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Mon 9 Nov 2009 12:47 PM

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Etihad chief says profit is 'key focus' for 2011

CEO says new services to come online in 2010 after being named world's top airline.

The CEO of Etihad Airways said on Monday that major growth initiative planned for 2010 would help the airline hit its target of profitability in the following year.

James Hogan said the company's key focus was on making profit in 2011 as he accepted the award for the world's top airline at the World Travel Awards, the first Middle East carrier to win the accolade.

“As we move into 2010, we intend to cement our place as the world’s best airline, opening up new routes, taking delivery of new aircraft, investing in new products in the air and on the ground, and introducing a range of online initiatives to make travelling with Etihad better than ever," he said.

“Our next growth phase will also position Etihad to reach its goal of profitability in 2011. This will be a key focus for us as we move forward with a programme of continuous investment in our network, our product, and in staff training and development,” he added.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad was voted the world's best airline by more than 180,000 travel industry professionals from over 175 countries.

Hogan said: “Three years ago, Etihad set itself one clear and simple goal – to be the best airline in the world. I am proud of the way Etihad people all over the world have embraced that vision, supporting our investment in state-of-the-art products by delivering superb customer service.”

In addition to being named World’s Leading Airline, Etihad also picked up the award for Leading First Class for the second year in a row.  He said Etihad would not be resting on its laurels and had plans to introduce new Advanced Business and Economy Class seats and in-flight entertainment system by the end of the year.

A new service style in Economy Class is also being rolled out on all Etihad routes, Hogan added.

“The new economy service is an extension of the inspired service philosophy already embedded in our premium cabins. It delivers a level of personal attention and touches of luxury that will make the economy travel experience the best in the sky,” he said.

Etihad’s new economy class service will offer extra support for families at the airport and during boarding, entertainment packs for children, new menus, including hot desserts and a hot and cold café service.

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Me 10 years ago

They really deserve the award ..