WATCH: Ramadan 2018: Etihad Airways unpacks its Giant Suitcase initiative

2018-05-18 09:30 - Saara Mowlana
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etihad giant suitcase

Give back with Etihad Airways and their Giant Suitcase initiative. (Photo: Supplied)

In true Ramadan fashion, Etihad Airways have unveiled something huge - their Giant Suitcase initiative - in hopes of imploring travellers to donate to charity for the holy month.

Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, released a press statement in which they say that research has shown that about more than 75% of travellers admit to over-packing clothes for vacations.

This programme offers these travellers the opportunity to do good through a simple donation programme.

You can find a literal Giant Suitcase packed and stacked in their terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport, at the check-in area of Terminal 3. It aims to encourage travellers to donate at least one item that they can do without to those less fortunate.

READ: Ramadan 2018: Travel tips, Halaal dining & in-flight Iftar boxes

Charity plays an important role in Islam and to Muslims during and outside of the month of Ramadan. Charity, or Zakaah, is one of the religions five integral pillars that every Muslim should live by. The other four pillars include: Shahaada (religious oath - the verbal proclamation of your faith), Salaah (prayer), Fasting (aka Sawm - as done during Ramadan) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca - if one is of the financial means and health to do so). 

etihad giant suitcase
The Giant Suitcase initiative set up in Abu Dhabi International Airport. (Photo: Supplied)

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways, said: "The Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the most important and special times of year for Muslims, and donating to charity is a key part of marking the month."

Al Bulooki added that Etihad Airways is pleased to launch this campaign with their guests, encouraging them to donate an item from their luggage toward those in need.

SEE: Ramadan: Halaal-friendly places to check out in SA

The initiative is marked by signs and stickers placed throughout the Departures section of the airport directing travellers toward the Giant Suitcase. The signs and stickers feature provoking questions such as: "Are you planning on wearing everything you packed?" or "Do you really need all three pairs of those packed shoes?"

The initiative won't just be confined to the walls of Abu Dhabi International Airport, but will transcend the message across Etihad's social media channels during Ramadan. They'll also be keeping their followers up to date on how much has been donated.

Everything that gets donated into the suitcase - from clothes, books, blankets and children's toys - will be collected in partnership with Grace Conservations.

etihad giant suitcase
The Giant Suitcase initiative set up in Abu Dhabi International Airport. (Photo: Supplied)

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In addition, the Giant Suitcase will visit the airline's headquarters in Khalifa City, to give Etihad staff the opportunity to also make donations.

Etihad's hospitality service - which includes in-flight catering - will continue to operate as normal. However, the flight staff will announce both Suhoor (pre-dawn meal time) and Iftar (the breaking of the fast time) times for those who are fasting on board.

For those flights which arrive close to Iftar, Etihad will also have a special Ramadan offering. It is pre-packaged for the guest to take with them and includes: Arabian dates, Laban, a fresh sandwich and a bottle of water.

Watch Etihad's promo video for their Giant Suitcase initiative below: