11:52 AM

Emirates honours distinguished employees at the 12th annual Najm Chairman’s Awards

Dubai, UAE, 30 January 2020 – 26 of the Emirates Group’s top employees received the organisation’s most prestigious recognition today at the Najm Chairman’s Awards. The awards recognise employees whose work and actions are characterised by a strong work ethic, a spirit of innovation, extraordinary acts of bravery and selfless teamwork.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, presented the coveted ‘Najm Chairman’s Award’ to six individual and team achievements at a ceremony that took place at Emirates Group Headquarters today. The ceremony was attended by hundreds of colleagues, as well as friends and families of the honourees, and streamed live to thousands of employees around the world. The winners also received a monetary award for their contributions.

Applauding the exceptional employees on their wins, HH Sheikh Ahmed said: “Our people are our greatest asset, and the Najm Chairman’s Awards honourees are a perfect example of how Emirates Group employees live the values of our organisation, and with their powerful passion and initiative help drive our business and reputational momentum forward. We are grateful for the example they set everyday in helping to make a difference for customers, for their fellow colleagues and for our businesses around the world through their dedication and commitment to excellence. Today, we celebrate their achievements and contributions which truly embody the Emirates Group’s can-do spirit.”

Najm, which means ‘star’ in Arabic, has been the Group’s employee recognition and reward programme since 2007. The Najm programme has different award tiers which recognises employees all year round for their excellence, commitment and innovation, and going above and beyond their roles to make a difference. This year, the Emirates Group recognised over 14,000 employee achievements through the programme.

The ‘Najm Chairman’s Award’ is the highest accolade at the Emirates Group, and nominated employees and teams undergo a rigorous process which is vetted and screened by department heads and senior management. Since 2008, 73 Najm Chairman’s awards have been given out to employees across different departments at the Emirates Group.

Phenomenal Acts and Exceptional Initiatives

The Najm Chairman’s Award 2019/2020 winners were honoured across a range of extraordinary achievements - saving lives, dedicating their time to create innovative solutions for the business and operation, overcoming overwhelming challenges through teamwork, and delivering service excellence.

Selfless teamwork results in aircraft recovery in harsh conditions

Omar Al-Samarrai, Mook Park, Giovanni Scalsi Riquelme and Andre Weidlich were recognised for the recovery work they led after an emergency diversion to Goose Bay Airport Newfoundland, Canada. Challenges mounted as the airport lacked the resources and facilities to cope with the large aircraft and volume of customers onboard. However, this did not deter the team who effectively managed the situation, and took care of customers. Buses were arranged to transport groups of passengers to the terminal and updates communicated on an ongoing basis until the replacement aircraft arrived. Despite several obstacles along the way, the flight deck and cabin crew’s teamwork was instrumental in delivering outstanding airmanship and decision making to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers.

Developing The Hub Monitor

To improve on-time aircraft turnarounds at the Dubai hub, a group of team members from Emirates Engineering, IT, Operations Research & Effectiveness, dnata Airport Operations, Flight Operations and Operations Control collaborated and worked with agility and tenacity to deliver an application that tracked turnaround activities in real time, proactively identifying causes for potential delays, which provided significant benefits to the airline’s operation and saved the company millions of dirhams.

Heroic actions rescue a choking child

Alanah Mercer, Emirates Senior Airport Services Agent at Brisbane Airport was queueing at a food outlet when a child, who was in front of Alanah with her mother, started to choke violently. Straight away, Alanah took the child, reached in to her mouth to dislodge the foreign object, helping the child breathe normally again. Alanah saved the child from a potentially life threatening situation, going above and beyond her call of duty.

Swift action saves a child’s life

While boarding passengers for a flight from Dubai to Kochi, Customer Services Supervisor Morteza Monfared saw a panic-stricken family rush towards the gate, crying that their child had become unresponsive. Morteza sprang into action and positioned the infant on the floor, and immediately started performing CPR, focusing intently on saving the infant. A collective cry of relief was heard when the infant was revived. By this time, the medical team had arrived on the scene and took over. Morteza's quick thinking and prompt action resulted in saving the life of a child.

Going beyond the call of duty for a sick customer

Mohammed Imamuddin was doing his mailing rounds when he heard a colleague from Emergency Response Planning call out to him urgently. An elderly passenger, who was in transit to Dhaka, had just collapsed from a heart attack, and the colleague was attending to him. The passenger and his wife could only speak their own native Bangla. Mohammed immediately rushed to assist as a translator for the passenger and emergency services. However, his assistance to the sick passenger did not end there. Mohammed also used his personal time to visit the passenger at over the next 10 days of his recovery in Dubai. He helped to translate and communicate the passenger’s requests to the travel agency in Dhaka as well as other government agencies. He contacted the passenger’s family, and kept them updated on the passenger’s condition. Mohammed even took the time to prepare homemade Bangla dishes for the passenger. Mohammed’s generosity and care for this passenger went above and beyond his work responsibilities.

Ground breaking Revenue Optimisation platform

Emirates’ Revenue Optimisation department wanted a solution that would bring consistency to the demand, price and flight management function as well as provide speed to market and competitive fares. A project team was assembled to develop a new data sourcing platform, which involved sifting through a billion data records, developing new processes, system testing and training many users. What resulted was an application that reduced data analysis times, quickly identified revenue optimization opportunities, tracked the competition, and helped teams take critical commercial decisions quickly, helping grow the airline’s incremental revenue in the last financial year.


Rula Tadros 

Emirates Public Relations