Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has held its 2011 Worldwide Staff Conference at the Yas Marina Circuit at Yas Island.
The two-day conference, attended by over 500 staff from around the world, was addressed by Etihad Chief Executive Officer James Hogan and Etihad’s senior management team.
The Chairman of the airline’s Executive Committee, His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, also made a special address to Etihad staff to thank them for believing in Abu Dhabi and its vision for the future, pointing out that the growth and future success of both Etihad and Abu Dhabi is interwoven.
Over the two days of the conference, staff heard about the challenges and opportunities facing the airline, as well as the next steps on Etihad’s continued path of expansion.
Mr Hogan said: “Etihad is ready to make 2011 the most important year in its history as we head towards our break even target. Our staff will play an integral role in achieving this, and the conference has been an important opportunity to bring employees from across our global business together for two days of discussion and debate on how to achieve all of our goals.
“Our commitment to breaking even is well within our grasp if we continue to maintain our critical focus on safety, delivery of outstanding service and work hard as one team. 2011 will be all about winning in everything we do.”
The conference reflected on the airline’s growth since inception in 2003 and the results for 2010, which saw passenger numbers top seven million for the first time, with seat factors averaging 74 per cent. Revenues were up 29.2 per cent versus 2009 and Etihad began implementing annualised cost savings of US $320 million.
Mr Hogan reiterated that the mandate from its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi, remained as strong as ever. “It is simply to be best-in-class, commercially viable and profitable,” he said.
“We will continue to choose our markets carefully, grow our presence in them sustainably, use the right aircraft for the right routes and be the best airline in those markets. That’s how we’re going to be the best and remain the best, which in turn, will underpin Abu Dhabi’s evolution into one of the world’s leading economic, political and cultural capitals,” he concluded.
The conference came to an end with a Gala Dinner last night, which saw 14 employees from across the business recognised for their performance in the Etihad Excellence Awards.
The conference was sponsored by Airbus, Boeing and E-Focus.