serbia has taken up the Navigation Engineer role in Flight Operations. He said: “All the teachers at the Etihad Training Academy have years of experience and the facility offers great resources such as simulators, smart classrooms and a great library, which altogether provided us with a comprehensive understanding of aviation. It has been a very beneficial course and I am now applying my training at Air Serbia where my role involves working on the navigation database and optimizing routes. I’m proud to be part of the first generation of Serbian graduates who passed through the EGMP programme.”
Photo caption: Air Serbia has celebrated the graduation of nine young Serbians from a world-class career development programme with Etihad Airways. The graduation ceremony was attended by senior management of Air Serbia including Davor Mišeljić, Chief Operations Officer at Air Serbia and Michael Youlten, General Manager Services at Air Serbia.