60 seconds with… Kai Ling Ting - Innovation Lead, Etihad Aviation Group

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60 seconds with… Kai Ling Ting - Innovation Lead, Etihad Aviation Group

60 seconds with… Kai Ling Ting - Innovation Lead, Etihad Aviation Group

1. What is a typical day at Etihad’s innovation lab like for you?

It’s such a cliché but every day’s unique! I spend half of my workday dreaming up possibilities and the other half ensuring that those ideas become reality in Etihad’s innovation lab. 

2. What is your proudest achievement with Etihad’s innovation lab?  

Every project within the lab is special to me for different reasons, but the most recent would have to be our trial of the IATA Travel Pass. We were one of the first airlines to introduce it, supporting the aviation industry in its recovery.

3. Can you tell us something about the innovation process that Etihad follows? 

Founded on the principles of “build-test-pivot”, our innovation lab provides seed funding and streamlined approvals to support accelerated delivery of innovation by working with our internal teams, start-ups, corporates and academiato fast-track value to business.

4. Innovation like paperless planes, use of biofuels and the reducing food wastage, have you considered partnering up or mostly collaborating with brands like Tesla (who are currently the most eco-friendly brand in the market)? 

Partnerships are one of the key drivers of our innovation strategy, so the answer is an absolute yes. We work closely with some of the biggest global brands and will continue to do so, especially when our values align.

5. What makes Abu Dhabi the place for high-tech advanced innovation? 

With safety, strong governance, world class infrastructure, connections to global markets and strong government support for technology and entrepreneurship as well as easy access to funding and talent through enablers like ADIO and Hub71, Abu Dhabi is the place to be for any startup looking to accelerate its development. 


6. How would you the rate the standard of innovation in Abu Dhabi in comparison to the world? 

We’re in our early stages but growth-spurting fast, with more homegrown startups achieving success beyond the UAE, and global startups calling Abu Dhabi home. We are certainly the “new kid on the block” to watch when it comes to innovation!

7. What's your plan to get Abu Dhabi to the top of the global game when it comes to high-tech advanced innovation? 

Innovation is core to our DNA and Etihad will continue to partner with global startups to ensure we introduce technology that enhance the experience for both our guests and our employees. Internally, we have also established teams focused on driving adoption of RPA, AI and Machine Learning across the business.