Emirates honours exemplary staff for saving lives, innovation

Dubai:  Eissam Mostafa Mohamed Ouf, a cabin crew member of Emirates, was busy serving meals to passengers aboard a flight from London Heathrow to Dubai when he heard a sudden commotion.

A baby had started choking and fallen unconscious. Realising that there was a life-threatening emergency situation on board, Eissam immediately abandoned what he was doing and rushed towards the baby.


The quick-thinking crew member took hold of the infant and administered back slaps and chest thrusts, and Eissam felt completely relieved after the baby regained consciousness and the object in its throat was dislodged moments later.

It was Eissam’s speedy response and correct administration of first aid that ultimately saved the baby’s life.

Eissam was one of the employees honoured recently by the Emirates Group through its Najm Chairman’s Awards. The programme, now on its 11th edition, seeks to acknowledge top employees for their extraordinary commitment to excellence, performance and service.

“Every year, we come together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of our employees. Their hard work, tenacity, compassion, and continued pursuit of excellence are vital to the success of Emirates and dnata, and I congratulate them for their brilliant performance and contributions,” said Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

“Whether individually or collectively, we firmly believe that the most outstanding contributors who have gone beyond expectations should be recognised and rewarded,” he added.

Najm means “star” in Arabic, and so far the programme has recognised more than 70 exemplary workers.  Employees who get nominated to the award goes through a rigorous review, selection and voting process by heads of departments and members of the senior executive team.

The other awardees for 2017/2018 were recognised for a range of outstanding achievements, from saving lives and providing support in difficult situations, to creating innovative business solutions.

Other awardees

Another recent awardee, Fadila Bachiri, who works as a department officer for dnata Airport Operations, was also recognised for her life-saving actions.

At one time, while she was at Concourse D lounge, she chanced upon a passenger who was choking on a piece of candy.  Fadila didn’t wait for the medical team to arrive, she rushed to apply first aid to the customer immediately.

After five attempts, she was able to get the blockage out of the passenger’s throat and clear his airway. Fadila did not just save the customer’s life, she also helped calm down the accompanying wife.

The other awardees were Khadija Arsanova, customer Service Manager, dnata Travel Services, who  helped two Emirates Holiday customers who had suffered a severe accident while on a safari and buggy ride, and  Gavin Keyes, ramp Agent, dnata International-Australia, who had once helped avert a potential crash on the ground.

Giles Peter Daniel Birch, first officer (Airbus), Emirates Flight Operations,  also won the Najm Chairman’s Award for his work on a project that seeks to reduce usage and maintenance costs for A380 auxiliary power units (APUs). 

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