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Sun 11 Feb 2007 06:22 PM

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Etihad boss outlines airline's strategy

UAE national carrier to mirror the growth of Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, has unveiled the airline's ambitious growth strategy, which he claims will keep pace with the rapid development of Abu Dhabi.

The UAE's national carrier will kick start its aggressive expansion plan by boosting its flying programme by 18% this summer, adding 40 extra flights weekly to its current schedule and rolling out several new destinations, including Australia, Italy and Ireland.

To cater to demand, four new three-class Airbus A330 jets and two new three-class Airbus aircraft will join the fleet this summer.

"But running a successful airline isn't just about buying planes and flying to new cities," said Hogan.

"The board of directors has now endorsed the company's development plan for the next three years and the summer flight programme shows us continuing to develop the business on commercial principles.

"We've switched flight timings to offer better connections at Abu Dhabi for our customers and introduced extra frequencies on existing routes. This makes us more attractive to the flying public and more viable as a business."

He said the changes at the airline would "mirror the ambitious programme of change now underway in Abu Dhabi".

"The forward thinking emirate is intrinsic to our development. It will be home to a staggering investment of US $136 billion in the next nine years as it grows and matures as a centre of excellence in both business and leisure," he explained.

Etihad would be a "pivotal player" in Abu Dhabi's success story, which included staging an Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009, Hogan added.

In terms of new routes, Etihad will operate an Abu Dhabi-Sydney service three times weekly from March 26 and daily from June 29; the Dublin service will run four times weekly from August 3 and the Milan route will operate three times weekly from September 1.

Existing destinations due for frequency increases include Karachi, Khartoum, Cairo, Beirut, Dhaka, Islamabad, Doha and London Heathrow (although the daily Gatwick service will be suspended) from March 26; Bahrain from June 1 when the Brussels and Toronto service will be ‘de-linked' offering Abu Dhabi-Toronto non-stop three times weekly and Abu Dhabi-Brussels non-stop three times weekly; Karachi, Johannesburg and Jakarta from August 1; and Paris and Damascus from September 1.

New flight number ranges will also be introduced from March 26. Customers or travel agents requiring more information should visit


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Rob 12 years ago

Is it possible to book flights between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi in South Africa?

michael farley 12 years ago

dear sir or madam keep upthe good work and dont let your standards and services slide like Emirates

liza green 12 years ago

When are flights to Edinburgh the Capital of Scotland - from Abu Dhabi - the Capital of the UAE - going to to be introduced?

Prakash 12 years ago

When are the flights to Trivandrum the South India City - going to be in your net work. Kindly see that EY obtains traffic right out of TRV to Kuala Lumpur as the India population in Malaysia is over 2 million and is mostly from the southern part of Kerala and Tamil Nadu states.

Liz Cabel-Wagner 12 years ago

Dear Sirs,  When are you starting to operate flights from Cologne to Abu Dhabi or Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi. At the moment, you are only flying to Munich and Frankfurtt. Both cities are far fetched from middle Germany, you are talking South end and North end of the country.  Would be pleased to hear your comment on this.  Yours truly,  Ms Cabel-Wagner

Azamuddin Ansari 12 years ago

Will Etihad be flying to Hyd, India in the near future

Anwar 12 years ago

When is Etihad planning to fly to Kenya as its the Most beautiful place for wild life and safari?