Recent reports indicate that Jennifer Aniston is to become the new face of Emirates Airlines, only a few months after fellow Hollywood star Nicole Kidman became the face of Etihad Airlines. Two Hollywood actresses, two national airlines, maybe there’s a trend here, maybe not, at this point I’m curious to see what Air Arabia does.

Both these actresses are well respected in their fields, recognized worldwide, and I am sure will do a fantastic job representing our national companies at a global level. Celebrity endorsements are a common theme especially in the airline industry; famous examples are Kobe Bryant and Manchester United with Turkish Airlines, John Travolta for Australia’s Qantas Airlines and British Airways that had a contract with the actor Orlando Bloom.

So if celebrity endorsements are the norm in the airline industry, if Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Aniston are enormous celebrities that could potentially bring great exposure to our carriers and our country, why am I not that happy about it?

Don’t get my wrong it’s not that I’m angry, or upset, I am just indifferent. But here’s the thing I don’t want to be indifferent. Our national carries are a source of pride for the citizens and residents of the UAE. They are literally the crown jewels of our country and consistently ranked amongst the top airlines in the world. As per the world airline awards top 100 rankings for 2015 Emirates came in 5th, with Etihad right behind them in 6th.

What I am trying to say is a brand ambassador for national organizations this special is something I want to be excited about, and if it’s not already obvious, I’m not.

Now I’m neither a branding or marketing expert, so I can’t even begin to explain how these things work. How Etihad and Emirates as a brand will benefit from their endorsements, or how the UAE will benefit from the increased exposure of being aligned with two famous Hollywood actresses is beyond me.

But there is one question I will ask, since you are both National airlines from the Middle East, is there not one local, regional, or Arab speaking celebrity (that speaks English for international purposes) that could have fit the role and maybe represented who we are a little better?

A potential argument is that our Airlines are international companies competing in international markets hence the reason they need celebrities that have wide exposure across boundaries and cultures to capture more of that market. Ok let’s take that argument into consideration for a second. Am I expected to believe that someone is going to pick Emirates over Lufthansa because there’s a shot of Jennifer Aniston sipping “sparkling juice” in a first class cabin on a Fly Emirates commercial?

Call me crazy but I usually pick the flights that are most convenient with the best prices whether or not a celebrity is smiling at me on their website telling me to “come fly with us”. There are a few airlines I prioritize for their outstanding safety record, and that is pretty much it, my family and I are then booked and ready to go. Those flights are usually Etihad or Emirates.

It means a lot to me every time I hear a tourist or business traveller talk about how remarkable their experience was on an Etihad or Emirates flight. I take enormous pride in traveling on my national carriers, hence the reason I take pride in who represents them, for in the end they represent us the citizens and residents who call the UAE home. That is pretty much all I’m trying to suggest an Ambassador that calls this country, our region, home.