Etihad Airways unveils summer growth plans
Etihad Airways, the world’s fastest growing airline, is to increase its flying program this summer by 18 % Through its expansion plans, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates plans to launch several new routes. As of March 2007, non-stop flights will be taking off to Sydney Australia from the carrier’s Abu Dhabi base, and in August, 2007, Etihad Airways will also be launching direct flights to the Irish capital Dublin In September the airline carrier will also launch new flights to Milan’s Malpensa airport, and these are only a few of airline’s expansion plans.
Bringing its capacity up to a total of 258 services a week this summer, Etihad Airways will be launching 40 additional weekly flights from Abu Dhabi to the Indian Sub Continent, 6 extra flights to the GCC and Middle East regions, 15 extra flights to Europe, and 8 extra flights to the Far East and Africa.
To accommodate to this increase in activity, Etihad airways will be adding 4 new three class Airbus A330 jets, 2 new three class Airbus A340-600 aircraft, and 6 new wide bodied long haul jets to its existing fleet.
Commenting on these new plans, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nayhan, Chairman of Etihad Airways’ said: “These are exciting times for both Etihad and Abu Dhabi. No long haul airline has grown as quickly from conception as we have .The airline has made great strides in just over three years, and we’re not going to stop here. We have more aircraft deliveries later this year and we’re actively pursuing opportunities in the winter from Abu Dhabi to the Middle East, Europe and Asia”
From his end, Mr. James Hogan, Chief Executive of Etihad Airlines added: “Running a successful airline isn’t just about buying planes and flying to new cities. This is why the board of directors at Etihad Airlines has now endorsed the company’s development plan for the next three years. Our enhanced summer flight program shows our commitment to developing our business operations on commercial principles. We’ve switched flight timings to offer better connections at Abu Dhabi for our customers and we introduced extra frequencies on existing routes. With these pans we are striving to make, Etihad Airways more attractive to the flying public and more viable as a business”
Mr. Hogan further added that along with Etihad Airways’s plans to fly smarter the airline’s administration will also work to address the entity’s cost base, its financial well-being, its brand, its future, its fleet plans and its service, both in the air and on the ground.
“The changes we are implementing at the airline are aimed at mirroring the ambitious transformations currently underway in Abu Dhabi, for the forward thinking emirate of Abu Dhabi is intrinsic to our development. I predict that it will be the home to a staggering investment of US$136 billion within the next 9 years, as Abu Dhabi at present is maturing into a centre of excellence in both business and leisure The recently announced plan to stage an Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009 strongly demonstrates this ambition and it is our aim to be a pivotal player in Abu Dhabi’s success story “Mr. Hogan said.