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7JetSet7 Code: EHD
Status: Operational
Employees 26635
Telephone: +97125110000
Fax: +97125058111

Click below for data links:
EHD-2004-07-A380 ORDER
EHD-2005-01-A380 SELECTION
EHD-2007-11-INCDT A340-A
EHD-2007-11-INCDT A340-B
EHD-2007-11-INCDT A340-C
EHD-2007-11-INCDT A340-D
EHD-2012-12 - EHD GROWTH
EHD-2013-04 - JPL LINK
EHD-2013-11 - 777X LAUNCH
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-A
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-B
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-C
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-D
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-E
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-F
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-G
EHD-2013-11 - UPDATE-H
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-A
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-B
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-C
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-D
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-E
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-F
EHD-2014-05-A380 787 RESIDENCE-G
EHD-2014-10 - EXPO MILANO 2015 - A330-200
EHD-2014-12 - 1ST A380
EHD-2014-12 - 1ST A380 WELCOME
EHD-2015-09 - TOP 10 2015.jpg
EHD-2015-12 - 2016 Airline of the Year.jpg
EHD-2016-02 - ATW Airline of the Year-A.jpg
EHD-2016-02 - ATW Airline of the Year-B.jpg
EHD-2016-02 - ATW Airline of the Year-C.jpg
EHD-2016-02 - ATW Airline of the Year-D.jpg
EHD-2016-02 - ATW Airline of the Year-E.jpg
EHD-2016-02 - ATW Airline of the Year-F.jpg
EHD-2017-02 - DLH and EHD Link.jpg
EHD-Abu Dhabi Intnl Airport - 2015-08.jpg
EHD-AIRPORT - AUH - 2012-01
EHD-Cabin Attendant - 2016-02-Z.jpg
EHD-Cabin Attendant Ad - 2016-02.jpg
EHD-Cabin Attendants - 2015-02-A.jpg
EHD-Cabin Attendants 2016-11.jpg
EHD-Cabin Attendants 2018-08 nn.jpg
EHD-FC Captain 2018-06.jpg
EHD-Flight Crew 2018-07 Q.jpg
EHD-Flight Crew 2018-07 r.jpg
EHD-Flight Crew 2018-10 f.jpg
EHD-Flight Crew and Cabin Attendant 2018-08.jpg
EHD-Flight Crew and Cabin Attendants-A.jpg
EHD-Flight Crew Cabin Attendants - 2016-02.jpg
EHD-LOGO - 2012-06

Formed and started operations in 2003. National airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi. Capitalized with $136 million. "Etihad" means "union" in Arabic. Scheduled, international, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.

New Airport Road
Khalifa City A
P O Box 35566
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) (Al Imarat al-Arabiya al-Muttahida): Population: 3.5 million. It is a federation of 7 sheikdoms which was under British Protection until 1971. The (UAE) has rocketed in a generation, from rural and poor, to urban and oil-rich. The member states are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras-AL-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm-al-Qiwain. A favorite destination for tourists to the Arabian peninsular, the (UAE) is notable for its large population of guest ex-patriot workers, many from India and Pakistan, and its generally progressive attitude toward women. The (UAE) covers an area of 83,600 sq km and its capital city is Abu Dhabi. The official language is Arabic - - SEE ATTACHED MAP - - "EHD-MAP."

November 2003: Started service Abu Dhabi to Beirut, 3x-weekly. Plans to extend its network to other Middle East capitals (Damascus), the Far East, Britain, and the Indian sub-continent.

2 A330-200's, (TAM) Brazil (TPR) leased, for startup service Abu Dhabi to Damascus and Beirut. Maintenance by (GAMCO) (GUL). Plans for +4 by mid-2004.

Has 2 A330-200's. Plans 6 to 8 airplanes by the end of 2003.

December 2003: Abu Dhabi to Damascus 3x-weekly. Abu Dhabi to Damascus to Amman to Abu Dhabi 2x-weekly. In January 2004 to Cairo and Mumbai.

February 2004: In June 2004, Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow (A330-200, daily).

March 2004: Abu Dhabi to Colombo (3x-weekly). In April 2004, Abu Dhabi to Bangkok.

April 2004: Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow (LHR) (A330, 5x-weekly). Free ground transfers are offered to all classes, when departing from Abu Dhabi.

A330, 3 Class: Diamond (F) 75-in pitch; Pearl (C) 49-inches; Coral (Y) 32-inches. All seats are equipped with personal video screens.

May 2004: 767-341ER (CF6-80C2F FADEC) (30341, A6-SUL), Amiri Flight (ABD) wet-leased.

June 2004: Abu Dhabi to Geneva to Munich to Abu Dhabi (weekly). Abu Dhabi to Munich to Geneva to Abu Dhabi (weekly).

July 2004: 150 employees.

Selected the (AIMS) Crew Management & Operations Control System enhanced by several (AIMS) add-on modules, including crew access to personal flight info via the Internet, pilot (FC)-entered journey logs, automated crew check-in/check-out, crew allowance calculations, automated e-mail/fax/dial-up communications and automated movement message handling via (SITA) and/or (ACARS).

Memo of Understanding (MOU) for 24 orders Airbus (EDS) airplanes: 12 orders (February 2006) A330-200's; 4 orders (February 2006) A340-500's (Trent 500); 4 orders (February 2007) A340-600's (Trent 500); 4 orders (September 2007) A380's; & 12 options, type to be determined (TBD) later. Early delivery of the A380 was achieved by acquiring the test airplane.

Sheikh Dr Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman stated the purchase is in line with Etihad Airways (EHD)'s plan to operate 50 jet airplanes by 2010.

(EHD) currently operates 1 767-300ER, 4 A330-200's & 1 A340-300 on around 35x-weekly to London, Geneva, Munich, Bangkok, Damascus, Beirut, and Colombo. The network will be expanded to cover other Middle East destinations, the Indian subcontinent, and the Far East over the summer and autumn.

August 2004: Abu Dhabi to Manama (Bahrain) 4x-weekly. In September 2004, Abu Dhabi to London Gatwick (LGW).

September 2004: $8.1 billion, 5 orders 777-300ER's (GE90-115). Abu Dhabi-based, Oasis International Leasing Company will arrange financing for at least the recent Airbus (EDS) order, which could include leasing airplanes.

Just recently added Bahrain and London Gatwick to its network and Mumbai is next, which will bring its total destinations to 12. In addition to an expansion program aimed at the Far East, it plans to launch service soon to Brussels, Milan, & Frankfurt. It benefits from 6th freedom rights which account for around 50% of its traffic.

Abu Dhabi to Mumbai, A330-200, 7x-weekly.

October 2004: In November 2004, Abu Dhabi to Karachi 4x-weekly.

November 2004: In December 2004, Abu Dhabi to Delhi 3x-weekly.

Plans to add as many as 6 pure freighters to its fleet. It has acquired 1 A300-600, currently being converted to a freighter, which will go into service in 2005.

December 2004: 17 orders (February 2008) 7E7 and confirmed 5 orders (October 2005) 777-300ER's.

January 2005: Selects Rolls Royce (RRC) engines in $950 million order, including Total Care maintenance agreements: 12 A330's (Trent 700) & 4 A380's (Trent 900).

767-383ER (24318), ex-Euro Atlantic (MAE), Sunrock (SNR) leased.

February 2005: 2 A330-202's (272; 339), ex-Volare (VLR), (ILF) leased.

April 2005: Selects Lufthansa (DLH) Systems' NetLine/Plan & NetLine/Schedule for an "integrated approach to optimizing the elements of resource planning and control."

May 2005: In June 2005, Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt, Bangkok, (daily) & increase service to Colombo 5x-weekly.

Cargo operations, Abu Dhabi to Milan Malpensa, A310-300F, 2x-weekly. New routes to Khartoum, Almaty, Addis Ababa, Bangalore, & Chennai, are expected to begin in the coming months.

A310-304F (552, TF-ELS), Islandsflug (IFS) wet-leased to Etihad (EHD) Crystal Cargo. A330-243 (658, A6-EYD), (CIT) (TCI) leased.

June 2005: Selected Connexion by Boeing to provide high-speed Internet and live global TV service. Includes both in-line and retrofit installation of its fleet of 25 777-300ER's, A330's, A340'S, & A380's. Expects to initially offer the service on routes between the Gulf region and Europe and North America.

July 2005: Robert Strodel (CEO) ex-Lufthansa (DLH).

In October 2005, code share with SN Brussels Airlines (DAT), Abu Dhabi to Brussels to Toronto, A330-200, 3x-weekly.

Agreement with Lufthansa (DLH) Systems to add network management and Market Information Data Tape analysis solutions.

August 2005: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch its 1st North American service this fall, operating from Abu Dhabi via Brussels to Toronto 3x-weekly. It expects to begin service to New York in 2006.

September 2005: Etihad Airways (EHD) will commence 2x-weekly service to Johannesburg in December 2005 using A340-300s configured for 265 passengers in 3 classes.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi intends to withdraw its shareholding in Gulf Air (GUL) over the next 6 months, leaving just 2 owners of the Middle Eastern carrier: The Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman. Qatar, the 4th founding partner, left in May 2002. (GUL) President & (CEO) James Hogan said there will be no change to (GUL)'s "core approach to business or to its ongoing business strategy."

The announcement does not come as a complete surprise because the emirate launched its own airline (EHD) in November 2003. Since then, (EHD) has pursued an aggressive growth strategy and last year placed a substantial order worth $8 billion for new airplanes comprising 4 A340-500s, 4 A340-600s, 12 A330-200s, 4 A380s and 5 777-300ERs.

In addition, Abu Dhabi is planning a multi-billion dollar expansion of its airport to try to follow the example of its smaller neighbor Dubai. "We understand that they [Abu Dhabi] wish to focus their airline development strategy in other directions and we wish them luck and success" Hogan stated, adding that (GUL)'s "focus, however, will remain on our own business and our own key strategic initiatives."

(EHD) will add Johannesburg to its network on December 3. Manila, Shanghai and Jakarta should follow during the winter schedule period. From November, (EHD) will begin taking delivery of 5 777-300ERs.

Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) reportedly plans to supply up to 60 pilots (FC) to China Airlines (CHI) for the carrier's 747, A330 and A340 fleets. Pilots (FC) have been made surplus to (CSR) needs owing to its decision to phase out its Embraer ERJ-145s and Saab 2000s. Another 15 pilots (FC) may find some work with (EHD). Also, Jet Airways (JPL) of India is looking for some A340 pilots (FC) from (CSR).

A330-243 (688, A6-EYE), (CIT) (TCI) leased.

October 2005: Etihad Airways (EHD) introduces its 1st North American destination with the launch of flights from Abu Dhabi to Toronto (3x-weekly), via Brussels. (EHD) operate 3x-weekly with an A330-200 in code share with SN Brussels (DAT). Hopes to add New York in 2006. Is well on its way to achieving its stated aim of flying to 60 destinations by 2010.

Goodrich (BFG) was selected to supply wheels and brakes to (EHD)'s fleet of new 777-300ERs.

November 2005: Etihad Airways (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Manchester in Spring 2006. (EHD) is planning to operate a daily service using an A330.

December 2005: Etihad Airways (EHD) inaugurated nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg and now operates 2x-weekly on Thursdays & Saturdays using an A340-300, 10F, 30C, 225Y. (EHD) will operate a 4th weekly flight from Abu Dhabi to Delhi during the period from December 12th to January 30th and this additional flight will operate on Mondays with an A340.

(EHD) is negotiating with Cargolux (CLX) to buy the 33.7% stake currently held by SAirLogistics (SWS) in the Luxembourg-based all-cargo carrier. "There are many other airlines that are contacting our board or some of our board members" regarding the stake, Communications Director Marc Schonckert noted. (CLX) has held discussions in the past 2 years with Air China (BEJ), Qatar Airways (QTA) and Texas Pacific, among others.

"A positive outcome of the talks with (EHD) is fairly doubtful unless [CLX] are in need for fresh capital to finance their past and current ambitious fleet expansion. Negotiations with other Arab carriers in the past have failed because of worries by (CLX) shareholders, and by the Luxembourg government, that the culture shock would be too large to overcome. Equally, there have been reservations about the long-term commitment of the Texas Pacific Group. Some shareholders were afraid the Texans were just interested in a quick flip over of their investment."

(CLX) last month took delivery of its 14th 747-400F and announced a launch order for 10 747-8Fs plus purchase rights for an additional 10. Cash-rich (EHD) reportedly is willing to pay $130 million for the stake, about +$30 million more than the offer tabled by Air China (BEJ) 18 months ago.

January 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) will expand its services to the UK with the launch of flights from Abu Dhabi to Manchester in spring 2006, utilizing an A330 operating on a daily basis, and will complement its flights to London's Heathrow and Gatwick.

777-3FXER (34597, A6-ETA), delivery.

February 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Islamabad (Pakistan) service on Monday, February 13th and operate 5x-weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, & Sundays with an A330-200 and on Mondays, Wednesdays with an A340-300. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Peshawar (Pakistan) service on Monday, February 13th and operate 2x-weekly on Mondays, Thursdays with an A330-200. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Manila service on Monday, February 13th and operate 4x-weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays with an A330-200. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Lahore (Pakistan) service on February 20th and operate 2x-weekly on Mondays & Tuesdays with a 767-300. (EHD) will launch daily Abu Dhabi to Manchester service from March 27 aboard an A330. (EHD) will start 4x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Jakarta service on March 16 aboard an A330-200. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Muscat (Oman) on March 26th and operate a daily flight with its A330-200.

(EHD) will implement its Airplane Health Management maintenance condition monitoring system on 5 new 777-300ERs being delivered in the 1st half of this year.

(EHD) took delivery of the 1st of 5 new 777-3FXERs in Abu Dhabi last month. The airplane, which seats 378 in 2 classes and has space for 20 tons of cargo, will be used on (EHD)'s daily Frankfurt service.

777-3FXER (34598, A6-ETB), delivery. A330-243 (717, A6-EYF), delivery.

March 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Manila to Jakarta on March 16th and operate 4x-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays, using an A330-200. (EHD) will launch a 6x-weekly service Abu Dhabi to Paris (CDG) from June 1 aboard A330-200s, a 4x-weekly flight to Dhaka from May 3 increasing to 5x-weekly from June 5, and a 4x-weekly service to Casablanca from July 1, also with a A330-200. (EHD) upgraded equipment on its Abu Dhabi to London Gatwick route to its brand new 777-300ER and operates a daily flight on this route.

(EHD)'s owner, the government of the United Arab Emirates expects a return on its investment by 2009, said VP Commercial Geert Boven. The government invested AED5 billion/$1.36 billion to have its own national carrier, yet "we have to run the airline as a commercial enterprise. The government expects return on investment within the 4 or 5 years after its launch in 2003," according to Boven, who admitted the government is seeking recognition as an important player on the international business stage as well as financial return.

In 2005, its 2nd full year of operation, (EHD) flew 950,000 passengers. This year, (EHD) anticipates 2.5 million, down from the 3 million it forecast originally, owing to late deliveries of its 777s and A330s. By 2010, it expects to operate 35 wide body airplanes to 45 to 50 destinations.

Recently, (EHD) launched a new Abu Dhabi to Manchester service, bringing its network to 27 markets. By year end, (EHD) will serve 34, including Dhaka, Paris, Casablanca and New York to be added in the next few months. In the 2nd half of 2006, (EHD) will launch flights to Doha, Kuwait and destinations in the Far East.

(EHD) will pursue traffic (RPK) growth by exercising 3rd and 4th freedom rights in the region and improving its share of the long-haul traffic connecting at its Abu Dhabi base. "We believe there is room for better connections and more frequencies in the region spanning the Gulf and the Indian subcontinent," Boven said. "There are some strong carriers in the region [seeking to expand similarly], but there are also some carriers that don't have our network and our financial strength." 3rd and 4th freedom flights currently account for 55% of (EHD)'s traffic.

"We will also expand connecting traffic, as there is limited growth potential in Abu Dhabi," said Boven, who joined (EHD) in October. "Traditionally, European carriers have been flying to the Far East and Australia by hopping from 1 place to the other via the Middle East, often to the detriment of the local carriers which were not strong enough to sustain their market power. I won't say that we are taking back traffic that has been taken from us, but we strongly believe that due to the strong technology and new long-range airplanes, traffic flows will be redirected. We intend to take the opportunity of our central location."

777-3FXER (34599, A6-ETC), & A330-243 (724, A6-EYG) deliveries.

April 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) said it will install Boeing Class 3 Electronic Flight Bags (EFB)s on 5 new 777-300ERs being delivered in the 1st half of this year. The (EFB)s will be installed starting in 2007. Meanwhile, (EHD) took delivery of a 777-300ER and an A330-200.

Etihad Crystal Cargo, the cargo division of (EHD) said it had >$15 million in sales last month and handled >10,000 shipments.

(EHD) announced a revamp of its commercial management team, which now will feature 4 regional General Managers based in Abu Dhabi and 5 department managers. Regional General Managers are Raymond Korban (UAE and Oman), Kirk Albrow (Europe and Americas), Ian Lovelock (Middle East and Africa) and Charles Phelps-Penry (Asia/Pacific). Department managers are Peter Baumgartner (marketing), Peter van Gompel (product and service delivery), Ali Saleh (revenue management), Nick Wood (Etihad Holidays) and Ian Ferguson-Brown (brand management and communications). New appointments to the carrier's commercial outstation management team are Abbas Al Ali (Morocco), Hamza Sharif (Saudi Arabia), Magdi Labib (Kuwait), Manuel Staerkle (Philippines) and Jill Errington (Bangladesh).

(EHD) finalized a lease financing agreement with Oasis International Leasing of Abu Dhabi and Barclays Capital for 6 A330-200s. Terms of the deal were not announced. The airplanes are worth $948 million at list prices. The agreement follows a 2004 Memo of Understanding (MOU) signed by (EHD) to acquire 24 Airbus airplanes including 12 A330-200s. The 6 airplanes, featuring a 2-zone configuration with 262 seats, are scheduled for delivery starting later this month.

777-3FXER (34600, A6-ETD), delivery.

May 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 6x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Paris flights using an A330-200.

(EHD) said it has achieved its "30-30" goal, having launched 30 new international routes in 30 months. "This growth will continue and (EHD) is on-target to achieve its ambitions of flying to 70 world-wide destinations by 2010," Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan said. On May 4, the (UAE)'s national airline commenced a 4x-weekly service from Abu Dhabi to Dhaka, destination No 30, aboard an A330-200. Dhaka brings to 9, the number of new destinations served this year, including Islamabad, Jakarta, Lahore, Manila, Muscat, Peshawar and Paris. By the end of 2006, the (EHD) network will include Casablanca, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait and New York. The network expansion is taking place as (EHD)'s new fleet of 29 airplanes begin arriving in Abu Dhabi. (EHD) will increase the frequency on its Abu Dhabi to Bangkok route from the current 10x- to 14x-weekly on June 4th. Both daily flights will operate with the 777-300ER. (EHD) launched 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Jeddah service aboard A330-200s.

(EHD) (CEO) Robert Strodel has stepped down. Strodel resigned almost 2 weeks ago but (EHD) made no public announcement. He had been (CEO) for less than a year, taking over on July 5, 2005. A search for a new (CEO) is underway.

(EHD) will add Casablanca in June and Khartoum in July to its network.

(EHD) Crystal Cargo, (EHD)'s cargo division, appointed (GSA) Cargo Ltd to provide cargo sales and customer service in Bangladesh for 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Dhaka flights scheduled to begin May 4 aboard A330-200s.

In the 1st week of this month, (EHD) has taken delivery of its 3rd A330-200 and 4th 777-300ER. Later, (EHD) took delivery of its 5th and final 777-3FXER (34601, A6-ETE). The airplane will be used on flights to Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and London Gatwick.

June 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) inaugurated nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah. (EHD) will operate 3x-weekly eventually operating on Wednesdays, Fridays, & Sundays with a mix of A330-200s and 777-300s. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop passenger service from Abu Dhabi to Khartoum on July 5th and operate 3x-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Sundays, using an A330-200. (EHD) already operates 3 cargo flights a week using an A300-600F. (EHD) inaugurated nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Casablanca and operates 3x-weekly on Mondays, Fridays & Sundays, using an A330-200. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Doha on June 18th and operate 6x-weekly daily except Tuesdays, using a 767-300. (EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to Kuwait on July 1st and operate 6x-weekly, daily except Tuesdays, using an A330-200 on Mondays, Thursdays, & Saturdays, and a 777-300 on Wednesdays, Fridays, & Sundays. (EHD) will boost Abu Dhabi to Riyadh service to 4x-weekly from July 10 and will operate 8x-weekly flights on the route during the winter. (EHD) currently operates 3x-weekly service. The added flight will use a 777-300ER.

2 A330-243 (730, A6-EYI; 737, A6-EYJ), & A340-541 (748, A6-EHA), deliveries.

July 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) started 3x-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Sundays, using an A330-200, Abu Dhabi to Khartoum service on July 3, making the Sudan capital its 34th destination. (EHD) launched 6x-weekly service to Doha on June 18. Although (EHD) has not officially made an announcement, (EHD) has published a scheduled which calls for the start of nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to New York (JFK) on October 26th and operate a daily flight using its A340-500. It is its 2nd North American destination after Toronto.

(EHD) will implement the complete Amadeus Altea Customer Management suite comprising Altea Reservation (including e-ticketing), Altea Inventory and Altea Departure Control System.

(EHD) will inaugurate nonstop service from Abu Dhabi to New York (JFK) on October 26th and operate a daily flight using the A340-500.

(EHD) unveiled a new Diamond Zone seat on its A340-500. It includes a 23-inch video screen, can rotate 180 degrees, has a built-in massager and can lie flat, among other features. The Pearl Zone also will feature lie-flat seats. The airplane is configured in 3 classes and will seat 12 in Diamond, 28 in Pearl and 200 in Coral class.

A340-541 (757, A6-EHB), delivery.

August 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) introduced e-ticketing on flights from Abu Dhabi to Brussels, Toronto, Bangkok, Mumbai and New Delhi and will launch it across its network by year end.

(EHD) is set to ramp up services to India with additional frequencies and cities. Currently, it flies daily to Mumbai and 3x-weekly to Delhi. Its radar includes Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore, although no selection has been made.

September 2006: Etihad Airways (EAD) took delivery of an A340-541 (761, A6-EHC), its 20th airplane and will operate the plane on its new daily Abu Dhabi to New York (JFK) service from October 26.

October 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) named former Gulf Air (GUL) President & (CEO) James Hogan as its new (CEO), effective immediately, replacing Robert Strodel, who stepped down in May after <a year on the job. Hogan announced his resignation from (GUL) in July and concluded his 4-year tenure on September 30. (EHD) Chairman Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan said Hogan "combines extensive experience of the airline industry with in-depth understanding of the nuances, imperatives and opportunities inherent in the business climate in this region. We believe he is the right person to drive the business forward."

Hogan said (EHD), which launched operations in 2003, offers exciting possibilities. "The current dynamic economic development in this region offers enormous challenges and opportunities for the airline industry," he said. "While it is relatively young, (EHD) has already established a reputation for energy and speed, which are evident in its unprecedented growth and the development of state-of-the-art fleet and product. I believe that we can build on these strengths to position (EHD) as a leader in the international and local markets."

James Rigney, former Head of Corporate Strategy at (GUL) has been appointed (EHD)'s VP Finance.

(GUL) suffered a blow last year, when Abu Dhabi withdrew its shareholding in the carrier in favor of putting resources into (EHD), which expects to operate 35 wide bodies to 70 destinations by 2010.

(EHD) announced that it has gained (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification.

(EHD) will commence 3x-weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays, Abu Dhabi to Tehran flights on December 2 aboard a 777-300ER. (EHD) launched daily Abu Dhabi to New York (JFK) service aboard a 3-class A340-500. It is (EHD)'s 1st USA destination.

November 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Tehran service from December 2 aboard 777-300ERs and operate a 6x-weekly (daily, except Saturday) Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur service from January 16 using A340-300s.

A330-243 (788, A6-EYK), delivery.

December 2006: Etihad Airways (EHD) appointed Iain Burns as its new VP Corporate Communications. Burns was Head Corporate Communications at British Airways (BAB) for 5 years before resigning in October.

A340-541 (783, A6-EHD), delivery.

January 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) confirmed that it will launch service to Australia "within the next few months," thanks to the conclusion of an "extended aviation bilateral agreement" between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia. "I believe that our service will significantly drive and support the development of trade and tourism between the (UAE) and Australia," (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said. "We are finalizing the arrangements and hope to announce the details shortly."

(EHD) will launch 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Sydney service March 26, becoming daily June 29, with a 240-seat, 3-class A340-500. Sydney will be (EHD)'s 5th destination in the Asia/Pacific region. (EHD) launched a 6x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur service using its sole A340-300.

A330-243 (809, A6-EYL), delivery.

February 2007: Starting March 26th, Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase Abu Dhabi to Cairo to 10x-weekly, & to Khartoum to 4x-weekly, using A330-200s; to London Heathrow to 14x-weekly; & discontinue to London Gatwick. Starting June 2nd, new 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Toronto, using A340-500, and 3x-weekly, to Brussels, using A330-200s.

April 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) revealed select details of what (CEO) James Hogan called a "remarkable" 1st quarter during which passengers nearly tripled year-over-year to 1.03 million and revenue soared to AED712 million/$193.9 million from AED230.6 million in the year-ago period. Profit and loss figures were not supplied. Hogan cited "extraordinary" growth in both network and fleet over the past 3 years and "growing awareness of (EHD) in key markets around the world" for the improvement. (EHD) also reported a +130% year-over-year increase in capacity (ASK)s and a +13.8-point rise in load factor to 68.3% LF. It has taken delivery of 15 airplanes in the past year and plans to add another 10 in 2007, bringing its fleet to 31 at year end. It also announced the appointment of Des Vertannes as its new Executive VP of (EHD) Crystal Cargo. He was head of Gulf Air (GUL)'s cargo operation.

(EHD) will bring forward the launch date for its 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Dublin service by 1 month to July 2. Flights are aboard A330-200s.

(EHD) will add 3 A330-200s and 2 A340-600s to its fleet through the summer, and increase its flying program +18%. New services are from Abu Dhabi to Sydney (now 3x-weekly aboard A340-500s, becoming daily June 29), Dublin (4x-weekly from August 3) and Milan Malpensa (3x-weekly from September 1), while 40x-weekly flights will be added to existing routes on its network. An increase in its London Heathrow service to 2x-daily has resulted in suspension of its Gatwick operation. (EHD) also will operate its 6x-weekly service to Kuala Lumpur with 777-300ERs rather than A340-300s.

(EHD) said it will "seriously consider" doubling its Sydney service next year or serving a 2nd Australian city following the signing of an expanded aviation agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Australia last month. (CEO) James Hogan told reporters in Abu Dhabi that the carrier is targeting a +60% rise in annual revenue to $1.25 billion this year and a +59% increase in passengers to 4.5 million, "Reuters" reported.

May 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) starts 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Thiruvananthapuram, using A330-200s. Starting July 2nd, Abu Dhabi to Dublin, using A330-200s.

A330-243 (824, A6-EYM), delivery.

June 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Singapore flights on September 27 aboard an A330-200, with service becoming daily by year end.

(EHD) intends to add narrow body airplanes to its fleet in order to cut down on the number of regional services it operates with wide bodies. "We are currently sourcing for a minimum of 6 to 9 A319/A320 aircraft for our regional routes," (CEO) James Hogan said at the (IATA) (ITA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver. (EHD) plans to lease or buy the airplanes "depending what is available on the market, and what's best for the carrier," he said. They are scheduled to enter service by year end on routes to destinations like Doha, Bahrain and Muscat among others. (EHD) expects to turn its 1st profit by 2010, when portions of its new terminal in Abu Dhabi will become operational. (EHD) expects to carry >5 million passengers in 2007 and currently operates 25 airplanes. Hogan said it will add 6 freighters this year and "at the Paris Air Show I tell you more about further new airplanes."

At the Paris Air Show, (EHD) ordered 5 A330-200s, 4 A340-600s, and 3 A330-200Fs, collectively valued at >$2.2 billion. Deliveries to (EHD) will span from 2008 to 2011. (EHD)'s A340-600s will be delivered in 2008 and 2009, and will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 500)s. (RR) valued the engine deal at $200 million. (EHD) additionally pushed back its deliveries of 4 A380s on order to 2013, and Airbus (EDS) said the production slots already have been given to other customers.

(CEO) James Hogan said (EHD) is eyeing expanded services to North America, where it now serves Toronto and New York. "North America is a big continent, and we continue to look at options with a range of cities," he said.

(EHD) appointed former Finnair (FIN) VP Cabin Operations Maija Eklof as its new VP In-flight Services.

A330-243 (832, A6-EYN), & A340-642 (829, A6-EHE) deliveries.

July 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Singapore to Brisbane service on September 28. (EHD) said it will increase its 2x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Kerala service to daily in October, and would like to double the number of Indian destinations it serves "in the next few years." (EAD) also flies to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi and Mumbai, and has Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad on its radar.

(EHD) Crystal Cargo appointed Heavyweight Air Express as its general sales agent in Ireland to support belly cargo service on the 4x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Dublin service that (EHD) launched aboard an A330-200.

(EHD) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank signed a $180 million sale and leaseback facility that will finance the acquisition of 2 A330-200s, the Arab Air Carriers Organization reported. The facility is structured as a lease with repayment spread over 12 years and a terminal balloon payment of 30% upon final maturity.

August 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase its number of weekly flights to 716 from 564 at the end of October, when it will also "bid to attract more travelers with the introduction of new flight timings to improve connecting service." Key additions will be on flights from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain (to 28x-weekly frequencies from 14x-), Muscat (to 21x- from 7x-), and Doha (to 14x- from 7x-). (EHD) also will increase flights to Frankfurt (to 10x- from 7x-), Geneva (to 4x- from 3x-), Dublin (to 6x- from 4x-) and London Heathrow (to 19x- from 14x-). Service to Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Dhaka will rise to daily.

(EHD) said its 1st A320 will commence operations September 1, with +2 more, set to arrive in September and October. A further 3 of the dual-class, 140-seat airplanes are expected in the 2008 1st quarter. The 1st A320 route will be Abu Dhabi to Tehran. Future cities include Beirut, Dammam, Karachi, Muscat, Bahrain, Cairo, Doha, Kuwait, Amman and Damascus. (CEO) James Hogan said the A320s will allow (EHD) "to redeploy widebodies, currently in use on these routes to our long-haul destinations."

A340-642 (837, A6-EHF), delivery.

September 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Royal Air Maroc (RAM) signed a code share agreement under which (EHD) customers will be able to connect to select West African destinations beyond Casablanca. (RAM) passengers will have access to (EHD)'s "expanding global flight network," it said. (EHD) operates 4x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Casablanca service.

Air Malta (MLT) is wet-leasing 2 A320s to (EHD) and providing operational support on a 3rd for the winter schedule from September 1.

(EHD) will lease 2 (Trent 772B)-powered A330-200s from (CIT) Aerospace (TCI), with delivery scheduled in January and March 2009. (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said the airplanes will have a "major impact" on both its short- and long-haul networks.

2 A330-243s (852, A6-EYO; 868, A6-EYQ) deliveries.

October 2007: Etihad Airways (EHD) announced it carried >3.3 million passengers during the 1st 9 months of 2007, compared to 1.95 million for the same period in 2006, an increase of +70%. Load factor averaged 75% LF across its network of 44 destinations. (EHD) has launched 8 new routes in 2007: Sydney, Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Milan and Dublin. (EHD) will add its 45th destination on October 28 with the launch of flights to Kathmandu. (EHD) launched 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Singapore to Brisbane service.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) reached agreement to place its code on (EHD)'s daily Abu Dhabi to Manila service.

(EHD) named Adrian Parkes as VP Sales.

Lufthansa (DLH) Systems (LHS) said it reached a deal with (EHD) for use of (LHS)'s SkyConnect network management solution.

(EHD) will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) next year for an airplane order "of a good size," (CEO) James Hogan revealed at the Arab Air Carriers Organization, Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Damascus. The order will be for both short- and long-haul types, and will be for "at least 20 to 25 airplanes," he said without revealing further details. "The order will cover in part the recycle needs of our current fleet and in part incremental requirements," he noted. Hogan added that it is premature to conclude if (EHD) will move toward an all-Airbus (EDS) fleet. Its wide body fleet currently comprises 12 A330-200s, 6 A340s, 5 777-300ERs, and 1 767-300. It just added its 1st 3 wet-leased A320s as part of a strategy to create regional connectivity through its Abu Dhabi hub, feeding into its long-haul network. +3 A320s are expected by the end of the 2008 1st quarter. In June, it placed an order for 4 A340-600s, 5 A330 passenger airplanes and 3 A330F freighters.

A330-243 (854, A6-EYP), delivery.

November 2007: (EHD) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) announced a comprehensive interline deal, that will provide passengers connectivity to 22 Australian cities, including Brisbane and Sydney, to Abu Dhabi and beyond, to (EHD)'s 45 international destinations. The deal is effective immediately. (EHD) launched daily flights to Sydney in March (becoming 11x-weekly in March 2008), and 3x-weekly service to Brisbane in September. (EHD) will launch 4x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Beijing flights on March 30 aboard a 2-class, 262-seat A330-200. It is (EHD)'s 1st Chinese service and its 8th to the Asia/Pacific, where it already serves Brisbane, Sydney, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Bangkok. Flights to Beijing will depart Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The airplanes also will have 11 tonnes of cargo capacity.

(EHD) Crystal Cargo had 3 A300-600F's, Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) wet-leased, one of which has been returned and replaced with a MD-11F, World Airways (WLD) wet-leased (operates from China to Abu Dhabi via India and on to Europe). Now has 3 orders (February 2011) A330-200Fs. This fleet carries 18% of total cargo, with the rest traveling in the bellies of its passenger fleet.

Dnata, the Dubai-based airport services provider, said that it has acquired Jet Aviation Handling, the airport handling division of Switzerland-based Jet Aviation Group (JTA). Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquired company will be Dnata's first airport handling business in Europe and is "consistent with its strategy of developing an international network," it said. With the buy, Dnata now has handling operations at 16 airports in 7 countries: Australia, Singapore, China, Pakistan, the Philippines, Switzerland and the (UAE). Jet Aviation Handling provides airline and cargo handling to >60 carriers at Zurich and Geneva. Its customers include British Airways (BAB), Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD), Qatar Airways (QTA), and Air Berlin (BER). It employs about 1,100 workers across the 2 airports. "The sale by Jet Aviation Group (JTA) reflects its strategy to focus on its core activities in the private and business aviation sector," Dnata said.

INCDT: A brand-new (EHD) A340-642 (856), suffered major damage and 5 people were seriously injured after the airplane jumped its chocks and slammed into a blast deflection wall (see attached related photos.

December 2007: (CAE) won orders for full-flight simulators (FFS) and related (CAE) Simfinity training devices valued at >C$126 million/$124.1 million from Continental Airlines (CAL), US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Etihad Airways (EHD), Air Algerie (ALG), and Alteon Training. (EHD) committed to a (CAE) 7000 Series A320 (FFS) and a (CAE) Simfinity Maintenance (FTD) for A320, A330 and A340 platforms. Deliveries are slated for next year.

A320-232 (2167, A6-EIC), ex-Martinair (MTH) (PH-MPF), (GATX) (GAX) leased, A320-232 (1945, A6-EIB), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased, and A340-642 (870, A6-EHH), deliveries.

January 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) carried 4.6 million passengers in 2007, a +67% increase from the previous year, as it added +13 new airplanes to its fleet, launched service to 9 destinations, and increased frequencies on a number of key routes. Load factor averaged 69% LF. Networkwide, it achieved loads of 71% LF in economy (Y) and 61% LF in business (C). (EHD) did not provide details on its first class (F) load factor other than it rose by +75 points compared to 2006. "Our intense activity in 2007 resulted in another year of significant expansion. The story has been one of both quantity and quality, with record passenger numbers and seat factors, together with growing recognition of the quality of (EHD)'s products and services," (CEO) James Hogan commented. (EHD)'s cargo division, Crystal Cargo transported 175,000 tons in 2007, an increase of >+32%. It added an MD-11F freighter last year.

(EHD) is targeting 6 million passengers in 2008, compared to the 5 million it served last year. The Arab Air Carriers Organization reported that the airline will relocate to the new passenger terminal at Abu Dhabi, where 10 airplane parking stands will be available and a dedicated runway for (EHD) will be ready in April. (EHD) is preparing to launch flights to Beijing and Moscow in March.

Oman Air (OMR) and (EHD) announced a reciprocal loyalty program agreement.

(EHD) will begin a 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Beijing service on March 30 aboard an A330-200 in 2-class configuration.

A320-232 (1944, A6-EIA), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased.

February 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) is using newly-agreed route rights to launch services to four additional destinations in India. (EHD) is finalising plans to add Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata and Kozhikode to its network. The decision follows recent bilateral talks between the (UAE) and Indian Governments, aimed at liberalising the air services agreement between the 2 countries. (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said: “(EHD) is always keen to build up its Indian services and we are thrilled to have been given the rights to serve 4 new cities in this exciting market.” (EHD) operates Abu Dhabi-originating flights to Mumbai, New Delhi, Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram. (EHD) wants to add 4 further destinations (Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, and Hyderabad) to its Indian network, but is yet to secure the necessary route rights. It said: “ (EHD) will continue to press for more access to the Indian market at the next round of inter-governmental bilateral talks between the (UAE) and India.”

Sabre Airline Solutions said (EHD) Crystal Cargo will use Sabre's CargoMax Revenue Manager.

(EHD) Crystal Cargo introduced (SMS) tracking, which allows customers to send a text message to a specified phone number, to get a "real-time" status update on shipments. "It is vital for our customers to know at any time exactly where in the world their shipment is located," (EHD) Executive VP Cargo Des Vertannes said. He added that the tracking service, supplied by (UAE)-based, Ontrack Systems costs users the same price as a standard text message and is linked to (EHD)'s Information Technology (IT) platform.

(AviIT) reached agreement with (EHD) to support all (ACARS) services across (EHD)'s fleet. The contract includes implementation of (AviIT)'s Archimedes and Airboard system, flight operations log transmission services and integration of (ACARS) data with engineering fault diagnostic, crew planning and fuel planning systems. (ACARS) technology provides 2-way messaging between airplanes and ground stations via VHF, HF, or satellite.

Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies said it began construction on a dedicated single-bay line and light maintenance hangar for (EHD), part of a $500 million, 5-year Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) contract signed last year. The hangar is scheduled to be completed in July.

(ARINC) announced a 3-year deal with (EHD) to provide its (ARINC) X.400 Message Handling System, featuring enhanced message flow, message management and visibility.

March 2008: Abu Dhabi's (EHD) is launching a worldwide cadet scheme for aspiring first officers (FC), as fast-growing airlines in the Middle East and Asia battle to recruit enough pilots (FC). It will complement (EHD)'s existing cadet program for United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals, which started last year as part of a campaign to convince more locals to train as pilots (FC) with the flag carrier. Although global demand means the pool of experienced first officers (FC) is rapidly draining, this is believed to be 1 of the 1st times a major carrier has promoted a scheme to train and offer jobs to foreign youngsters with no flying experience. (EHD) plans to launch its 1st course around June, with a group of 12 would-be pilots (FC). 2 further intakes of 12 will follow later in the year. The trainees (school-leavers or college graduates) will move to Abu Dhabi, where they will do around 18 months of ab initio training at Horizon Flight Academy, followed by several months of instruction and line-flying under supervision as 2nd officers (FC). They will pay back their fees over 8 years as bonded pilots (FC).

(EHD), which is expecting a "massive response" to its 1st advertisements, is looking for "people with a passion who are committed to being a pilot (FC) as a long-term career", said (EHD)'s Executive VP Operations Richard Hill. "We will be selecting from the top percentile of applicants (the cream of the crop)" he added. A total of 48 students will join the separate scheme for (UAE) nationals in the 1st year. (EHD) is keeping the 2 groups apart initially because of different skills sets and competence in English, but they will be integrated as soon as they begin their flying careers. "We want to make sure there is no divisiveness," said Hill.

(EHD) has a fleet of 37 airplanes and will take delivery of +16 more by 2011, including 7 A330s and 4 A320s. Dubai-based rival Emirates (EAD) says it has no plans to launch a similar scheme, although, like (EHD), it runs a cadet program for nationals.

April 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) carried 1.4 million passengers in the 1st quarter, up +40% year-over-year, leaving (EHD) "confident" it will reach 6 million by year end. Load factor was 75% LF, up +7 points, and yield grew +25% to an undisclosed figure. Its summer flying program will increase +47% to 728 weekly flights.

(EHD) plans to launch service to Moscow in the 4th quarter of 2008 and the Kazakh city of Almaty in 2009. (EHD) earlier announced plans to launch services to Calicut and Beijing this summer. It is also adding capacity this summer on several of its existing routes, including to Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Dublin, Karachi, and Khartoum.

(EHD) Crystal Cargo signed a contract to publish airfreight rates and post operational announcements to freight forwarders on Official Airline Guide (OAG) Cargo Solutions' worldwide cargo portal.

A319-132 (1947, A6-EID), (CIT) Leasing (TCI) leased.

May 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) said it achieved 100% e-ticketing across its entire network of 45 destinations, after bringing Peshawar, Tehran, and Khartoum online. (EHD) achieved 96% e-ticketing with its interline partners.

(EHD) will launch daily service from Abu Dhabi to Kozhikode and Chennai from August 1 aboard 2-class A320s.

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to further liberalise their air services agreement covering passenger flights to and from Dubai, in a long-delayed move that will open the market significantly. Under the new agreement, ­airlines from each side will be ­allowed to carry up to 54,200 ­passengers per week in each ­direction by the 2009/2010 winter season, representing an increase of +23,000 on the previous deal. The new agreement had been under discussion for some time and should help to ease complaints of significant under-capacity in the market. Capacity has not kept up with demand due partly to fast growth in Dubai's population of Indian migrant workers. The new bilateral comes as India has been allowing more international services by privately owned carriers and as Dubai is setting up a new low-cost carrier that will almost certainly seek to operate to India. India's Jet Airways (JPL), which began serving Abu Dhabi in late April, will also likely benefit. It does not yet have Dubai rights, but has been applying for them and now expects it will be able to launch services to Dubai from several Indian cities.

Air India's low-cost unit Air India (AIN) Express has also unveiled plans to launch flights to Dubai from Ahmedabad, Goa, Hyderabad, and Pune. It already connects Dubai with 12 other Indian cities and these services are considered among its most lucrative. Air India (AIN) Express also serves Abu Dhabi from 5 Indian cities and Sharjah from 3. Demand for services from all of the (UAE)'s major cities has been growing rapidly. (EHD) now serves 6 cities in India, and is keen to serve several more, while Sharjah-based Air Arabia (ABZ) is also keen to expand its Indian network, which already consists of 11 cities. (ABZ) says its passenger numbers on its India routes grew +43% in the 1st quarter with an average load factor of 94% LF.

(EHD) will lease 2 new A320-200s from (CIT) Aerospace (TCI), the lessor announced. The airplanes are powered by (IAE) (V2527-A5)s and will be delivered by year end.

A319-132 (1955, A6-EIE), (CIT) Leasing (TCI) leased.

June 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Jet Airways (JPL) agreed to enter into a code share agreement, that will take effect July 1, and cover both carriers' services to/from Abu Dhabi, New Delhi, and Mumbai.

(EHD) will launch 2x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Minsk on August 5 aboard an A319, becoming 3x-weekly in October.

Amadeus reached 10-year agreements with 12 Arab Air Carriers (AAC) Org-affiliated airlines for distribution activities in their home markets. 6 members, who have partnered with Amadeus for the past 7 years, will be joined by another 6, when their current distribution agreements expire at year end. Accounting for 66% of the reservations made by travel agencies in the (MENA) region, the 12 airlines are Air Algerie (ALG), Afriqiyah Airways (AQY), EgyptAir (EGP), Etihad Airways (EHD), Kuwait Airways (KUW), Libyan Airlines (LAA), Qatar Airways (QTA), Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA), Sudan Airways (SUD), Syrian Arab Airlines (SYR), Tunisair (TUN), and Yemen Airways (YEM).

July 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) increased passengers during the 1st half of 2008 by +41% year-over-year to 2.8 million, and said it remains on track to carry 6 million for the full year. Load factor averaged 73% LF, up +9 points. (EAD)'s Crystal Cargo division transported >127,000 shipments in the 1st half, up +22%.

(EHD) will launch 4x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Almaty on December 2 aboard an A319. (EHD) will operate daily, Abu Dhabi to Melbourne from March 2009 aboard an A340-600. It will be (EHD)'s 3rd Australian destination.

At the Farnborough Air Show, (EHD) announced a blockbuster fleet modernization and expansion program with firm orders with both Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) for a combined 100 airplanes valued at $21 billion plus options and purchase rights for another 105. If all options and purchase rights with both manufacturers are realized, the total value of the deals is $43 billion. The (TBC) deal includes a firm order for 35 787s and 10 777-300ERs worth $9 billion at list prices, plus options for another 25 787s and 10 777s and purchase rights for 10 more 787 Dreamliners and 5 777s. Deliveries will begin in 2011 and be completed in 2020. Deliveries of the 777s will start in 2011 and deliveries of the 787s in 2015. The 777s will be powered by (GE90)s, while negotiations are still ongoing for the engines of the 787s. The (EDS) deal is for 20 A320s, 25 A350-XWBs and 10 A380s, plus options for +5 A320s, 10 additional A350s, and another 5 A380s. The firm orders are valued at $12 billion. The A350s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (Trent XWB) engines, while powerplant decisions have yet to be made on the A320s and A380s. (EHD) also took purchase rights for a further 15 A320s, 15 A350s, and 5 A380s. Deliveries of the (EDS) airplanes will stretch from 2011 to 2020.

"This is a momentous day for (EHD) and Abu Dhabi," (CEO) James Hogan said. "It reflects the strength and pace of economic growth in the Emirate and the integral role (EHD) will play in Abu Dhabi's future." He said negotiations with (TBC) had been "hard but fair" and talks with (EDS) were "tough." Hogan said the orders were placed despite rising fuel costs and economic uncertainty, because of strong confidence in Abu Dhabi's growth potential and its "very fortunate location" that could allow it to serve as a gateway for air traffic connecting through the Middle East. "The size [of the orders] mirrors the rising prominence of the Middle East and its increasing emergence as a new focal point of global aviation," he said. "The Gulf is a natural air bridge between East and West, offering the fastest air links for travelers and freight forwarders."

(EHD) was established in July 2003 and currently flies 38 airplanes to 45 destinations worldwide. (EHD) expects to carry 6 million passengers this year.

August 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) launched daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Chennai and Kozhikode aboard 2-class A320s. (EHD) also has secured flying rights to +2 cities in India, Kolkata, and Jaipur.

(EHD) will operate flights from Abu Dhabi to Moscow Domodedovo (5x-weekly from December 1 aboard A319s) and Almaty (4x-weekly from December 2 aboard A320s).

(EHD) Crystal Cargo launched an unaccompanied baggage service that will transport passengers' heavy or excess luggage ahead of their flights for less than the check-in fee.

Greg Brennan, was promoted to Project Manager Midfield Terminal, Abu Dhabi International airport.

The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) charged 1 present and 3 former British Airways (BAB) executives with illegally fixing prices on fuel surcharges on long-haul flights between July 2004 and April 2006. The current Head of Sales Andrew Crawley, former Marketing Director Martin George, former Communications Head Iain Burns, and former UK and Ireland Sales Chief Alan Burnett "are charged with having dishonestly agreed with others to make or implement arrangements which directly or indirectly fixed the price for the supply in the United Kingdom of passenger air transport services by British Airways (BAB) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA)," (OFT) said. The 4 are due to appear at the City of London magistrates' court on September 24 and, if they plead guilty or are found guilty, face potential jail sentences of up to 5 years and/or unlimited fines. George and Burns, who is now Head of Communications at Etihad Airways (EHD), resigned from (BAB) in 2006, and Burnett retired in 2006.

(EHD) signed a firm contract for the purchase of 25 A350 XWBs, 20 A320s, and 10 A380s. The order was announced at the Farnborough Airshow.

September 2008: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Etihad (EHD) signed a code share agreement that will extend each carrier’s reach into the other’s home market. (MAS) will place its code on (EHD)’s from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain, Doha and Muscat, while (EHD) will place its code on (MAS)’s flights from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, and Langkawi. Neither carrier belongs to an alliance.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan told reporters in New York that (EHD) believes it can lift passenger numbers from the current 6 million per year to 25 million annually by 2020, while doubling the number of cities served from 48 to 100. It plans to grow its workforce from 6,600 today to 27,000 in 2020. (EHD) signaled an aggressive expansion, when it ordered 35 787s, 10 777-300ERs, 20 A320s, 25 A350s and 10 A380s worth $21 billion and optioned another 105 across all types worth a further $22 billion in July at the Farnborough Airshow. It enjoyed its busiest summer period in its 4-year history, carrying >1.6 million passengers during June, July and August with load factor running at 83% LF.

October 2008: (EHD) Crystal Cargo took over its sales and customer service activities in Thailand from local cargo general sales agent, United Kargo Kare (UKK). (UKK) had handled (EHD)'s sales in Thailand since 2004, but the carrier said it determined that its own local team should take over given the market's "strategic importance." Thailand is (EHD) Crystal Cargo's 2nd-largest Far East market, and it projects its business there will grow +8% annually over the next 5 years.

(EHD) expanded its code share agreement with Brussels Airlines (EBA)/(DAT) and will place its code on (EBA)/(DAT) flights from Brussels to Oslo Gardermoen, Stockholm Bromma, Gothenburg, Helsinki, and Copenhagen effective October 6.

Abu Dhabi International's 2nd runway is operational following completion of construction in early September. The new AED1 billion/$272.1 million, 4,100-m runway is located 2 km north of the 1st runway. The project includes development of the airstrip, 2 major taxiways, 2 cross-field taxiways, and 2 fire stations.

November 2008: Italy and United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement that will allow Emirates (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD) to have significant access to Italian airports, with (EAD) planning to use Milan Malpensa (MXP), Rome Fiumicino (FCO), and Venice (VCE) as gateway "hubs" to Europe. Italian Secretary of State for Economic Development & Foreign Trade, Adolfo Urso, who traveled to Abu Dhabi to sign the accord, said the re-launched Alitalia (ALI) would provide connections for (EHD) passengers. "(EAD) would be able to count on the help of our new Italian airline," he said. (EAD) will operate 21x-weekly flights to both (MXP) and (FCO) and 14x- to (VCE). It also will operate 28x- weekly cargo flights collectively to the Italian cities. (EHD) plans to operate 7x-weekly flights each to (MXP) and (FCO). "Thanks to this agreement, Italy will more easily become a tourist destination for the newly rich from the Gulf and from SE Asia," Urso claimed.

See attached "Flight International" ad for expatriot pilots (FC) for (EHD) A320/A330/A340 Captains (FC) and First Officers (FC)

For an interesting article on "Selling Abu Dhabi," see attached "EHD-AL BULOOKI-NOV08."

Vijay Poonoosamy VP International Affairs and (ICAO) Security Committee Chairman, has been awarded the "Udyog Rattan" award in India for his "outstanding contribution to international aviation."

(EHD) said it secured $210 million in financing covering the purchase of 2 new A340-600s. A 12-year, $102 million facility provided by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Europe will cover 1 airplanes, while a 12-year, $110 million facility from Al Hilal Bank in Abu Dhabi will cover the other. (EHD) took delivery of 1 A340-600 last month and will take the 2nd in December.

December 2008: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase its 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Brussels service to 6x-weekly from March 29 and deploy a new 3-class, A330-200 on the route. (EHD) was awarded the right to operate a 5x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Tokyo Narita service, beginning in March. It also has options to serve Kansai and Chubu. Its Asia/Pacific network currently comprises Beijing, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.

(EHD) is considering taking a stake in Air Berlin (BER), according to Munich's "Suddeutsche Zeitung," which cited sources from several unidentified banks. The size of the stake was not revealed. (EHD) management has been studying the plan for weeks, but has yet to come to a decision, the paper reported. It currently serves both Munich and Frankfurt, but (BER) does not serve the Middle East. (BER)'s capitalization is approximately €281million.

Amadeus and (EHD) unveiled Amadeus Gulf, a joint venture designed to provide a Global Distribution System (GDS) to travel companies and agents in the (UAE), Bahrain, and Oman. (EHD) will hold 51% of the company, which (CEO) James Hogan said "signals (EHD)'s growing ambitions in the travel industry."

Airbus (EDS) booked 84 firm orders in November, including 51 from (EHD), helping it pull away from Boeing (TBC) in the 2008 orders race. The official confirmation of the (EHD) order covered 25 A350-100s, 6 A380s and 20 A320s.

Rolls-Royce (RRC) inked a deal with (EHD) for provision of (Trent 700EP)s to power 8 A330s. The contract is valued at $575 million and includes long-term services under a "Total Care" agreement. The airplanes are scheduled for delivery between 2009 and 2011. The order will bring (EHD)'s fleet of (RRC)-powered A330s to 24.

(CIT) Aerospace (TCI) announced the delivery of a 2nd A320-232 (3713, A6-EII) to (EHD). (TCI) will deliver 2 A330s to (EHD) next year.

A340-642X (933, A6-EHJ) delivery (SEE PHOTO - - "EHD-A340-642-JAN09)."

January 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) carried just >6 million passengers in 2008, a +34% increase on 2007, as it expanded its fleet with 9 airplanes to 42 and launched 6 new routes on a network now spanning 50 cities. Load factor soared +7 points to 75% LF, with business class (C) loads rising to 63% LF. Etihad Crystal Cargo reported a 16% increase in freight to 202,430 tonnes.

(EHD) will launch 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Athens service at the beginning of June aboard a 2-class A320. The route will be 5x-weekly from October and daily in 2010.

(EHD) will launch new service to Melbourne and Lagos in March. This month it officially will open a new passenger terminal at Abu Dhabi International. Terminal 3 is a 550,000-sq-ft facility with 8 gates capable of handling 5 million passengers per year.

A330-243 (975, A6-EYR), (CIT) Group (TCI) leased.

February 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said (EHD) is pressing ahead with its expansion plans and is on target to achieve "breakeven" financial results by 2010 despite the "rough ride" the global airline industry currently is enduring. Speaking at an International Aviation Club luncheon in Washington, Hogan said (EHD) benefits from having "no legacy [airline] costs. We had the ability to start with a clean piece of paper and are still on the upward curve of our expansion."

(EHD) signaled an aggressive expansion when it ordered 35 787s, 10 777-300ERs, 20 A320s, 25 A350s and 10 A380s worth $21 billion and optioned another 105 across all types worth a further $22 billion at last summer's Farnborough Airshow. It flew 6 million passengers in 2008, up +34% year-over-year, and plans to carry 25 million annually by 2020. It will add Melbourne, Istanbul Ataturk, Athens, and Chicago O'Hare to its route network this year, part of an ongoing effort to "expand our footprint," Hogan said.

He conceded that "we are seeing a softening in first class" bookings, but insisted that "business class (C) is holding up." He acknowledged that managing costs is a concern, particularly given that "we do not receive any government handouts" and have a "very clear commercial mandate" from the Abu Dhabi government, which owns (EHD). (EHD) has imposed a head count freeze on nonoperational staff and is "managing capex."

(EHD) is primed to turn Abu Dhabi into a major East-West gateway hub, he said. Questioned regarding the fact that Emirates (EAD) already is building adjacent Dubai into such a hub, he compared the situation to that which exists between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines (MAS), whose hubs are also quite close.

Reaching "sustained profitability by 2010 [is a] critical target," he said. "We're holding the tiller tight. But we're going to have to street fight." He said that the next 12 to 24 months probably will be focused more on building frequencies on existing routes than adding a high number of new routes but that the airline is looking at one or 2 possible additions to its 50-destination network.

(EHD) will launch 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Chicago O'Hare service on September 2 aboard a 240-seat A340-500. The route becomes daily on October 1. It has been flying to New York (JFK) since October 2006.

(EHD) is not interested in joining a global alliance even as it copes with the impact of the global downturn. (CEO) James Hogan reiterated his opposition to participating in one of the big 3 alliances, a view shared by other carriers in the Gulf region such as Emirates (EAD). "We have no desire to move into any alliance. What we are focused on is strong bilaterals with specific airlines," he said. He also said "that 52% of (EHD)'s traffic is destination Abu Dhabi, which would probably surprise people." He cited the emirate's development and diversification beyond a resource-based economy for the strong (O&D) traffic. At the same time, he emphasized the advantages of a hub in the Gulf region midpoint between Europe and S Asia for capturing flow traffic. "We're seeing that we are able to shift traffic for the Asian and European hubs over the Gulf hubs," he said.

(EHD) like Qatar Airways (QTA), another aggressive Gulf-based up-and-comer, has diverged from the (EAD) model by operating narrow body equipment as well as wide bodies. "The model that we're looking at is how we 1stly provide the ultra-long-haul and long-haul services with our wide body airplanes, and I think we've done a pretty good job in ramping up so quickly," he explained. "But then there's a domestic market which is going to be opening up over the next 5 years. If you look at India, for example, [there are] 40 airports moving to 70 airports and the narrow body is a perfect vehicle to service those markets. It gives you huge flexibility."

(EHD) also uses its A320s to open and develop new destinations. "If you look at Moscow, for example, we have a narrow body on that route and that helps us in the start-up phase. When it matures, we've got the flexibility to flip that airplane with a wide body," Hogan said.
He revealed that (EHD) did not suffer the huge fuel hedge losses experienced by many airlines last year as fuel prices collapsed. "We did a very good job in 2007 and 2008 in hedging and we were actually in the money in both years. We took a view at $100 [per barrel] to stop hedging." It is 40% hedged for this year and 20% in 2010. "Where fuel is today, we're certainly under our business plan requirement for 2009," he said.

(EHD) is taking 11 airplanes this year, around half of which are financed.

March 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said (EHD) is targeting a +24% year-over-year increase in 2009 revenue to $3.1 billion as it takes delivery of 11 new airplanes, bringing its fleet to 53. The ambitious Abu Dhabi-based carrier does not typically release financial figures, but speaking at the Aviation Outlook Middle East 2009 conference in the (UAE) capital, Hogan revealed that (EHD)'s 2008 revenue came to $2.5 billion. "We are taking a bullish approach in 2009 despite tough market conditions," he was quoted as saying.

(EHD) will add at least 6 new routes this year (Melbourne, Athens, Istanbul Ataturk, Chicago O'Hare, Larnaca and Hyderabad) and expects load factor to rise +2 points to 77% LF and yield to increase +8%. (EHD) transported >6 million passengers last year as it added 9 airplanes.

Hogan has said that (EHD) is not currently considering joining an alliance, and he added that it is not interested in participating in consolidation either. "No, we are not looking at equity. Our strategy is to build our own airline business, with hotels and other divisions, such as the holidays division," he said.

This will be another year of expansion for (EHD). It already announced Melbourne (A340-600 flights start this month), Istanbul (A320s in June), Athens (A320s in June) and Chicago (A340-500s in September) as new destinations in 2009. It added a 5th city to that list: Larnaca, Cyprus with A320 flights beginning in June. (EHD) had also intended to fly to Nigeria this year, but that’s being deferred until next year. In 2008, (EHD) opened 6 new destinations: Beijing, Chennai, Kozhikode, Minsk, Almaty, and Moscow (DME).

Etihad Crystal Cargo commenced a weekly, Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam flight.

Qantas (QAN) and Etihad Airways (EHD) announced a code share agreement effective March 29 under which (QAN) will place its code on (EHD)'s 21 weekly flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL) and Brisbane (BNE) via Singapore, as well as connections from (AUH) to Amman, Beirut and Bahrain. (EHD) will place its code on "selected" (QAN) flights between Australia and Auckland and on "a range" of Adelaide to (MEL), (SYD) to (BNE), and (SYD) to Cairns flights, (QAN) said. The deal is designed to open up the Middle East market for (QAN) customers, while countering the growing influence of Emirates (EAD) in Australia.

SunGard will provide (EHD) with its Kiodex Risk Workbench, a Web-based trading technology to manage the airline's fuel hedging program.

(CIT) Aerospace (TCI) announced the delivery of a (Trent 772B)-powered A330-200 to (EHD).

April 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) launched daily, Abu Dhabi to Melbourne service on a 3-class, A340-600. (EHD) will launch weekly, Abu Dhabi to Astana flights on May 7 aboard an A319. 4x-weekly service to Almaty will become 3x-weekly.

May 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch A320 service to Istanbul, Larnaca, and Athens this month. Flights to Chicago, USA will start in the Fall.

(EHD) unveiled a new first class cabin containing 12 individual suites with sliding doors, changing room/wash basin and a lie-flat, 80.5-in. seat with built-in massager. It invested $70 million in the upgrade. "Competition for premium customers remains intense and during the last 12 months, a number of airlines have unveiled significant enhancements to their first class (F) cabins, with others deciding to remove the cabin completely from their airplanes," (CEO) James Hogan said. "A downturn is exactly the time when an airline needs to demonstrate its commitment to the very highest standards of service excellence." The first airplane equipped with the new cabin will be an A340-600 scheduled to enter service in August. Full rollout is expected by the end of 2010.

A320-232 (3902, A6-EIJ), (RBS) Aerospace leased.

June 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) launched service from Abu Dhabi to Athens (3x-weekly) and Istanbul Ataturk (4x-weekly) aboard A320s. Athens service will become 5x-weekly in October and daily in January.

SR Technics (SWS) signed a technical training agreement with (EHD) running until February 2010 covering 1,000 instructor days of theoretical and practical training on A320s and A330s/A340s as well as difference training, run-up in simulators, health and safety and aviation/technical English.

(EHD) selected Engine Alliance (ES) (GP7200)s to power its 10 A380s on order with deliveries beginning in 2012. (EHD) also signed a multiyear fleet management agreement with (EA) for Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) of the (GP7200) fleet. Total value of the deal is $1.3 billion.

See new Etihad Airways (EHD) Frankfurt "Premium" lounge just opened at Frankfurt, Germany - - "EHD-FRANKFURT LOUNGE-JUNE 2009."

July 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) confirmed that it canceled 1 of its 8 remaining A340-600 orders, a spokesperson told "Reuters." The airplane concerned was damaged during testing in November 2007.

August 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) transported >616,000 passengers in July, a record for the airline and up +9% from the year-ago month. July 31 was the busiest day in its with 21,640 passengers. July load factor was 88% LF on a +20% increase in the number of weekly flights.

(EHD) will commence 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Hyderabad service in November (becoming daily from the start of 2010) aboard a 2-class A320. (EHD) will extend its daily, Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg A330 flight to Cape Town beginning September 30.

(EHD)'s winter schedule beginning October 25 will feature a +15% year-over-year increase in capacity and 950 weekly flights, including new service to Hyderabad starting in November. It will take delivery of 3 new A320s during the period. (EHD) also plans to increase service to Athens (from 3x-weekly to 5x-weekly on November 1 and to daily on January 1), Istanbul Ataturk (a 5th weekly flight beginning November 1), Beirut (from 14x-weekly to 18 on January 1), Cairo (from 7x-weekly to 10 on January 1), Kathmandu (from 4x-weekly to daily), Melbourne and Sydney.

A340-642 (1030, A6-EHK), delivery.

September 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) launched 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Chicago O'Hare service aboard an A340-500, increasing to 6x-weekly on October 31 and daily from the beginning of 2010.

Etihad Crystal Cargo (EHD) launched 2x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Baghdad service aboard an A300-600F.

(EHD) introduced its new first class (F) suite on an A340-600 operating between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow. The suite includes an 80.5-inch lie-flat leather seat, a 23-inch (LCD) screen, a wooden table and a changing room with full-length mirror, sink and a fold-down seat. A 2nd A340-600 equipped with the suite will enter the fleet next month. 5 A330-300s will be delivered with the suites over the next 2 years, starting in December. 9 A340s will be retrofitted by December 2010.

A340-642 (1040, A6-EHL), delivery.

October 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) moved its 3x-daily, London Heathrow (LHR) to Abu Dhabi service from (LHR)'s Terminal 3 to the new Terminal 4. (EHD) is investing £200 million/$124.2 million in its space at the new terminal, building a lounge, spa and shower facilities and installing Wi-Fi capability.

(EHD) completed its 1st European export credit agency-guaranteed transactions covering $233 million to finance the purchase of 2 A340-600s. In the 1st deal, (HSBC) Bank, acting as the mandated lead arranger, lender, facility agent, security trustee and hedge provider, will furnish financing valued at $122 million to (EHD) >12 years. The 2nd $111 million agreement was signed with Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, which acted as mandated lead arranger, lender, facility agent and security trustee. Debt placement for this deal was undertaken by SkyBlue Capital LLC. Both loan facilities are guaranteed by the UK (ECGD) with re-insurance provided by France's Coface and Euler Hermes of Germany.

(EHD) starts flying to Cape Town. (EHD) will re-launch 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Colombo in January aboard an A320. SriLankan Airlines (LNK) will code share. (EHD) will launch service from Abu Dhabi to Nagoya (via Beijing, 4x-weekly from February 1, increasing to 5x-weekly on March 27) and Tokyo Narita (5x-weekly on March 27) aboard A330s. They will be its 1st Japanese destinations and was helped by the airport's recent expanded capacity.

(EHD) is recruiting A320/A330/A340 and 777 First Officers (FC) as well as A320/A330/A340 Captains (FC). (FC) applicants can view additional details on and apply online.

A320-232 (4066, A6-EIL), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased.

November 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Flybe (BEE) announced a code share deal under which (BEE) will place its code on (EHD)'s flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA) and Manchester (MAN) to Abu Dhabi, while (EHD) will add its code to "a number" of (BEE) flights between (CDG), (FRA), (MAN) and 35 UK airports.

(EHD) will increase its 10x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt service to 13x-weekly on December 12 and to 2x-daily, on March 28. (EHD) launched 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Hyderabad service aboard an A320, increasing to daily from the start of 2010.

The October traffic figures for Abi Dhabi International Airport showed a strong growth throughout 2009 with a +7% increase in passengers. In October itself there was a +2.8% increase in passengers and surprisingly, considering the recent downturn in freight, there was a +24.3% increase in cargo. This may have been caused by the Formula One Racing Car Grand Prix held locally and the associated high volume of F1-related collateral shipped by air freight.

Lufthansa (DLH) Systems won a contract from Etihad Airways (EHD) to supply its Lido/Flight flight planning solution. The deal includes a number of add-ons including Traffic Flow Restrictions and In-flight Monitor. (EHD) (COO) Richard Hill said that (EHD) expects Lido to offer "a -2% fuel saving and -5% reduction in flying costs overall."

SR Technics (SWS)'s contract with (EHD) announced in Dubai is worth up to $250 million. Under the 10-year Integrated Component Services contract, (SWS) will handle component exchange, Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO), Engineering and Logistics services, access to (SWS)'s components pool and component management for (EHD)'s current Airbus fleet of >40 A320s, A330s and A340s as well as future deliveries.

(EHD)'s separate agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) is potentially worth $200 million. The deal covers comprehensive engine overhaul and repair service for (V2500)s powering (EHD)'s existing (EDS) single-aisle fleet, a total of 30 engines (including 2 spares) for 12 A320s and 2 A319s.


A320-232 (4077, A6-EIM), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased.

December 2009: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 5x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Tokyo Narita flights March 27 aboard an A330. (ANA) and Etihad Airways (EHD) plan to launch a code share relationship and link their loyalty programs on March 1. (ANA) will place its code on (EHD)'s 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Nagoya service scheduled to start February 1, while (EHD) will place its code on (ANA)'s daily flights from Nagoya to Sapporo and Fukuoka and between Tokyo Narita (NRT) and Osaka Itami. (ANA) also will code share on (EHD)'s 5x-weekly, (AUH) to (NRT) service, scheduled to begin March 28.

(EHD) joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, an airline-led industry working group established in 2008 to accelerate the commercialization and availability of sustainable biofuels.

(EHD) said its Technical Division was awarded (EASA) Part 145 certification following an audit by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation and now is fully accredited to perform line maintenance on A319, A320, A330, A340 and 777 airplanes for European airlines.

777-3FXER (39700, A6-ETF), delivery, A320-232 (4124, A6-EIN), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased, and A330-232F (1032), plus A330-343E (1071, A6-AFA) deliveries.

January 2010: Boeing (TBC), Etihad Airways (EHD), Honeywell (SGC)'s (UOP) subsidiary and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (an Abu Dhabi-based research and graduate program partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) announced an agreement to establish a major initiative dedicated to developing "sustainable energy solutions." The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project (SBRP) will use integrated saltwater agricultural systems to support the development and commercialization of biofuel sources for aviation and co-products.

Masdar will host the (SBRP) and provide laboratory and demonstration facilities in and near Masdar City, which aims to be the world's 1st zero-carbon city. "Together with the Abu Dhabi government, Etihad Airways (EHD) and other industry leaders, we are forging our energy future by developing a renewable fuel supply now, not when fossil fuels are depleted," Boeing Commercial Airplanes (TBC) President & (CEO) Jim Albaugh said. (UOP) VP & General Manager Renewable Energy & Chemicals, Jennifer Holmgren said the (SBRP) "is a unique opportunity to showcase the viability of a geographically optimized solution and the availability of solutions that produce high-quality, green transportation fuels."

The partnership said saltwater will be used "to create an aquaculture-based seafood farming system in parallel with the growth of mangrove forests and salicornia, a plant that thrives in salty conditions." The "closed-loop" 2-sq-km system will produce an "affordable, nutrient-rich" fertilizer that will aid in the production of biomass that can be used to create aviation biofuel and other products. "Developing low-cost, nonpetroleum fertilizers is one of the keys to achieving genuine carbon emissions reductions from any biofuel source," the group said.

Etihad Airways (EHD) took delivery of the 1st of 5 new A330-300s it plans to add over the next 2 years. The airplane seats 12F passengers in a new first class cabin, 40C in business and 151Y in economy and will operate between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow. (EHD) said 2 A340-600s already have been configured with the new first class (F) product, with 9 more to be retrofitted by December.

Airbus (EDS) said the 2nd A330-200F flew for the 1st time on January 20. The (Trent 772B-60)-powered airplane flew for 3 hours. The 200-hour flight test program is expected to result in mid-March certification, with 1st delivery to Etihad Crystal Cargo (EHD) scheduled for the summer. The 1st A330-200F, powered by (PW4000)s, initially flew in November and currently is undergoing cold-weather testing in Canada.

A330-343E (1081, A6-AFB), delivery.

February 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) said it will install new technology on its long- and ultra-long-haul airplanes that will aid it in managing in-flight medical emergencies. The Tempus IC system "allows cabin crew (CA) to gather vital information about a passenger's health quickly and efficiently," including blood pressure and an electrocardiogram. It also enables the cabin crew (CA) to take photo imagery. The information is transmitted to a medical team on the ground for further diagnosis and to make recommendations.

Mubadala Aerospace said it is launching an engine component and engine finance company in response "to the evolving landscape of the airline industry where economic conditions are putting increased pressure on liquidity." Sanad Aero Solutions' 1st 2 customers are Air Berlin (BER), which signed a $100 million deal for 12 spare engines, and Etihad Airways (EHD), which is receiving financing valued at >$30 million over a 10-year period. The Etihad (EHD) deal is part of a Total Component Solution contract between SR Technics (SWS) and the airline for (EHD)'s Airbus (EDS) fleet. The (BER) contract includes engine maintenance for a major part of (BER)'s fleet to be completed by (SWS), Mubadala said.

"Through SR Technics (SWS) and Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) we have 2 very strong Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) companies. We believe that by offering component and engine financing solutions for airlines and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)s in partnership with our existing network, we are able to provide a truly integrated service," stated Mubadala Aerospace Executive Director Homaid Al Shemmari.

April 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) said passenger numbers for the 1st quarter increased +11% year-over-year with a +5% rise in premium traffic. Load factor was 75% LF, up +2 points. (RPK)s climbed +25.4% to an undisclosed figure, growth it attributed to the "continued expansion" of its route network, addition of 10 airplanes to its fleet and "aggressive sales and marketing" of its services. (ASK)s lifted +22%. "Our 2010 performance is already showing positive results, with all major indicators showing strong improvements on January and February of last year," (CEO) James Hogan said.

June 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) launched 2x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Erbil (Iraq) service aboard an A320. "Iraq is a key market for Etihad (EHD) and will be an important focus for (EHD) in 2010," (CEO) James Hogan said. (EHD) plans to serve Alexandria’s Nouzha airport using A320s. The city is home to Air Arabia (ABZ)’s new joint venture (JV), Air Arabia Egypt, although it uses the newer Burj al Arab airport, which will soon handle all of Alexandria’s traffic. The Egyptian city is, however, losing Olympic Air (OLY), which is pulling out due to “adverse market conditions” (meaning the Greek economy is a mess, and fewer Greeks are traveling there).

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan remains "pretty bullish" about (EHD)'s future "as long as the Icelandic volcano does not erupt again." He cited the absence of legacy costs, the rapid growth of its Abu Dhabi base as a hub and the success of its point-to-point flying. "Currently over >45% of our traffic is point-to-point. We're seeking to bring this to 50%," he said. "For a 6-year-old airline, we are doing very well despite the pressure on the business. We built an excellent product, a strong brand and a global network. We operate to 63 destinations in 42 countries aboard a fleet of 53 airplanes. We expect to fly >7 million passengers this year."

Passengers carried in the 1st quarter grew 25% compared to the year-ago period and cargo, in terms of tonnage and yields is "back at 2008 levels," Hogan said. He is maintaining 2011 as the target to break even. He said Seoul is being considered as a new destination. Etihad (EHD) will take delivery this year of 1 A330-300 passenger version and 2 A330-200F freighters, for which it is the launch customer. The cargo airplane will be on display at the Farnborough Airshow next month. Next year, (EHD) plans to add 7 airplanes.

July 2010: (GE) Aviation (GEC) said Etihad Airways (EHD) finalized the purchase of 78 (GEnx-1B) engines to power its order for 35 787s announced during the Paris Air Show in 2009. The total value of the order is $1.8 billion with deliveries beginning in 2015. Additionally, Etihad (EHD) signed a 15-year "OnPoint solutions" agreement with (GEC) covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO). (GEC) said the agreement is worth >$2.5 billion over the life of the contract.

August 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) will commence daily, Abu Dhabi to Seoul Incheon flights on December 12 aboard an A330-200 configured with 3 classes. (EHD) will offer 2,800 seats each week to and from Seoul, which will become the 65th destination on its network.

(EHD) will reconfigure several of its A320s to an all-economy class (Y) cabin fitted with 162Y seats, with the 1st 2 airplanes set to re-enter service in October. Plans are in place to expand the all-economy (Y) fleet to 10 A320s, although no time frame was given. (EHD)'s A320s are currently configured for 120Y economy seats plus a 20C-seat business class section. The airplane will initially operate to/from Alexandria, Calicut, Colombo, Damascus, Doha, and Thiruvananthapuram. (EHD) said the change follows “recognition that on certain short-haul destinations there is a high demand for economy (Y) and a low demand for premium. It’s all about matching the offer to the demand” in the face of increased competition from Low Cost Carrier (LCC)s in the region like Flydubai (FDB) and Air Arabia (ABZ). The launch of a separate brand is not being considered at this time.

“(EHD) has grown at a remarkable pace during the past 6-and-a-half years. We have built a strong brand and a robust business, and it is the right time to challenge the way we serve our various markets and segments,” commented (CEO) James Hogan. “Our all-economy (Y) airplanes will allow us to offer a more competitive product in key point-to-point markets in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian Subcontinent, while maintaining the high standards of service we have become known for.”

The all-economy (Y) airplanes will have 32-inch pitch seats and passengers will continue to receive service and products featured on its current narrow body fleet, such as seatback In-flight Entertainment (IFE) and complimentary hot and cold meals and beverages. (EHD) operates 15 A320s, configured with a business class (C) and economy (Y) class, operating on >25 short/medium-haul routes. It has orders for +35 more scheduled for delivery between 2011 and 2015. Etihad (EHD) successfully passed its 3rd consecutive (IATA) safety audit.

(EHD) launched the 1st A330-200F freighter, flying it from Toulouse to its Abu Dhabi base after taking delivery from Airbus (EDS).

The A330-200F, for which Etihad (EHD) is the launch customer received (EASA) Type Certification in April. Certification was achieved for a payload capability of 70 tonnes, 1 tonne more than originally expected. (EHD) said its A330-200F can carry up to 64 tonnes and fly up to 4,598 miles nonstop.

(EHD) said its Crystal Cargo unit carried a record 23,000 tonnes in July. >30,000 shipments were carried during the month, "driven by increased volumes from Pakistan, Australia, China, and Bangladesh," (EHD) said. For the year to date, it has recorded +21% growth in tonnage and +30% growth in yield.

(EHD) is slated to take delivery of a 2nd A330-200F in October. Prior to taking delivery of the A330-200F, (EHD)'s freighter fleet comprised 2 leased MD-11Fs and 2 leased A300Fs.

(CEO) James Hogan said, “The arrival of our new A330-200F freighter marks a new era in (EHD)’s cargo services and will support (EHD)’s goal to expand that side of the business further. The airplane will bring us more payloads at a reduced operating cost, and will offer us better connectivity in our flight network, with greater transfer flows.”

September 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) Head of Network Planning, Imed Ben Abdallah said (EHD) is pursuing a growth strategy "distinct" from Gulf rivals Emirates (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) by focusing on developing point-to-point traffic to/from its Abu Dhabi base rather than pursuing broad based East - West transit traffic.

Speaking at the "World Route Development Forum" in Vancouver, Canada, Abdallah said, "Our focus is on building Abu Dhabi and bringing people into and out of Abu Dhabi. We want to develop niche markets where there is no competition. Yes, there is some direct competition [with (EAD) and (QTA)R], but we have a different business model. We're not trying to emulate [(EAD) and (QTA)], so developing (O & D) traffic is critical to us." He said (O&D) passengers comprise nearly 50% of (EHD)'s traffic currently, a figure (QTA) is seeking to boost.

Others are not convinced, believing that 3 carriers in such close proximity pursuing aggressive growth strategies could become problematic for 1 or more of them. "You're not going to have 3 [top tier hub airports] in the Gulf," Fred Lazar, an economist from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, said. Also speaking at the Vancouver conference, he commented that too many airports around the world "have grand illusions that they'll be tier one hubs." He predicted the Middle East will have one or, at most, 2 major international hubs in the future.

(QTA) (CEO) Akbar Al Baker said earlier this year that the majority of Gulf carriers will "just disappear," leaving only "2 dominant carriers" in the region, presumably his own airline (QTA) and (EAD).

Abdallah said (EHD)'s growth plans are aligned with Abu Dhabi's ambitions: The emirate's 20-year economic development plan, which includes a significant airport expansion, foresees its population >doubling over the next 2 decades to around 3 million by 2030. (EHD) projects (EHD)'s workforce will nearly quadruple from 7,000 today to around 27,000 by 2020, by which time it plans to carry 25 million passengers annually on 155 airplanes including 10 A380s and 35 787s.

Abdallah said controlling costs will be important as (EHD) expands. "We are not adding destinations for the sake of adding," he explained. "We need to make money. Some airports [seeking to be served by (EHD)] have the perception that we are in the Gulf, so we don't care about costs. We do care about costs. Every penny is critical." (CEO) James Hogan has maintained 2011 as a target for (EHD) to break even.

After 2 rejections from regulators, the Virgin Blue Group scored a much-needed win when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave temporary approval for its alliance with (EHD). That approval follows a green light for the tie-up from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Virgin Blue Group (CEO) John Borghetti said (ACCC) approval means the airlines can begin selling airfares between Australia and Abu Dhabi with connections on (EHD)'s extensive network from October 1. Passengers can earn and burn points on each other’s respective networks from this date. “This is an important milestone as we create a global international network, greater competition on the international landscape and benefit our guests with great value fares, better scheduling and more choice,” Borghetti said.

Together, (EHD) and Virgin Blue (VOZ) long-haul subsidiary, V Australia (VAZ) will move toward a total of 27x-weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia (including 2x-daily, Abu Dhabi to Sydney service; daily Melbourne to Abu Dhabi flights; and 6x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Brisbane service.

Subject to final approval, V Australia (VAZ) will operate 3x-weekly, Sydney to Abu Dhabi services from February 2011, and 3x-weekly, Brisbane to Abu Dhabi services from February 2012, aboard 777-300ERs.

Earlier this month, the (ACCC) issued a draft ruling rejecting Virgin Blue Group’s bid to forge an alliance with Air New Zealand (ANZ).

Amadeus has been selected by (EHD), Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) and Kenya Airways (KEN) to provide real-time travel insurance content, product availability and booking functionality through the airlines' direct booking channels.

(EHD) Crystal Cargo has begun commercial operations using its A330-200F just as Aircastle (CSL), the 2nd customer for the new freighter, has handed its 1st airplane over to Hong Kong Airlines (CRY). Having used its A330-200F already to ship goods to flood-ravished Pakistan, (EHD) Crystal Cargo says it has now started regular operations with the airplane. The airplane, the 1st A330-200F to go to a customer, was operated from Abu Dhabi to Tripoli, Libya. (EHD) is buying 2 of the airplanes, having converted an order for a 3rd into a passenger model, and plans to operate the pair also on routes to Hahn, Germany; Beijing, China; Milan, Italy, and N'Djamena, Chad. The 2nd is due for handover in December.

Airbus (EDS) meanwhile, says that AirCastle (CSL) has delivered to Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) the 1st of 3 freighters (EHD) is buying. (CRY) President Jian Hong said "With our new freight services, we will be able to complement our fast-growing passenger network as we work to build (CRY) as one of the leading carriers in the Asian region." (CRY) will operate all 3 Aircastle (CSL) A330-200Fs.

October 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Air Malta (MLT) signed a code share agreement under which (EAD)'s code will be placed on Air Malta (MLT)'s Milan Malpensa (MXP) to Malta flights and (MLT)'s code will be placed on (EHD)'s (MXP) to Abu Dhabi flights.

November 2010: Etihad Airways (EHD) has underlined its intent to become fully profitable within 2 years after announcing that its (EBITDAR) earnings will be in the black for the 1st time in 2010. “With only a month to go, we are well on track for profitable (EBITDAR) [earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortization and rentals] for 2010, marking an important milestone in the commercial development of the airline,” said James Hogan (CEO).

Addressing 170 bankers at (EHD)'s financial road-show event in London, Hogan added, “Our next goal is full breakeven in 2011, leading to sustainable profitability from 2012 onwards. All our indicators show that these targets are in our sights.” (EHD)’s plan to move into profitability was delayed by the 2008 recession. But the company highlights the fact that the progress comes despite significant investment in new routes, fleet and infrastructure. (EHD) holds orders and commitments for about 200 airplanes and is due to take delivery of 100 airplanes in the next 10 years.

In 2009, (EHD)’s passenger numbers rose +5% to 6.3 million, while traffic (RPK)s grew by >15%. Last year, revenue exceeded $2.3 billion.

(EHD), which just turned 7 years old, began 1-class A320 service on routes to Alexandria, Calicut, Colombo, Damascus, Peshawar, and Trivandrum. The re-configured planes hold 162Y seats, not quite the 180Y crammed in by Wizz Air (WZZ), for example. It remains to be seen whether more A320s will be converted to all-economy (Y). Despite its youth, (EHD) already operates 57 planes, making it 1 of the fastest growing airlines in industry history. The growth continues, moreover, with passenger counts expected to hit 7.3 million this year, up from 6.3 million in 2009. Colombo, Erbil, Nagoya, Seoul, and Tokyo are all new routes this year. One thing (EHD) hasn’t done, however, is make money. It hopes to break even in 2011.

Olympic Air (OLY) and Etihad Airways (EHD) launched a code share agreement under which (OLY) will place its code on (EHD) Athens to Abu Dhabi service as well as selected long-haul flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney/Melbourne.

(EHD) launched its 1st “all-economy” (Y) service on October 31 with an A320 configured for 162Y economy-class passengers and offers seat back in-flight entertainment screens, hot and cold meals, beverages, and 32-inch seat pitch. The All (Y) Class service operates on 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Alexandria flights, 2x-daily Damascus service, daily flights to Thiruvananthapuram, 3x-weekly Calicut flights, 2x-weekly Peshawar service, and 4x-weekly flights to Colombo.

(EHD) has hired its 1st Emirati (UAE National) cabin attendant (CA), Farah Saeed. (EHD) has >3,000 cabin attendants (CA) of >100 nationalities.


December 2010: Qantas (QAN)’s market stranglehold in Australia is set for the most dramatic shakeup since the demise of Ansett (ANS) in 2001, after the Australian competition regulator, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) gave approval for Virgin Blue (VOZ)’s comprehensive alliance with Air New Zealand (ANZ), reversing a draft decision rejecting the partnership and a draft OK tick for its tie-up with Etihad Airways (EHD). The 2 alliances underpin a (VOZ) makeover set to be unveiled next month.

(ACCC) Chairman Graeme Samuel said that the regulator was satisfied that the alliances will “likely benefit passengers in a number of ways including more choice of routes and frequencies, and potentially lower fares, as a result of cost savings and efficiency improvements.”

The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines (CEO) & Managing Director John Borghetti, welcomed the separate decisions saying they were “truly game changing,” adding, “We are extremely pleased that the way is now cleared for us to create a truly global airline that not only offers a great product and service but also greater frequencies and great value for money fares.”

Starting in January, (VOZ) will roll out a series of innovations that will reshape the airline with business class (C), new branding, larger airplanes, color scheme, uniforms and on board offering intended to reshape and reposition the airline.

The alliance with (ANZ), which was previously initially rejected by the (ACCC), involves a coordinated approach to a range of issues including pricing, revenue management, schedules, capacity, and routes flown. However, Samuel warned that the (ACCC) is still worried that the alliance may negatively affect competition on a number of routes between Australia and New Zealand. To counter this, it "imposed a number of conditions on authorization which are designed to address these competition concerns."

(VOZ) is awaiting a final determination from USA regulators on its proposed alliance with Delta Air Lines (DAL). The (DOT) tentatively disapproved the deal; however, the Australian government is now lobbying for approval on (VOZ)'s behalf. The (ACCC) has approved that tie up.

(EHD) launched daily, Abu Dhabi to Seoul Incheon service using an A330-200 under a code share agreement with Asiana (AAR).

SR Technics (SWS) and (EHD) signed a 5-year contract under which (SWS) will provide full technical training support to the airline. The agreement covers technical training on all Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) types and includes basic and specialized training. The new agreement follows an initial 1 year contract between the 2 organizations.

January 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported a +29.2% rise in revenue in 2010 to $2.95 billion on a +19.5% increase in capacity to 45.1 billion (ASK)s and +13.1% growth in passengers carried to 7.1 million.
Load factor inched up +0.5 points, to 74% LF and traffic (RPK)s rose +20.1% to 33.4 billion. Its fleet grew by 6 units, including 2 A330-200Fs, to 57 airplanes. Cargo revenue rose +57.4%.

(CEO) James Hogan cited (EHD)'s cost management program as an important element of its performance during the year. "We began a cost reduction program in 2010 to identify $250 million of annualized cost savings," he said, noting that owing to the focus of its management team and operational staff, "we have found >-$320 million of savings, beating our own target and bringing even greater efficiency to the airline."

(EHD) confirmed that, as previously forecast, it achieved a positive (EBITDAR) for the full year for the 1st time since it was formed in 2003, although a figure was not released. (EHD) reiterated its confidence in reaching the break even target this year and profitability in 2012.

Hogan said the outlook for 2011 was "strong" with global operating conditions continuing to improve. "We are seeing a growing confidence in many of our international markets, pointing to a strong performance in 2011," he stated. "Premium travelers are returning, particularly on our trunk routes into Europe, Asia and Australia, and forward bookings look positive. We are seeing, already, particularly strong benefits from our Virgin Blue (VOZ) alliance."

(EHD) launched 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Bangalore service with an A320, increasing to daily on March 25 for the summer season. (EHD) will this summer increase service from Abu Dhabi to Paris Charles de Gaulle (10x-weekly to 2x-daily), Manchester (daily to 10x-weekly), Geneva (5x-weekly to daily), Milan Malpensa (5x-weekly to daily), and Brussels (6x-weekly to 8x-weekly) as it takes delivery of 3 A330-300s and 2 777-300ERs. It will also increase Abu Dhabi service to Beijing (5x-weekly to daily) and Bangalore (4x-weekly to daily) this summer. On North America routes, where it serves New York (JFK) and Chicago O'Hare daily, and Toronto Pearson 3x-weekly, (EHD) will utilize a 412-passenger 777-300ER, it said.

SEE ATTACHED - - "EHD-2011-01-A330-300."

February 2011: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority and France’s Civil Aviation Authority reached a new bilateral agreement, allowing for a +63% increase in the number of flights operated between the two countries.

The designated airlines of each side won the right to operate up to 57x-weekly passenger frequencies combined, +22 more than at present. Furthermore, in addition to Paris, Nice, Lyon, Marseille, and Toulouse, both delegations agreed to add Bordeaux as a 6th point of destination in France, according to the (UAE)’s state news agency "WAM." The (UAE) designated Air Arabia (ABZ), in addition to Emirates Airline (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD), as a (UAE) national airline under the signed Memo of Understanding (MOU). The additional flight rights will be phased in between now and 2014.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) formally approved the alliance between the Virgin Blue Group and (EHD). It follows the interim approval granted on September 23. Together, (EHD) and Virgin Blue (VOZ)’s long-haul subsidiary, V Australia (VAZ), will move toward a total of 27 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia (including 2x-daily, Abu Dhabi to Sydney service; daily, Melbourne to Abu Dhabi flights; and 6x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Brisbane service).

(VOZ) (CEO) John Borghetti said the decision was excellent news for Australian travelers and for the tourism industry. “We are very pleased to receive final (ACCC) approval for our exciting new partnership with (EHD), which will see us establishing an international hub in Abu Dhabi,” said Borghetti. “This will allow us to offer corporate and leisure travelers a very attractive one-stop service to >14 destinations in Europe, as well as the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and Africa.”

The alliance is a key part of our strategy of building an international network with global coverage that complements our core domestic business. It will also provide guests with more opportunities to earn frequent flier points and have more extensive lounge access.” V Australia (VAZ) will commence direct services to Abu Dhabi on February 24.

Etihad Airways (EHD) reached a code share agreement with Air New Zealand (ANZ) for flights across the Tasman, giving (EHD) passengers the option to connect to cities including Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. The agreement complements (EHD)'s alliance with Virgin Blue (VOZ), which became effective in 2010. Code share flights will be able to be purchased by the end of February for travel from the end of March, (EHD) said. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. The agreement between the airlines will enable customers to earn and spend loyalty program miles on each other's flights.

According to the accord, (EHD) will place its code on (ANZ) flights from Sydney to Christchurch, Rotorua, Wellington, and Queenstown. The EY code will also be placed on (ANZ) flights into Melbourne from Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

(ANZ) will place its code on all (EHD)'s flights to London Heathrow. It will additionally place its code on 11x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Sydney service, 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Brisbane flights, 7x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, and 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Beijing service.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan slammed Qantas (QAN) management and told it to focus on its own business instead of complaining about the threats posed by Middle Eastern and Chinese airlines, according to the "Sydney Morning Herald." In a dire warning about the viability of its full-service international operations without a change of direction, (QAN) (CEO) Alan Joyce blamed foreign airlines for flooding the market with extra capacity. Hogan disputed Joyce's claims that the foreign airlines were ''simply taking existing demand,” saying that (EHD) had opened up new markets in Europe, India, and the Middle East.

''I have been hearing this for a long time from my mates in Australia. [But] we have opened up the market,'' Hogan said. ''They should get back and fight and let the customer decide who wins. I can't sit here and complain about capacity and people moving into my market.''

(EHD) also claims that 80% of the traffic it brings into Australia is from destinations that (QAN) does not serve. (EHD) is recruiting 777 First Officers (FC); A320 Captains and First Officers (FC); and A330/A340 First Officers (FC). Minimum qualifications can be found on their web site. Applicants can apply online.

March 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase its 7x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Manchester service to 14x-weekly, on August 1. It had previously announced an increase of up to 10x-weekly. (EHD) will launch daily A320, Abu Dhabi to Male service on November 1.

(EHD) assigned former British Airways (BAB) Chief Technology Officer Gordon Penfold as Senior VP Information Technology (IT). (EHD) appointed Kevin Knight as (EHD)’s Chief Strategy & Planning Officer. Knight will be responsible for a range of key business areas, including pricing, capacity and revenue management, route and network planning and airplane acquisitions. He also will lead Etihad Crystal Cargo. (EHD) appointed Geert Boven as Senior VP Americas. He will be based in New York and responsible for all (EHD)'s current operations in the USA, Canada and South America.

(EHD) and Engine Alliance said they finalized agreements for the purchase of (GP7200) engines to power (EHD)'s fleet of 10 A380s slated to start delivering next year. (EHD) also inked a long-term fleet management agreement for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the engines. The total deal is worth $1.5 billion, according to the (GE) Aviation (GEC)/Pratt & Whitney (P&W) joint venture (JV). (EHD) and Engine Alliance first announced the engine selection at the 2009 Paris Air Show.

April 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported a +21.2% year-over-year rise in 1st-quarter revenue to $770 million. It said the year's 1st 3 months represented its "most successful 1st-quarter to date." Though (EHD) did not disclose EBITDAR figures for the period, it said EBITDAR was positive and put it on course to reach its goal of breaking even this year and achieving profitability in 2012.

It said the revenue gain was buttressed by a -5.9% reduction in unit costs. Passenger revenue rose +15% on the back of a +10.6% growth in passengers carried to 1.9 million. Load factor was 72.7% LF, down -2.4 points. Cargo revenue lifted +44% year-over-year on a +22% capacity hike. "Our revenues continue to grow faster than our passenger numbers and, thanks to our robust cost controls, we are seeing a real benefit in our overall performance," said (CEO) James Hogan, noting the results were achieved "despite significant challenges" in the operating environment. "This quarter saw unrest in a number of Middle East countries, which has clearly resulted in lower traffic into those markets," he said. "The earthquake in Japan in early March has also had an impact. Our ability to respond to these situations is a reflection of the growing maturity and underlying strength of the business."

Hogan said (EHD) remained "cautiously positive" about the future, adding, "Subject to the state of the overall global economy, we believe we are well positioned to continue our journey to profitability." Fuel prices will be a "major challenge for the airline industry this year," he warned. "But I am glad to report that (EHD) has hedged >75% of its fuel requirements for 2011."

Air Astana (AKZ) has signed a new code share agreement with Etihad Airways (EHD). Travellers originating from any of (EHD)'s destinations worldwide can now fly to Kazakhstan through (EHD)'s hub in Abu Dhabi. (AKZ) currently operates 11x-weekly to Abu Dhabi from Almaty and Astana, complementing (EHD)'s 4x- services(3x- to Almaty and 1x- to Astana).

(EHD) has selected Manchester airport (MAN) as the location for its newest contact center, to be operational in 2012, joining centers in Abu Dhabi, India, and Australia. (EHD) is now working with the Manchester Airports Group to find a location on the airport campus. The center is expected to create +160 jobs for the region, (EHD) said.
"Our contact centers handle around 2.5 million calls each year, and we expect more than half of these calls to originate from non-Arabic speaking markets by 2012," (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said. "Manchester offered everything we needed, and had the added attraction of having strong, well-established business links with Abu Dhabi."

May 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Mahe A320 service on November 1.

June 2011: Etihad Crystal Airways (EHD) received its 1st 777-FFX (39682, A6-EGC) freighter.

A330-343E (1226, A6-AFE), delivery, ex-(F-WWKM).

July 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported a 28% year-over-year rise in 1st-half revenue to $1.72 billion and reiterated it is on course to reach its goals of breaking even this year and achieving profitability in 2012. (EHD) said the 1st 6 months of 2011 represented its “most successful 1st-half year” and that (EBITDAR) was positive “for the 1st time” for a 1st half since it launched operations in 2003. (EHD) did not disclose (EBITDAR) figures for the period but noted the results were supported by a -2% reduction in unit costs “despite large increases in oil prices.”

Passenger revenue rose +21% on the back of +14% growth in passengers carried to 3.8 million and +5% growth in passenger yield. Load factor inched up +0.4 point to 72.7% LF in spite of political unrest in the Middle East and the Japanese earthquake. Cargo revenue lifted +32% year-over-year, which was helped by improvement in tonnage and yields.
“This is a wonderful achievement and Etihad Crystal Cargo plays a hugely important part in the ongoing success of (EHD) as it now contributes 20% of our direct operating revenue,” (CEO) James Hogan commented.

(EHD) earlier this month took delivery of its 1st Boeing 777F, joining a cargo fleet comprised of 2 A330-200Fs, 2 A300-600Fs and 2 MD-11Fs. (EHD)’s cargo division now operates to 26 international destinations. This year, (EHD) launched freighter services to Johannesburg, Amsterdam, and Kabul. It expanded cargo services frequencies to Milan, Frankfurt-Hahn, Shanghai, Nairobi, and Erbil because of growing demand. (EHD) has taken delivery of 5 new wide body passenger airplanes this summer, comprising 3 A330-300s and 2 777-300ERs. “We are determined to build a schedule which increases customer choice and attracts local point-to-point traffic in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan,” Hogan said. “Also, we will continue to connect our high growth and emerging markets to Abu Dhabi and the world by linking them through the (UAE) capital, while at the same time expanding our high value premium markets and traffic flows.”

(EHD) announced it will launch services to Chengdu and Shanghai in March 2012. Flights to Male and the Seychelles start on November 1; Manchester becomes a 2x-daily on August 1.

(EHD) reached a naming rights deal with the England Premier League, Manchester City football (soccer) club under which the City of Manchester Stadium will be renamed as the "Etihad Stadium." The rights are reportedly worth £150 million/$241 million spread out over 10 years, according to "Reuters."

(EHD) reached a code share agreement with Czech Airlines (CSA) under which (CSA) will launch 4x-weekly, Prague to Abu Dhabi A319 flights on September 21.

August 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) began operating daily, Abu Dhabi to Chicago O'Hare service with a 777-300ER. It had previously operated 3-class A340-500 and A340-600 airplanes on the route, with 240 and 292 seats, respectively. The new airplane seats 412. (EHD) will launch 4x-weekly, A330 Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf service on December 16. (EHD) will launch daily, Abu Dhabi to Nairobi A320 service on April 1.

(EHD) and (S7) Airlines (SBR) have expanded their code share agreement to include Kazan, Samara, Krasnodar, and St Petersburg.

(EHD) named Robbie Mehoke VP Eastern USA. Mehoke is a former United Airlines (UAL) District Sales Manager for North America.

A330-343E (1245, A6-AFF ), delivery, ex-(F-WWKU).

September 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) is the national carrier, operating services to Europe, the Middle East, SE Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

Employees = 7,675.

(IATA): EY - 607. (ICAO): (ETD) (Callsign - ETIHAD).

Parent organization/shareholders: Government of Abu Dhabi (100%).

Alliances: Aer Arann, Air Astana, Air Malta (MLT); Air New Zealand (ANZ); AirPhil Express (PHL); Alitalia (ALI); American Airlines (AAL); All Nippon Airways (ANA); Asiana Airlines (AAR); Bangkok Airways (PGB); British Midland International (BMA); Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA); Cyprus Airways (CYP); FlyBe (BEE); Jat Airways (JAT); Jet Airways (JPL); Jetstar Airways (IMU); Kuwait Airways (KUW); Malaysia Airlines (MAS); Malev (HGA); Middle East Airlines (MEA); Olympic Air (OLY); Philippine Airlines (PAL); Royal Air Maroc (RAM); S7 Airlines (SBR); Sri Lanka Airlines (LNK); Turkish Airlines (THY); Ukraine International Airlines (UKR); Virgin Australia (VOZ); & Yemenia (YEM).

Main Base: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

International, Scheduled Destinations: Amman; Bahrain; Bangkok; Beirut; Brussels; Cairo; Colombo; Damascus; Damman; Delhi; Frankfurt; Geneva; Johannesburg; Karachi; London; Manila; Mumbai; Munich; Riyadh; & Toronto.

October 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) posted a +39% jump in its 3rd-quarter revenues as it grew its network and increased passenger numbers. Revenues rose to $1.1 billion in the quarter compared with $785 million in the same period last year.

(EHD) reiterated that it remains on track to break-even this year but did not disclose its quarterly loss. Seat factor increased 3.8% to 80.7 LF, the highest in any quarter since the airline began operations in late 2003. “Despite the continuing challenges of high fuel prices and economic downturn in many of the markets in which (EHD) operates, we are seeing strong growth in all our key commercial indicators,” (CEO) James Hogan said.

Markets in the Americas and Asia-Pacific contributed strongly to growth. (EHD), which flies to 86 cities will add 6 new destinations: Maldives, Seychelles, Chengdu in China, Dusseldorf, Shanghai, and Nairobi over the coming 6 months.

(EHD) will launch 3x-weekly, Dubai to Tripoli A330-200 service, once the (NATO) no-fly zone is lifted.

In 2012, (EHD) will take delivery of 7 passenger airplanes: 4 777-300ER airplanes and 3 A320-200s. (EHD)’s stated target is to break even in 2011 and earn profits in 2012.

November 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) will begin to roll out on board Internet on flights between Abu Dhabi and select European cities from December, with a total of 5 airplanes slated to be fitted out by March 2012. It has not yet announced the provider.

3 of the 5 airplanes will be A330-300s, operating to London, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich, and Paris. “I can tell you that (EHD) will have 2 airplanes with operational onboard Internet by December this year,” (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said. “And we are right at the point now of settling on a fleet-wide connectivity solution for the years to come.” (EHD) also said that “wireless processes” have enabled approximately $18 billion in efficiency savings each year. (EHD) noted that one of its “biggest challenge[s]” is staying on top of rapidly changing technology. “Annually, airlines invest billions in airplanes and millions in in-flight entertainment and other trappings, years before the airplanes enter service,” Hogan said. “Changes in technology move at the speed of light. There is an ever-present danger of investing heavily in a system or hardware that is likely to be obsolete by the time it rolls off the production line.”

Members of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) must act as “one body” to secure the continuation of the unprecedented growth, (AACO) Chairman & Etihad Airways (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said. Speaking at the (AACO) annual general meeting in Abu Dhabi, Hogan told delegates, “Although we compete fiercely in the marketplace, it is important we present as a unified stance to those outside, who would like to see the global aviation landscape look more like it did in the early eighties [when] no one in Europe lost any sleep over the threat of competition posed by Middle East carriers. European, America and Asian carriers were the kings of the sky, free to roam as they pleased. Well, that is not the case anymore.”

The unified stance is important for a number of key reasons, including the continued opposition to regulations that hamper the ability to compete on a level playing field with rivals in Europe, America or Canada and “legislation that penalizes us unfairly, such as the European Union (EU)’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS),” Hogan said.

Another reason to work together is to foster innovation and progress at every opportunity, such as environmental, technical or political.
“If the last decade has been about the rise of the Middle East airlines, the next 10 years will be defined by the ways in which, over the short-term future, we take advantage of the opportunities we worked so hard to create,” he said. “Where stasis and stagnation characterize so much of the industry today, Middle East carriers offer energy and ‘can do’ in abundance.”

According to the (AACO), member airlines are expected to post a well-above world average growth in cargo and passenger traffic this year, despite social and political unrest in the region. (RPK)s are forecast to grow with +7% on 2010 and (RTK)s by +6.5%. Member airlines are forecast to carry 124.7 million passengers in 2011, an increase of +5.5% over 2010.

December 2011: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase its shareholding in Air Berlin (BER) to 29.21% for €72.9 million/$95 million as part of an agreement that includes far-reaching commercial cooperation and debt financing.

(EHD) built up a 2.99% holding in (BER) between January and August and will become (BER)’s largest single shareholder upon completion of the deal. As of September 30, (EHD)’s largest shareholder was Turkey’s (ESAS) Holding, owner of Pegasus Airlines (PGS).

(EHD) will augment its shareholding through a new share issue by (BER). It will subscribe to 31.6 million new shares issued under exclusion of the pre-emptive rights of (BER)’s existing shareholders on the basis of a set share price of €2.31, (BER) said. (EHD) will also provide financing of up to $255 million to support fleet development and future network growth through December 31, 2016.

The commercial cooperation includes integrating (EHD)’s frequent flyer programs, an extensive code share agreement, with (EHD) initially adding its code on 36 of (BER)’s 171 destinations and (BER) adding its code on 24 of (EHD)’s destinations.

(BER) stressed it “further continues to plan joining the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance by spring 2012.”

(BER) (CEO) Hartmut Mehdorn said the deal opens up “enormous opportunities for the future of (BER). This applies especially to future market development and the realization of synergies.”

(BER) will move its operation from Dubai airport to Abu Dhabi to connect to (EHD)’s network to Asia and Australia. It will operate 4x-weekly flights using an A330-200 between Berlin and Abu Dhabi from January 15. The companies will seek anti-trust immunity (ATI) to allow greater coordination of route networks and of sales and marketing activities. They will also set up a joint procurement task force to look for cost efficiencies across the 2 companies, including areas such as fleet procurement and deployment, maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) and general procurement. The transaction closing is planned for the 1st quarter of 2012.

(EHD) announced a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement with code share partner Malaysia Airlines (MAS). (EHD) launched 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf A330-300 service. It will increase to daily on April 14. (EHD) has ordered 10 787-9s, making it the largest 787 Dreamliner airline customer. (EHD) also committed to 2 777F freighters.

Deliveries of the 787s are scheduled for between late 2014 and 2019. It will initially use the airplanes on routes to Dublin, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Nagoya, Delhi, and Istanbul.

The 12 additional airplanes (including the 777Fs) are valued at $2.8 billion at list prices and lifts (EHD)’s firm orders for 787s to 41 and 777s to 12. (EHD)'s fleet currently includes 8 777-300ERs and 1 777F. “Our decision to expand our 787 Dreamliner fleet is testimony to Etihad (EHD)'s commitment to operating one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies,” said (CEO) James Hogan. "It also reflects our confidence in the 787's ability to have a significant impact on our operating efficiencies and the passenger experience we can offer onboard this revolutionary airplane.”

(EHD) placed an initial order for 35 firm 787 Dreamliners with options and purchase rights for a further 25 at the Farnborough Airshow in 2008 as a part of a deal for up to 205 wide body and narrow body airplanes. Earlier this year, (EHD) swapped 4 firm 787s due for delivery in 2019 for 3 777s.

January 2012: The Air Transport World (ATW) magazine selected Etihad Airways (EHD) for the "2012 Passenger Service" award. The editors recognized (EHD)'s excellent customer service product and offering of a premium service across all cabins. It was noted that (EHD) maintains a genuine service philosophy, combining streamlined hospitality with comfort, while employing staff from >120 different nationalities. (EHD) carried 8.3 million passengers in 2011, a +17% increase on the previous year. Etihad Crystal Cargo carried 310,000 tonnes, up +18% on 2010.

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said the results “reflect our commitment to sensible, strategic expansion, which is why we launched 8 new routes last year.”

In 2011, (EHD) introduced flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Bangalore, Maldives, Seychelles, Chengdu, Dusseldorf, Tripoli, Shanghai, and Nairobi. It also launched freighter services into Amsterdam, Cairo, Djibouti, Kabul, and Kandahar.

(EHD)’s busiest passenger route was (AUH) to Bangkok with >500,000 passengers carried, up +17% over 2010. London followed with 479,000 passengers carried, up by +16%, Manila (446,000) and Jeddah (289,000) year-over-year.

(EHD) and airberlin (BER) technik signed a reciprocal agreement, under which airberlin technik will undertake maintenance of (EHD) airplanes in Dusseldorf and (EHD) will be responsible for all transit checks on Air Berlin (BER) airplanes in Abu Dhabi (AUH).

(EHD) in December launched daily A330-300 service and signed an agreement with Air Berlin (BER) to increase its stake in the German airline group to 29.1%. As part of the agreement, Air Berlin (BER) switched its 4x-weekly A330-200 flights from Berlin to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Dubai to (AUH).

(EHD) will sign code share agreements with the airberlin (BER) group for all European activities, including Air Berlin (BER), FlyNiki (NKI) and Swiss (CSR) subsidiary, Belair (BLB).

Etihad Airways (EHD) has finalized a $367 million sale/leaseback deal with Sanad Aero Solutions and Engine Lease Finance Corporation (ELF) to finance 23 spare engines.

The transactions, which are for a 10-year operating lease, cover the financing for 16 in-service spare engines and seven future spare engine deliveries.

Sanad will buy and lease back 5 (GE90) and 6 Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 500) engines. (ELF) will purchase and lease back 6 (Trent 700) and 6 (IAE) (V2500) engines, (EHD) said. The spare engines are for (EHD)’s fleet of passenger and cargo airplanes.

“These spare engine sales and lease back transactions provide (EHD) with a long-term financing solution for its entire spare engine fleet while mitigating residual value risk and providing competitive cost of ownership over the long term,” (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said.

Sanad was set up by Mubadala Development Company in early 2010 to provide leasing and management of spare components and engines to the global airline industry. Mubadala also owns Abu Dhabi Airplane Technologies (ADAT) and SR Technics (SWS).

(EHD) became the 1st Gulf carrier to operate a flight powered by sustainable biofuel as it took the delivery of a 777-300ER airplane from Seattle to Abu Dhabi.

The 14-hour delivery flight of (EHD)'s newest airplane was operated using a combination of traditional jet fuel and plant-based jet fuel, which is fully certified for use as commercial jet fuel.

It added that "sustainability" is a key aspect of the biofuel production process and that (EHD) (as a member of the global Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group) has committed to a stringent set of sustainability principles when looking at opportunities for biofuel development and use.

"This flight marks a significant milestone in our efforts to support and drive the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel in Abu Dhabi, the region, and globally," James Hogan, (EHD)'s President & (CEO) said. "However, the use of a presently available biofuel is just 1 part of a more comprehensive long-term biofuel strategy to ensure that we are able to use biofuels to decarbonize substantially an entire industry sector in the long term."

(EHD) will acquire a 40% stake in Air Seychelles (ASY) for $20 million as part of a strategic partnership alliance initiative between the 2 airlines. The alliance includes a code share agreement, the integration of the carriers’ frequent flyer programs and a 5-year management contract for (EHD).

Under the terms, the Seychelles government will inject $20 million into (ASY). (EHD) will also provide a shareholders’ loan of $25 million to meet working capital requirements and support network development. (EHD) will increase frequencies between Abu Dhabi and Mahe from 4X-weekly to daily.

“This is a game-changing strategic partnership for us, establishing Air Seychelles (ASY) on a sustainable growth trajectory and offering a realistic way forward for long-term commercial growth,” said Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs, Environment, Transport & Energy, Joel Morgan. “The aviation industry is under enormous pressure right now, with small airlines especially vulnerable to global economic instability and ongoing oil price volatility. In this context, consolidation offers the best possible solution for Air Seychelles (ASY).”

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said the deal is “consistent with our approach to expansion, which relies on the strength of strategic partnerships across the globe. The investment in the national carrier of Seychelles is a natural next step towards growing our operations in the increasingly important leisure markets of the Indian Ocean and Africa.” The agreement is (EHD)’s 2nd equity investment, following its December 2011 announcement that it would increase its stake in Air Berlin (BER) to 29.21%. Competition authorities in Austria and Germany approved (EHD)’s investment in (BER) earlier this month.

Air Seychelles (ASY) last year appointed former Kenya Airways (KEN) (COO) Bram Steller as its new (CEO). (ASY) suspended Singapore services at the end of November and ended European operations to Paris, London, Rome and Milan on January 10.

The Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), said passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport rose +13.9% to a record 12.4 million in 2011. The capital's gateway cargo traffic was also on the rise, recording 481,500 tonnes, an increase of +10% in comparison to 2010."

(EHD) signed a firm order for an additional 2 A330-200F freighters in a deal worth $423 million at list prices. The order will expand its freight operations, Etihad Crystal Cargo, to 4 A330-200Fs.

(EHD) was a launch customer for the A330-200F when it took delivery of the 1st airplane at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2010.

(EHD) is recruiting 777 Captains and First Officer Flight Crew (FC); A320 Captains and First Officers and A330/A340 First Officers for a base in Abu Dhabi. Applicants can find minimum qualifications on the Etihad Airways (EHD) web site and can apply online. See and

777-3FXER (39684, A6-ETI), delivery.

February 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) said it exceeded its target of breaking even in 2011 by posting a +$14 million net profit for the full year, marking the 1st time (EHD) was in the black on an annual basis. "5 years ago we said we would be profitable by 2011," President & (CEO) James Hogan said. "Despite the global financial crisis, continued high oil prices, regional instability and natural disasters, we have delivered. The mandate from our shareholder [the emirate of Abu Dhabi] was to create an airline that is best in class, operates to the highest safety standards, and makes money and we have achieved this mandate."

(EHD)'s 2011 full-year revenue increased by +36% compared to 2010 to $4.1 billion including a +23.9% rise in passenger revenue to $2.96 billion. Traffic grew +15.8% year-over-year to 38.7 billion (RPK)s on a +13% lift in capacity to 51 billion (ASK)s, leading to a load factor of 75.8% LF, up +1.8 points.

(EHD)'s fleet grew by 7 units to 64 airplanes by year end and its workforce heightened +15.1% to 9,038.

(EHD)'s move late last year to increase its shareholding in Air Berlin (BER) to 29.21% "will be our most important catalyst for growth in 2012," Hogan said. "It has given us instant access to Europe's largest travel market, and will have a major impact on revenues in 2012, with an expected contribution of up to $50 million."

(EHD) will have a significant hand in the management of Air Berlin (BER), in which it is the largest single shareholder following an increase in its holding to 29.21% late last year.

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan, who will serve as Vice Chairman of (BER)'s board, said (EHD) had "in fact been tracking Air Berlin (BER) for some time" and decided to make a strategic play to gain a foothold in Germany and surrounding markets, where (EHD)'s reach had been minimal.

"We took the industry by surprise, but most commentators think [taking such a large stake in (BER)] was a smart move," Hogan said during a visit to Washington to announce (EHD)'s planned new Abu Dhabi to Washington Dulles service.

He said Boeing 787 operations for both carriers will be jointly managed as part of a network integration plan that will extend both airlines' reach. (BER), for example, is now operating flights to Abu Dhabi, he said.

Hogan acknowledged that (BER) has had trouble earning positive net income. "As we move to profitability, we think they'll move to profitability as well," he said. (EHD) earned its 1st-ever annual profit in 2011.

Etihad Airways (EHD) plans to launch daily, Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Washington Dulles (IAD) A340-500 flights from March 31, 2013, pending regulatory approval.

(IAD) will become (EHD)'s 4th North American destination after New York (JFK), Chicago O'Hare and Toronto. President & (CEO) James Hogan, in Washington to announce the new route, said 2 more USA cities are likely to be added over the next few years.

He said (IAD)-originating passengers will be able to bypass the European hubs by connecting to (AUH) via (EHD) and then traveling beyond to India, China, Pakistan and Australia, among other destinations.

In 2013, he added, (EHD) plans to begin serving Latin America. "We're building a balanced network," he said.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the USA, Yousef Al Otaiba pointed out that weekly flight connections between the USA and the (UAE) have jumped from just 7 in 2004 to 70 currently.

The A340-500 used on the (AUH) to (IAD) route will be configured with 12F first-class seats, 28C business seats and 200Y economy seats. The airplane will have an anticipated belly cargo load of 140 tonnes per week.

Etihad Crystal Cargo's 2011 revenue was up +25.7% compared to 2010 to $651 million as tonnage carried increased by +17.8% to 310,188 tonnes.

Air Seychelles (ASY) has appointed Cramer Ball as (CEO) effective February 1. Ball was formerly Etihad Airways (EHD) Regional General Manager of Asia Pacific South & Australasia. The move follows the strategic partnership between (EHD) and the Seychelles government in which (EHD) will acquire a 40% stake in (ASY).

Former (EHD) Regional Finance Manager, Asia Pacific, Shelley Cole has been named (CFO).

Air BP Lubricants was selected by Etihad Airways (EHD) to provide online training to 125 of its maintenance and engineering (MT) personnel. The program covers "key aspects" of the use of turbine oils in the aviation industry including "the definition of a lubricant, to turbine oil composition, the different applications for BP turbine oils, a market-wide survey establishing which lubricants are in direct competition, detailed turbine oil specifications, servicing and monitoring, and storage and handling."

Etihad Airways (EHD) launched its 1st airplanes with in-flight connectivity (3 A330-300s and 1 A320) in January. 1 additional connectivity-enabled A320 will be delivered in March. The service provider for these 5 airplanes is OnAir. The remainder of the wide body fleet will fall under its Panasonic agreement.

The A320 connectivity service offers travelers the option of full mobile use, including phone calls, text messages, emails and mobile data. The A330-300 airplane will offer the same, as well as Wi-Fi Internet capability.

For its launch phase, (EHD) offers mobile and tablet connectivity from $10, and laptop Wi-Fi connectivity from $20. It charges for mobile telephone calls “according to the international roaming rates of guests’ mobile network provider.”

March 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Basra A320 service on April 15. (EHD) launched 5x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Shanghai A330-300 service. The route increases to daily from April 15. (EHD) began serving its 3rd destination in Mainland China on March 1 when (EHD) connected its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub with Shanghai Pudong (PVG). The route, which follows (EHD)’s operations to Beijing and recently launched Chengdu, is operated 5x-weekly. Initially, (EHD) deploys 2-class, 262-seat A330-200 airplanes on the route, but from the start of the summer scheduling season, seat capacity is decreased in spite of the switch to larger airplanes, as (EHD) begins operating 3-class 231-seat, A330-300s on the route. This is notably (EHD)’s 1st Chinese route to feature airplanes with all 3 cabin classes. James Hogan, (EHD)’s President & (CEO) commented: “The new Shanghai route adds much more than just another destination to the (EHD) global network. It brings the capital of the (UAE) and the commercial and financial center of mainland China closer together and creates new opportunities for government, trade, tourism and cultural exchange.”

Virgin Australia (VOZ)/(VAZ) will wet lease 1 of its 777-300ERs to alliance partner, Etihad Airways (EHD) during a 1x-weekly 34 hour 55 minute layover in Abu Dhabi. (EHD) has earmarked using the airplane to bolster services to Kuala Lumpur, a popular market for Gulf travellers and 1 that competitor Emirates (EAD) has been increasing capacity to.

The decision to wet lease the airplane to (EHD) 1x-weekly from May 2012 subject to regulatory approval, finally allows (VOZ)/(VAZ) to better utilise the 1x-weekly extended layover as part of (EHD)'s 3X- weekly Sydney to Abu Dhabi services which commenced in February 2011. The other 2 services have 10 hour 55 minute layovers.

Etihad Airways (EHD) and Air Berlin (BER) have announced plans to integrate their 787 programs, saving millions of dollars for both carriers. The deal affects 56 airplanes, according to the company, which said the joint order is the biggest worldwide for the 787.

A combined (BER)/(EHD) team will oversee the integration program, in which the 2 airlines will share infrastructure, pool maintenance and develop joint training programs. They will also streamline purchasing activity for engines, rotables, avionics and in-flight entertainment systems. The 2 airlines will also work jointly on product development for the new airplane type.

“This program is the 1st of a range of initiatives that will bring significant cost synergies and savings for both airlines,” (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said. He said it is an ideal solution for reducing the costs associated with the introduction of a new airplane type, and an excellent example of the value of our partnership to achieve economies of scale and avoid duplication in areas like design and certification.”

Hogan said he expects the synergies through this integration will result in significant efficiency benefits for both airlines. “We will also be able to deliver a level of commonality across our 787 fleets in relation to onboard cabin specifications, which will provide passengers with a consistent product experience when they travel across the airlines’ extensive networks.” (EHD) has a total of 41 787-9s on order, with 25 options and purchasing rights. (BER) has 15 787s on order with options and purchase rights on a further 15 airplanes. Deliveries will begin in 2015.

April 2012: Hogan also announced that (EHD) will begin daily flights to its 1st South American destination in mid-2013 (the city is yet to be revealed) and also plans to begin a new service to Vietnam. (EHD) recently announced plans to fly from Abu Dhabi to Washington Dulles from next year, its 4th North American destination.

May 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) said it has acquired a 2.987% stake in Aer Lingus (ARL). (EHD) said the purchase would forge a commercial partnership with the Irish national carrier.

(EHD) is widely expected to eventually make an official bid for the 25% stake in Aer Lingus (ARL) the Irish government still holds. The Irish government announced in September it would sell its stake in (ARL) as part of efforts to reduce public debt.

(EHD) operates 10x-weekly from Abu Dhabi to Dublin and has carried >750,000 passengers between the 2 capitals since it began flying the route in July 2007.

(EHD) has code share partnerships with 34 airlines around the world.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWH), parent of wet-lease (ACMI) cargo carriers Atlas Air (TLS) and Polar Air Cargo (PAO), announced that its Atlas Air (TLS) unit has inked an agreement with Etihad Airways (EHD) to provide 747-400F freighter service for Etihad Cargo.

The contract, which begins in June, is for 1 747-400F under a multiyear aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) wet-lease. According to (AAWH), this will be the 1st 747-400F in Etihad Cargo’s global network and it will link Asia, Africa, Europe and other global trade lanes with Etihad Airways (EHD)’s hub in Abu Dhabi.

Besides its own freighters, 2 A330-200F and 1 777-200F, Etihad Crystal Cargo currently also wet-leases 2 MD-11Fs from World Airways (WLD) and 2 A300-600Fs from Maximus Air (MXU).

The World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC) chose Etihad Airways (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan as Vice Chairman Middle East & Africa for the (WTTC).

(EHD) in November will launch Abu Dhabi, A320 service to Addis Ababa (5x-weekly, increasing to daily in 2013) and Ahmedabad (daily).

An (EHD) A330-200 has performed the 1st Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required (RNP-AR) approach to Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH), marking the beginning of full (RNP-AR) implementation throughout (AUH)’s airspace.

The approach was done using (RNP-AR) procedures developed by Quovadis, an Airbus (EDS) subsidiary. The continuous descent operations and optimized trajectories can reduce fuel consumption by up to -200 kilograms and reduce CO2 emissions by at least -20,000 tonnes per year, (EDS) said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Toulouse, France, Airbus (EDS) Executive VP Strategy & Future Programs, Christian Scherer said optimized air traffic management (ATM) was the low-hanging fruit that could achieve -9% fuel burn savings. “There could be -$135 billion net savings every year with an optimized (ATM) system,” he said.

June 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) has confirmed São Paulo Internacional Guarulhos airport (GRU) as its 1st destination in Latin America. It plans to operate daily A340-600 services from Abu Dhabi.

(EHD), 1 of the Gulf region’s fast-growing carriers, said it has bought a 3.96% equity stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ).

In an announcement posted by (VOZ) on the Australian stock market, (EHD) said it built its holding over recent weeks through on-market share purchases. (VOZ) shares were trading at 41 Australian cents/40 USA cents.

The 2 airlines are already part of an alliance which features code sharing on each other’s flights, reciprocal frequent flyer recognition and joint bidding for corporate accounts.

“(EHD) believes that this equity investment in (VOZ)’s domestic operations significantly strengthens the 10-year strategic partnership forged by the 2 companies in August 2010,” it said. “It will enrich the commercial benefits which the alliance already provides for both airlines, as well as increasing the benefits to Australian consumers and visitors to Australia.” Later, it was stated (VOZ) has no concerns about moves by (EHD) to further increase its stake in (VOZ) to 10%, as reported by Australia’s "The Age" newspaper.

(EHD) had earlier acquired a 3.96% equity stake in (VOZ), and almost immediately increased it to 4.99% a day later. “We believe it’s a vote of confidence in our strategy and they want to have a part of it,” a (VOZ) spokesperson said.

That strategy has seen (VOZ) move to take more of the business travel market both within Australia and grow internationally via strategic alliances and code shares. However, sources suggest (EHD) would be unlikely to do anything disruptive and have ruled out such dramatic moves as a hostile takeover.

(EHD) has recently been on a buying spree, increasing its stake in Air Berlin (BER) to almost 30%. It also owns 40% of Air Seychelles (ASY).

(KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines (CEO) Peter Hartman has confirmed during the (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) that AirFrance (AFA)-(KLM) is in talks with (EHD) about a potential joint venture (JV) or cooperation on routes between Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He has, however, ruled out any investments by (EHD) in (AFA) - (KLM).

(EHD) has publicly stated it plans to 1st use its 787-9 Dreamliners from its Abu Dhabi hub to Beijing Capital (PEK), Delhi Indira Gandhi International (DEL), Dublin International (DUB), Frankfurt International (FRA), Istanbul Atatürk/Yesilköy International (IST), Kuala Lumpur International (KUL) and Nagoya Chu-bu Centrair International (NGO) airports when it starts taking delivery of its 41 787-9s on order from 2014.

(EHD) has signed a contract with Airbus (EHD) to equip 17 of its future A320s on order with (EDS)’s fuel saving Sharklets. The new wingtip devices measure 2.5 metres tall, replace the airplane’s current wingtip fence and will reduce fuel burn particularly over longer sectors. Deliveries of the Sharklet-equipped A320s to (EHD) will begin in the 3rd quarter of 2013.

(EHD) started taking delivery of its 20 A320s on order in the last quarter of 2011. Once in service, the A320s equipped with Sharklets will make (EHD)’s Single-aisle fleet 1 of the most modern and fuel efficient in the Middle East.

(EHD) President & Chief Executive Officer James Hogan, said: “In today’s climate, (EHD) is fully focused on maximizing the environmental efficiency of the entire fleet. “By growing our fleet with the modern, fuel efficient Sharklet-equipped A320, we’ll be able to reduce fuel burn which is central to our goal of growing profitability in the years ahead.”

Today, (EHD) (BAB)’s fleet of Airbus (EDS) airplanes comprises 50 Airbus (EDS) passenger airplanes and 2 A330-200F Freighter airplanes. The additional 43 airplanes to be delivered from existing orders, including 10 A380s, will grow (EHD)’s total (EDS) fleet to 95 airplanes.

Offered as an option on new-build airplanes from the end of 2012, the devices increase payload-range and improve take-off performance. The new wing tip devices will result in around -3.5% reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around -1,000 tonnes per aircraft.

July 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported 2nd-quarter revenue of $1.25 billion, up +31% from $957 million year-over-year, contributing to a +30% increase in 1st-half revenues to $2.24 billion, compared to $1.73 billion in the year-ago period.

(EHD) said the record results were largely attributed to its growing network of code shares and strategic partnerships, which together fed 800,000 passengers into (EHD)’s network in the last 6 months, contributing +$281 million.

During the quarter, (EHD) took minority equity stakes in Aer Lingus (ARL) and Virgin Australia (VOZ), adding to its existing minority shareholdings in Air Berlin (BER) and Air Seychelles (ASY). Together, the 5 airlines carried 72 million passengers in 2011, generating combined revenues of >$14 billion.

(EHD)’s passenger numbers increased +34% in the 2nd quarter to 2.55 million, transporting 4.89 million passengers for the 1st half. This growth is attributed to increased overall capacity and improved seat factors.

2nd-quarter (ASK)s were up +25% to 15.2 billion, compared to 12.2 billion in the year-ago quarter, as its fleet increased to 67 airplanes, up from 61 in the same period last year. (RPK)s rose +33% to 11.8 billion, compared to 8.9 billion year-over-year. (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said (EHD) was on track for a successful full-year performance, despite the challenging market conditions.

(EHD) has been given permission by the Australian government to double its Virgin Australia (VUS) shareholding from 4.99% to 10%. (EHD) acquired 3.96% of Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) in June and has since built its stake to 4.99%. Today’s Australian Foreign Investment Review Board clearance means (EHD) can now further increase its shareholding to a maximum of 10%.

An (EHD) spokesman confirmed (EHD) will take this option: “They are going to go to 10%,” he said. The spokesman was unable to immediately comment on how the new shares will be acquired or the likely timing for the transaction.

(EHD) and (VOZ) have a strategic partnership that includes code shares, joint marketing initiatives and a reciprocal frequent flier program agreement. “The strategic partnership has already delivered significant revenues to each airline. It is expected that the equity stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ) will lead to further revenue generating opportunities,” (EHD) said.

(EHD) serves Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne from Abu Dhabi and plans to add a new link to Perth “in the future.”

Etihad Airways (EHD) anticipates an imminent expansion of its relationship with Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus (ARL), (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said. He said the Abu Dhabi to Dublin route had been "very successful" for (EHD) and "you'll see more developments in coming weeks."

(EHD) holds a stake of just under 3% in (ARL). The Irish government, which holds a 25% stake in (ARL), the national carrier, plans to sell it off to help relieve its strained finances. "We've always said that when the Irish government divests we're very keen to look at it, but they've not approached us on that," Hogan said. "Until that's timetabled, I can't say any more."

Later, (ARL) and (EHD) announced code share and interline agreements. The move came just days after (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said that commercial developments in the 2 carriers’ relationship were imminent. The 2 airlines said they would continue “to discuss additional commercial and cost opportunities to develop a closer working relationship in areas such as joint procurement.”

This latest agreement gives (ARL) passengers access to (EHD)’s network through (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi home base, particularly to destinations in the Indian subcontinent, Australasia and Asia-Pacific. (EHD) will in turn cooperate with (ARL) on services to 18 destinations, including transatlantic flights from Dublin to New York and Boston plus several UK and European destinations.

The arrangements will become effective during the current quarter.

(EHD) has taken stakes in several airlines, a policy Hogan said is already yielding benefits for the participants and one that he preferred for its flexibility over becoming a member of a global alliance. Its 29% stake in Air Berlin had enabled (BER) to find around €100 million/$123 million of economies through such measures as using (EHD) for training on its forthcoming fleet of 787s, rather than investing in its own simulators for the type. (BER) plans to buy 15 787s, whereas (EHD) has orders for 41.

Similarly, (EHD)'s interest in Air Seychelles (ASY), in which it has a 40% stake and a management contract, had enabled (EHD) to take on functions such as planning and training for (ASY).

Hogan sees this pattern as the way forward for many carriers: "The challenge for small airlines is that they can't afford overheads. We've proven with Air Seychelles (ASY) that it can be a profitable operating unit and we would absorb the overheads that a small airline, moving forward, just can't maintain."

On equipment plans, Hogan said (EHD) remained committed to the Airbus A350-1000, despite cutting its planned fleet of the variant from 25 to 12. The reduction was made purely due to concerns over Airbus (EDS)' ability to meet the delivery schedule. "All new airplanes are going to have issues on their entry into service (EIS)," he said. "We would like not to be at the front of the line, so other people can work out the problems." He had no doubt the A350 would ultimately meet (EHD)'s requirements.

August 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Singapore to Brisbane A330-200 service to daily on February 1 with the additional 4 services operating via Singapore in both directions. (EHD) has suspended flights between its Abu Dhabi base and Damascus (DAM) due to the worsening security situation in Syria. (EHD) serves (DAM) with a daily A320.

A major insurrection has been underway against the government of President Bashar al-Assad for 18 months. An (EHD) spokesman in London said (EHD) was keeping the security situation in Syria under review for some time. “The [suspension] decision, while not taken lightly, has been made due to the deteriorating security position in Syria,” he said. (EHD)’s action had not been triggered by any single incident, but rather by the steady deterioration of the security position, with fighting edging closer to the Syrian capital’s airport.

September 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) has announced that it has now been able to buy additional shares in Australian partner Virgin Australia (VOZ) to increase its stake to 10% as previously approved by the Australian authorities. Meanwhile, (EHD) has suspended its route from Abu Dhabi International (AUH) to Damascus (DAM) until further notice because of security concerns.

(EHD) and (RAK) Airways (RAK) will code share on (RAK) flights from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi. Ras Al Khaimah is the most northerly of the 7 territories that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It will be part of a wider code share agreement that will see (EHD) place its code on (RAK)-operated domestic flights, while (RAK) will code share on (EHD)’s services to London Heathrow, Manchester, Dublin, Geneva, and Bangkok. (RAK) will operate the flights with an A320. The domestic flights will start October 3 and initially operate 4x-weekly, although this will increase to daily from December. “For an airline of the quality and prestige of (EHD) to choose (RAK) Airways (RAK) as a code share partner shows how far (RAK) has advanced since its re-launch in 2010,” (RAK) (CEO) John Brayford said.

(EHD) has signed a code share agreement with China Eastern Airlines (CEA) that will initially see the (CEA) code appearing on (EHD) flights between (AUH) and (SHA). Subsequent phases of cooperation will see the (CEA) code appearing on all (EHD) flights to destinations not included on (CEA)’s network, with (EHD) planning to code share on (CEA)’s domestic services beyond its (SHA) hub.

(EHD) is exploring potential commercial partnerships with South American-based carriers in a bid to “expand its footprint” in the region, according to President & (CEO) James Hogan. Discussions are underway, he said.

(EHD) is scheduled to launch daily nonstop A340-600 flights between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo, Brazil June 1, 2013, the airline’s 1st foray into the South American market. Hogan said: “Brazil is 1 of the fastest-growing economies in the world, now ranking as the 6th largest since overtaking the UK in 2011. Bilateral trade between Brazil and the (UAE) is valued at nearly $3 billion annually, with authorities aiming to lift this to $10 billion within 5 years.”

He pointed out that 25 major Brazilian companies have offices in Abu Dhabi, while Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government development company, has identified almost $13 billion worth of planned investment in Brazil. Hogan said that, according to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, “Brazil trade volumes with the Arab world grew by +28% in 2011 to reach $25 billion. This is forecasted to grow by a further +10% to +15% this year,” he said.

(EHD) is also pushing the route as a preferential air link between Brazil and the Asian economies of China and Japan, its largest and 5th largest trade partner, respectively. Despite flying westbound across the Atlantic to Brazil, (EHD) claims the new route will offer “some of the fastest connecting flight times to China and Japan.”

(EHD) recently added Chengdu and Shanghai to its route network and will go daily to Tokyo from April next year.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan took the opportunity during his opening address at the World Route Development Strategy Summit to express his delight that rival Emirates (EAD) had followed his lead and forged a network tie-up with an Australian carrier.

Last year, (EHD) established a partnership with (VOZ) that included an extensive code share arrangement and an equity stake. "Interesting to see somebody else has followed our path with another carrier down there," Hogan said, referring to the recently-announced tie-up between (EAD) and Qantas (QAN).

This joint venture, which takes effect once approved in April next year, will see (QAN) re-routing its Kangaroo Route flights between Australia and London from Singapore to (EAD)'s Dubai hub, as part of an extensive reciprocal code share agreement.

When asked specifically what he thought about the agreement, Hogan replied diplomatically: "The great thing about that deal is that more people now know there is an alternative to the Asian hubs out of that market. It's good for all of us in the Gulf."

(EHD) has been rapidly building its partnership portfolio, having accumulated 38 alliances and 4 equity partnerships (the latter comprising Aer Lingus (ARL), Air Berlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY), and Virgin Australia (VOZ)). (EHD) serves 77 destinations directly from its Abu Dhabi hub and a further 238 through code shares.

(EHD)'s code shares have generated >$280 million this year, and account for 20% of (EHD)'s total revenue, which will grow to $5 billion this year. Its revenue is forecast to grow by +30% to $6.5 billion in 2013.

Hogan says (EHD) is evaluating further tie-ups with "like minded airlines". He says this strategy has "worked well" for (EHD) and "this is why we haven't joined one of the global alliances. We're quite happy to build the hub to see more airlines moving their operations over to Abu Dhabi to give us the quality of revenue we need to sustain profitability."

October 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) said it is confident of full-year profitability due to synergies with its partner airlines despite the challenging global economic environment.

On the day (EHD) announced a strategic partnership with AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM) and Air Berlin (BER), it said revenues from existing code share and partnership revenues jumped +51% to $182 million in the quarter compared to a year ago. (EHD) holds a 29.21% equity stake in (BER). Fuel remained the single largest operating cost, representing 37% of total expenditure for the quarter. "We continue to face an incredibly tough operating environment,” (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said. “The Eurozone remains in trouble and there is still some softness in a number of Middle Eastern markets.”

However, Hogan pointed out “the wide segmentation of our business is helping to ensure our continued profitable growth. Australia and our major Asian markets are performing strongly. Our routes into China (Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu) are showing particular potential.”

(EHD) added that Air Seychelles (ASY), in which it holds a 40% stake, will likely break even this year following several years of heavy losses. (EHD) is in the 1st year of a 5-year management contract with the Indian Ocean carrier.

(EHD) also reported a +16% year-on-year rise in code share revenues through its arrangement with Virgin Australia (VOZ), in which it has a 10% stake.

(EHD) is pursuing in-house alliances with pooled resources to push down unit costs, according to (CEO) James Hogan. Hogan said, “Consolidation and equity partnerships, most likely led by us, are coming onto the horizon. These are tough times, but aviation is a long game. Airline (CEO)s must have the structure to weather the cycles and certainly, as (EHD), we have the structure.”

Over the last few years, (EHD) has surged forward with its partnership strategy, striking a raft of code share deals and forming high-profile equity tie-ups including Air Berlin (BER) and Virgin Australia (VOZ). “We have to stretch our network for the customer,” he said. “To be able to keep someone within your network, we believe, is fundamental. It’s about customer benefits, generating more passengers and more revenue.”

(EHD) launched operations in 2003 with a clear mandate for rapid growth. This year, its turnover will exceed +$5 billion, up from +$4.1 billion in 2011, delivering a +$14 million net profit. Next year, (EHD)’s revenues are set to grow to +$6.5 billion. “We had to ramp up quickly to be competitive and have the scale to win,” Hogan said.

Hogan is now leveraging (EHD)’s equity partnerships to deliver more traffic, share back office functions and create strong joint purchasing power. “The days of airlines having their own maintenance, pilot (FC) training and revenue management departments are over. It’s about working smarter to deliver better unit costs. With our equity partners, we have done deals on in-flight entertainment (IFE), seats and engines which they couldn’t achieve in their own right. They have benefitted and, by increasing our scale, they helped us too.”

Hogan is still on the lookout for acquisition targets “at the right price,” but said the (EHD) equity model is not about control. “It is about cementing partnerships, having a clear focus on being efficient, being committed to developing a centre of excellence and growing revenues.”

SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM), Oneworld (ONW) Alliance’s Air Berlin (BER) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have announced a strategic partnership to strengthen their route networks. The agreement includes code shares between (BER) and (AFA) - (KLM) from October 28.

The expansion in France allows (BER) to consolidate its market position from 3 to 9 destinations via Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Marseilles, Nantes and Toulouse.

(AFA) will add its code on (BER) flights via Berlin-Tegel (TXL) to Krakow (KRK), Gdansk (GDN) and Graz as well as from Dusseldorf - Dresden and Nice to Vienna. (KLM) and (BER) will exchange codes between Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) and (TXL) as well as to (KRK), (GDN) and Kaliningrad. (BER) will add its code via (AMS) on (KLM) to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

Also from October 28, (KLM) will code share with (EHD) on its (AMS) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) flights and (EHD)’s daily, (CDG) to (AUH) service with (AFA). (EHD) gains access to 10 additional European destinations with (AFA) - (KLM), while (AFA) and (KLM) gain access to 5 further destinations in Asia and Australia.

"The partnership between (AFA) - (KLM), (EHD) and (BER) reflects our Group’s strategic positioning to ensure the best possible services between Europe and the rest of the world, by developing our network and airline partnerships,” (AFA) (CEO) Jean-Cyril Spinetta said.

(BER) (CEO) Hartmut Mehdorn said the cooperation “considerably strengthens our presence in the European market and link our Berlin hub to even more destinations.”

“This is (EHD)'s 40th code share agreement. It reflects the core elements of our 10-year master plan, driven by organic network growth, combined with the forging of strategic code share partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines,” (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said. The deal gives (EHD) a combined network of 321 destinations. Hogan confirmed talks with (AFA) began in July.

(BER) has been urged by its largest shareholder, (EHD), to join cooperation talks with Air France (AFA) and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines that (EHD) has been holding for several months already. According to statements by (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan published by "Süddeutsche Zeitung" in Germany, (EHD) would have asked (BER) to start operating joint flights with (AFA) - (KLM).

Nasair (NAZ) is in talks for additional partnerships after signing a code share deal with (EHD) and listing for the 1st time on a Global Distribution System (GDS) system.

“We started discussion with (EHD) a long time ago,” (NAZ) (CEO), Francois Bouteiller said. “There was some discussion about an equity partnership, but it’s not on the table at this stage. It is a partnership, not an exchange of stakes or shares.”

The (EHD) deal covers 26 routes across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. “In the near future, we will announce some more partnerships,” Bouteiller said.

(EHD) has signed a code share agreement with Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia (GIA), effective October 28. In the 1st phase of the partnership, (EHD) will place its code on (GIA) services between Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali), and Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Subject to regulatory approval, (GIA) will place its code on (EHD)’s flights from Jakarta to up to 31 destinations in the Gulf, Levant, Africa, Europe, and North America. If approved, the carriers will expand the scope of the agreement to include more destinations in each other’s network.

(EHD) has signed a firm order for two additional A330-200 passenger airplanes as part of (EHD)’s continued growth plans. The A330-200s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 700) engines. (EHD) also converted 7 of its previously ordered A320s to the A321.

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said: “As our operations and network continue to grow in scale, we feel the A330-200 is the right fleet type to expand with. Our decision to convert 7 of our A320s on order into A321s reflects the increasingly strong demand we are seeing across our different routes and we look forward to taking delivery of our 1st in November 2013.”

November 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) is said to be in final talks with Jet Airways (JPL) about taking a 24% minority stake in India's largest carrier. According to the "Times" of India, (JPL)'s Chief Commercial and Chief Operating Officers, Sudheer Raghavan and Hamid Ali have travelled to Abu Dhabi International (AUH) to work out details with the (UAE) national carrier. (JPL) currently operates 17 ATR72-500s, 7 737-700s, 49 737-800s, 4 737-900s, 11 A330-200s and 5 777-300(ER)s and also fully owns low-cost carrier (LCC) Jet Konnect (SQH) that serves many domestic and regional routes with its own fleet of 7 737-700s, 6 737-800s and 2 737-900s and a wide range of airplanes from its parent. (EHD) already holds a 40% stake in Air Seychelles (ASY), 29% in Air Berlin (BER), 10% in Virgin Australia (VOZ) and 3% in Aer Lingus (ARL).

(EHD) has been forced to postpone the launch of flights to Addis Ababa, which were scheduled November 2, until further notice. The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority rejected (EHD)’s application for an operating permit. (EHD) said the action was taken despite the existence of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concluded by the governments of Ethiopia and Abu Dhabi (AUH) in June 2007. Under terms of the agreement, Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) began operating scheduled passenger services to (AUH) in July 2008, but suspended the service 12 months later.

(EHD) said the (UAE) government had held several meetings over the past six months in a bid to resolve the situation, but a final meeting in Addis Ababa last week ended in failure. (EHD) said: “Due to the lack of any positive outcome, (EHD) has had no alternative but to postpone the launch of flights between Addis Ababa and Abu Dhabi until further notice. The actions of the Ethiopian (CAA) ignore the Memo of Understanding (MOU) between Abu Dhabi and Ethiopia. We will continue to push for the terms of the (MOU) to be honored.” (EHD) said it was contacting passengers booked to fly on the planned service to offer a full refund, or assist them with making alternative flight arrangements.

Etihad Airways (EHD) inaugurated flights on the 1,800 km route from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Ahmedabad (AMD) in the western Indian state of Gujarat on 2 November. Daily services will be operated using A320s. The Indian city is also served from the (UAE) by Air Arabia (ABZ) and flydubai (FDB). (EHD)’s (CEO) James Hogan, said: “(EHD) is committed to serving the Indian market and people, whether in India or the diaspora.” The newly launched route brings (EHD)’s presence in the Indian subcontinent up to a total of 9 destinations, all of which are served with at least 6x-weekly frequencies.

With (EHD)'s rapid growth, Abu Dhabi airport has not had enough jetways to handle all the extra flights, having to resort to bussing many travellers to hard stands at remote locations on the airfield. The airport does intend to build a new midfield terminal capable of handling 30 million annual passengers but is not intended to be open until 2017. The airport currently handles about 12 million passengers per year following the opening of the third terminal in 2009, which is about the same number it handled last year.

Etihad (EHD) Cargo launched weekly, Abu Dhabi to Lagos 747-400F service on November 15.

(EHD) has agreed with Singapore based lessor (BOC) Aviation (SIL) that it will dry lease 2 A321-200s that are expected to be delivered by Airbus (EDS) in the 2nd quarter of 2014. (EHD) already has 14 A321-200s on order, that were switched from an original A320-200 order placed back in 2008.

December 2012: Etihad Airways (EHD) has acquired 70% of Air Berlin (BER)’s "topbonus" frequent flyer program (FFP) for €200 million/$263.7 million, further strengthening their partnership.

Last month, (BER) announced plans to spin off topbonus, which has 3.1 million members. The (FFP) will be acquired by a new entity called topbonus Limited, which will be 30% owned by (BER) and 70% owned by (EHD). “The entity will become part of a new loyalty management company being established by (EHD). This company will allow (EHD) and its partners to target the fast-growing, profitable global loyalty management market more effectively.”

(EHD) "Guest," which includes partner carrier, Air Seychelles (ASY)’s (FFP), will also cooperate with the new company. Combined, (EHD) Guest and topbonus have nearly 5 million members world wide.

(EHD) will fund the €200 million purchase price via a €50 million equity injection and €150 million in debt financing. Meanwhile, (BER) will benefit from improved liquidity and a strengthened balance sheet. “This deal helps us to financially restructure our business,” (BER) (CEO) Hartmut Mehdorn said. “Our annual result will improve significantly, as well as our liquidity and equity capital resources.”

(BER) and (EHD) joined forces a year ago. (BER) and (EHD) claim the partnership has fed >300,000 passengers into their networks and generated €100 million in revenues over the 12-month period.

The 2 carriers have also cooperated on procurement (fuel purchasing, ground handling, ground services, as well as 787 training, specifications and maintenance) which the airlines claim will deliver multi-million dollar savings. “Through revenues generated, and cost-saving initiatives, (EHD) has already recouped its initial investment of $105 million,” (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said. “There is still a long way to go as the partnership develops, but these results show we’re on the right path.”

Kingfisher Airlines (KFH) has confirmed it is in discussions with several investors, including Etihad Airways (EHD) to take an equity stake in the troubled Indian carrier. The comment came in a statement to the Mumbai Stock Exchange.

(KFH) has not operated flights since October 19, when Indian regulatory authorities suspended its license. Debt-burdened (KFH) has faced severe financial problems this year and stopped flying when its employees, who had not been paid for 7 months, disrupted flights. This statement followed reports in India’s "Mumbai Mirror" newspaper that Etihad (EHD) had struck a deal to buy 48% of (KFH) for roughly INR30 billion/$551 million.

A statement on the stock exchange website said (KFH) has “clarified” that “the company is in discussion with various investors, including Etihad Airways (EHD), for equity investments in the company.
“However, no agreement has been reached, neither with (EHD) nor any other airline, and the matters are merely in negotiation stages.”

“We’re not commenting on any of these reports,” (EHD) spokesman Tom Clarke said. He acknowledged, however, that (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan had said on "Bloomberg TV" a week ago that (EHD) was in negotiations with unspecified Indian airlines. In his "Bloomberg" interview, Hogan said (EHD) had always made it clear it was very keen in taking equity stakes in Indian carriers, given the booming market in the country.

Later, it was revealed that Etihad Airways (EHD) is close to buying a 48% stake in (KFH) for a little >30 billion rupees, the "Mumbai Mirror" reported.

A formal announcement of the deal could come around December 18, the birthday of Kingfisher (KFH)’s flamboyant Chairman Vijay Mallya, the newspaper said, without saying how it got the information.

(KFH), whose planes have been grounded for the past 2 months, declined to comment on the report. (EHD) did not immediately respond to an email sent by "Reuters."

(EHD) will initially buy a 30% holding in December and a further 18% by next August, the paper said, adding (EHD) and (KFH) refused to deny or confirm the stake sale.

Battling stiff competition and high operating costs, Indian carriers have been in talks to sell minority stakes to foreign investors. (EHD) was reported to be eyeing buying a stake in Jet Airways (JPL), India’s largest airline by total passengers carried.

(KFH), which Mallya launched with much fanfare in 2005, was once India’s 2nd-largest airline by domestic market share. For most of this year, (KFH) has struggled to pay its staff and has not flown since early October due to protests and safety concerns.

According to 1 estimate, (KFH) is saddled with roughly $2.5 billion in debt. (KFH) shares were up +4.7% in early trade.

(EHD) expanded its code share with Royal Air Maroc (RAM) to include Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea, on December 12. (EHD) operates the leg between Abu Dhabi and Casablanca, while (RAM) flies the onward segment to Conakry 2x-weekly.

Etihad Airways (EHD) launched its Etihad Wi-Fly in-flight Internet and mobile connectivity service, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite. (EHD)’s first airplane equipped with Panasonic’s communications technology, an A330-200, took flight for Brussels, offering high-speed broadband Internet connectivity as well as data and mobile phone services.

The A330-200 will be used for long-haul destinations across (EHD)’s network, such as Brussels, Dublin, Manchester, Munich, Frankfurt and Milan. (EHD)’s Wi-Fly is a result of the 10-year, $1 billion agreement signed with Panasonic Avionics in November 2011. "We continue to invest in our product and consider ways to offer our guests the most engaging and dynamic in-flight entertainment options. The broadband Internet is high-speed, in line with what our guests would experience at home or at work, so we believe this will be hugely popular," said James Hogan (EHD) President & (CEO). “By the end of Q1 2013, we will have 10 ‘Etihad Wi-Fly’-equipped airplanes, and I am pleased to announce that by the end of 2014, every single (EHD) airplane will be equipped for in-flight connectivity.”

All (EHD) narrow-body airplanes will be outfitted with data and mobile phone connectivity, while wide body airplanes will be additionally equipped for broadband Internet services.

The “Wi-Fly” connectivity solution is offered to guests at a cost of $13.95 for 1 hour or $24.95 for 24 hours.

(EHD) also currently operates 6 connectivity-enabled airplanes under an agreement with OnAir: 3 A320s and 3 A330-300s.

The following is an end of the year (2012) summary of the progress of Etihad Airways (EHD).


(EHD)'s progress has been somewhat intertwined with 2 other Middle East carriers: Emirates Airline (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA), and their success has resulted in them being referred to as the "Middle East Big Three (MEB3)." The following includes a lot of excellent data researched and presented by Hanna Schaal (PROLOGIS) and Thomas Jaeger (ch-aviation) Their condensed market study very clearly shows how these "(MEB3)" are revolutionizing the airline industry and exerting pressure on the traditional market leaders and their alliances. They opened their study with "Nothing is as constant as change, but hardly ever before has change been as dynamic as it is today."

The (MEB3) have extended their networks, frequencies and overall capacity massively during the last 5 years, despite the ongoing global financial crisis. As could be expected, Asia and Europe are the 2 markets with the highest number of routes served by the (MEB3), with Africa being a distant 3rd. Europe has grown the most in terms of new routes being added (62.5% more routes being served now) among these markets. The Americas are growing much faster but from a much lower base. (EAD) has served the most destinations on every continent (with the exception of Asia/Middle East) back in 2007 and still does today, but (QTA) has been able to narrow that margin in Africa and Europe in the meantime. It has also started expanding to Australia and Latin America during the last 5 years.

While the (MEB3) have grown the number of routes served by +46.1% over the last 5 years, frequencies have actually increased by +80.4%, showing that the carriers have started to concentrate on serving existing routes more frequently than before. The average weekly frequency per destination has increased from 8.44 to 10.41 weekly flights. (EAD) on average, offers 12.11 weekly flights to each destination already and has increased frequencies on many European routes for example to at least two daily services allowing connections during its two biggest connection banks in Dubai. This is making the (MEB3)’s product more appealing to business (C) travelers who value frequency more than leisure travelers.

Weekly Capacity has grown even slightly faster at 83.7% (ASK), indicating the deployment of larger airplanes in the (MEB3)’s fleets. From the hubs at Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dubai, the (MEB3) now offer a total of 853,659 seats per week compared to just 464,729 back in 2007. (EAD) has essentially doubled its capacity in just 5 years’ time with (QTA) not far behind. (EHD) has grown slower during the same timeframe, showing its more conservative and collaboration driven growth approach.

Last but not least, the weekly number of Available Seat Miles (ASM) has grown by +109.8%, clearly indicating that the (MEB3) are starting to increasingly serve destinations further away from their hubs, and have introduced more long-haul routes to their networks. (EAD) alone almost offers double the number of (ASM)s as the other 2 Gulf carriers together, also thanks to its high number of non-stop services from Dubai to the Americas and Australia.


More detailed statistics on Etihad Airway (EHD)’s network growth are provided below (maps generated by Great Circle Mapper highlighting new routes in yellow and routes cut in red):

Etihad Airways (EHD) network changes by Continent:

AFRICA (4+1):

Added (4): Lagos, Nairobi, Mahé, and Tripoli

Future Additions (1): Addis Ababa


ASIA (18):

Added (18): Ahmedabad, Almaty, Astana, Baghdad, Bangalore, Basra, Beijing, Chengdu, Chennai, Colombo, Erbil, Hyderabad, Kozhikode, Malé, Nagoya, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo.



Added (6): Athens, Dusseldorf, Istanbul, Larnaca, Minsk, and Moscow.



Added (1): Chicago

Future Additions (1): Washington D.C.



Added (1): Melbourne,



Future Additions (1): Sao Paulo.

January 2013: Etihad Airways (EHD) has bought shareholdings in Air Berlin (BER), Aer Lingus (ARL), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Virgin Australia (VOZ), and if (CEO), James Hogan has his way, this is only the beginning. (EHD) appears to be preparing to pursue more acquisitions in Europe and possibly one in India, which would make it an even more serious player in the international long-haul market. At the same time, (EHD) will have to prove in 2013 that its current investments are paying off. While Virgin Australia (VOZ) (which is also partly owned by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Air New Zealand (ANZ)) looks good, there are major questions about whether its riskiest investment, Air Berlin (BER), can be turned around.

Etihad Airways (EHD) flew 10.3 million passengers in 2012, boosting its passenger numbers by +22% and exceeding its 10 million target for the full year.

During the 12-month period, (EHD) carried >1.88 million more passengers than in 2011. Over the same timeframe, Etihad Cargo carried 365,000 tonnes of freight, +18% up on 2011, hitting a new record high.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan pointed out that its 6 new routes (Tripoli, Shanghai, Nairobi, Basra, Lagos, and Ahmedabad) contributed to the +22% increase.

(EHD) serves 87 passenger and cargo destinations using its own airplanes and 245 code share destinations. It also has equity stakes in Air Berlin (BER), Virgin Australia (VOZ), and Air Seychelles (ASY). Collectively, the 5 airlines are expecting to transport >74 million passengers in 2012.

In 2012, Air Berlin (BER) is expected to have carried 33.4 million passengers, Virgin Australia (VOZ) 19.5 million, Aer Lingus (ARL) nearly 11 million passengers, and Air Seychelles (ASY) 241,000 passengers, according to (EHD) estimates.

(EHD) operates a fleet of 70 Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) airplanes, with >90 airplanes on firm order. (EHD) took delivery of 7 new airplanes in 2012: 3 A320s and 4 777s. (EHD) will take a further +14 new airplanes in 2013, 4 A320s, an A321 and an A330F freighter, plus 2 777F freighters and 6 777-300ERs.

This year, (EHD) will launch flights to at least 3 new destinations: Washington DC in March, Sao Paulo in June, and Ho Chi Minh City in October.

(EHD) will operate 10x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Dublin service with a 777-300ER from July 2 on 6 of the flights, replacing the current A330-200. (EHD) will launch daily, Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam, A330-200 service on May 15 in code share with (KLM).

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said the airline will launch a daily Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi service this summer. Flights will be operated by a two-class A330-200.

(EHD’s code share partner, (KLM) is also planning to step up its Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi flights to daily from the summer, taking the partners to 2x-daily frequencies.

(KLM) and (EHD) also detailed plans to expand the code share, which was 1st announced in October 2012. The airlines already cooperate on (KLM)’s flights to Billund, Cardiff, Newcastle, Oslo and Stavanger, as well as (EHD)’s Colombo, Islamabad, Lahore, Melbourne and Sydney flights.

Under the new agreement, (EHD) will also place its code on (KLM)’s flights to Aberdeen, Barcelona, Bergen, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Leeds Bradford, Madrid, Nice Stockholm and Toronto.

In return, (KLM) will place its code on (EHD)’s flights to Baghdad, Basra, Calicut, Cochin, Dhaka, Erbil, Hyderabad, Kathmandu, Chennai, Male, Peshawar, Seychelles and Trivandrum.

(EHD) already serves 17 European cities including Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, London and Paris. (EHD) has already detailed plans to add Sao Paulo, Washington DC, and Ho Chi Minh City in 2013.

By 2020, (EHD) is aiming to serve >100 destinations with a fleet of >150 airplanes.

Sweden’s air navigation services provider (LFV) and Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL) have signed a 5-year agreement with Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). The agreement will provide civil air navigation services at (ADAC)’s 5 airports.

The contract, worth in excess of >AED540 million/>$147 million includes Abu Dhabi International Airport, which handles approximately 120,000 air traffic movements a year. The contract is initially for 5 years with a possible extension of 2 years.

Under the joint venture (JV) arrangement, (GAL) is the prime contractor for operations and (LFV) is responsible for the overall management functions of the air traffic control (ATC) services. They will be employing a mix of local and foreign air traffic controllers, including (LFV) personnel. (GAL) will also be responsible for maintenance of the airport's communications and navigation equipment.

(GAL) and (LFV) signed a cooperation agreement in 2010 to provide a platform for selling consulting and civil air navigation services in the region. (GAL) said its aim was “to become the Middle East's leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) and specialized support services through excellence in service quality, safety, reliability, value and customer focus.”

Etihad Airways ((IATA) Code: EY, based at Abu Dhabi International (AUH)) (EHD) has moved its four weekly cargo flights between Abu Dhabi International (AUH) and Frankfurt, from Frankfurt Hahn (HHN) to Frankfurt International (FRA) with immediate effect, saying it expects the change to the more central main airport would significantly increase demand from cargo customers. In other news, Etihad Cargo has announced that it plans to replace MD-11F (48411, N382WA) currently wet-leased from USA partner World Airways ((IATA) Code: WO, based at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International (ATL)) (WLD) by a 2nd 747-400F on wet-lease from Atlas Air ((IATA) Code: 5Y, based at New York John F Kennedy International (JFK)) (TLS).

777-FFX (39692, A6-DDB), and 777-3FXER (41085, A6-ETM), deliveries.

February 2013: Etihad Airways (EHD) said its net profit tripled in 2012 as its fast-expanding global network attracted more passengers.
(EHD) which has stakes in Air Berlin (BER) and Virgin Australia (VOZ), earned a net profit of +$42 million in 2012, compared with +$14 million in the previous year.

Revenue rose +17% in 2012 to $4.8 billion from $4.1 billion in 2011.
(EHD) made its 1st profit in 2011. Unlisted (EHD) has been on an acquisition drive in recent months, taking minority equity stakes in Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Aer Lingus (ARL) and raising its shareholding in Air Berlin (BER) and Air Seychelles (ASY).

(EHD) said it carried 10.3 million passengers last year, up +23% over 2011. The average seat factor was 78.2% LF, up +2.4% over 2011.

Equity and code share partners contributed to >1.2 million passengers tapping (EHD)’s network. (EHD) hedged 80% of fuel costs during the year, the same level as in 2011.

Jet Airways (JPL) is in the final phase of sealing a deal to sell a 24% stake to Abu Dhabi-based, Etihad Airways (EHD). (JPL) Founder & Chairman Naresh Goyal and (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan have been meeting with ministers responsible for Finance, Commerce and Aviation in Delhi to apprise them of details of the agreement.

The stake sale will help (JPL) retire some of its debt, which was $2.3 billion at the end of September. (EHD) is expected to pay (JPL) about $300 million for the stake, according to sources close to the deal.

(JPL) is a strong and established brand with 25% of the domestic market share. It will give (EHD) access to a huge Indian market, which despite recent challenges is projected to be among the fastest growing in the world in the next decade. In the past 2 years, (EHD) has been strategically picking up stakes in airlines around the world including Air Berlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Virgin Australia (VOZ). 2 Middle Eastern carriers, Kuwait Airways (KUW) and Gulf Air (GUL), had a 40% stake in (JPL) in the mid-1990s. However, a change in Indian government regulations forced them to divest their stake to Goyal, who had emerged as 1 of the strongest lobbyists against allowing foreign airlines to invest in India. Ironically, his is the 1st carrier to benefit from the change in policy.

Analysts in Mumbai said (JPL) could use maintenance services in Abu Dhabi and import aviation fuel directly from the emirate to circumvent the huge sales tax on local purchases. For (JPL), the deal provides access to a global network and ability to funding support that it could use to order more narrow body airplanes.

The strengthening of (JPL)’s Middle Eastern links could impact Indian flag carrier, Air India (AIN)/(IND) in a significant way. The airline, through its low-cost carrier (LCC) arm, Air India Express (AXB), connects almost all the major cities in the region. Viability of these short-haul international operations is likely to be hit with the new alliances. The government’s current position is that it will not allow Air India (AIN)/(IND) to be opened up to a strategic partner. However, other private airlines including SpiceJet (ROJ) and Go Air (GOZ) are negotiating with international airlines for possible stake sales.

Later, (EHD) Chairman Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan told "Reuters" that Etihad (EHD)'s board would still be reviewing a proposal to acquire a 24% stake in Jet Airways ((IATA) Code: 9W, based at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International (BOM)) and that it would be too early to make a final decision. According to Al Nahyan, the proposed transaction still needs to be revised. (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan had confirmed that due diligence would still be in progress. Several Indian media reports had suggested in recent days that a deal would be finalized within days.

(EHD) has purchased Jet Airways (JPL)’s 3 pairs of slots at London Heathrow airport for $70 million. (EHD), which is in discussions over taking a substantial equity stake in (JPL), said the deal was part of a sale and leaseback arrangement, in which (JPL) would continue to use the slots to operate flights to London. Airline analysts in Mumbai said the cash will help improve (JPL)’s liquidity position.

“The deal further strengthens the existing commercial relationship, which came into effect in July 2008, making provision for code sharing between the two airlines,” (EHD) said.

The (JPL) board was scheduled to approve a proposal to sell a 24% to (EHD) for about $300 million, earlier this month. However, the signing was delayed after concerns in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over future changes in Indian policy that could force (EHD) to exit. Indian ministers have declared their support for the deal, but investors are cautious because policy flip-flops by the Indian government have derailed investments in the past.

The (EHD) - (JPL) deal is likely to be the 1st since the Indian government allowed foreign airlines to take up to a 49% stake in Indian carriers.

(EHD) increased 7x-weekly, Abu Dhabi to Lahore service to 11x-weekly. It will also increase 6x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Lagos service to daily on March 31.

Air Berlin (BER) and Air Seychelles (ASY) have reached a code share agreement, further tightening the bonds between Etihad Airways (EHD)’s strategic equity alliance partners. Under the agreement, passengers will be allowed to fly between Germany and the Indian Ocean archipelago connecting through (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi base.

(EHD) holds a 40% stake in (ASY) and 29.21% of (BER).

(ASY) will place its HM code on 4 of (BER)’s daily return services between Abu Dhabi and Berlin and Düsseldorf. The 4x-weekly connections to Germany complement (ASY)’s existing 26x-weekly code share connections with (EHD) to Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf.

(BER) will initially place its AB code on 4of (ASY)’s weekly return flights to Abu Dhabi from the Seychelles, complementing the German carrier’s existing 4 code share connections to Seychelles with (EHD) providing passengers a daily connection from Germany to Mahé.

The number of flights between Germany and the Seychelles will increase to 54x-weekly when (EHD) and (ASY)’s schedules begin March 24.

Subject to regulatory approval, the airlines plan to expand the scope of the agreement to include more destinations on their respective networks and implement frequent flyer program reciprocity.

Kenya Airways (KEN) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have signed a code share agreement for flights between Abu Dhabi and Nairobi beginning April 1. (KEN) will launch a 3x-weekly, Nairobi to Abu Dhabi service in June, on which (EHD) will then place its code as well as on 27 destinations across the (KEN) domestic network. (KEN) will place its code on (EHD)’s existing daily, Nairobi to Abu Dhabi service and on 32 destinations on (EHD)’s global network.

Etihad Airways (EHD) will wet lease an AirFrance (AFA) A340-300 on the Paris to Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30. AirFrance (AFA) will operate the 272-seat airplane as one of (EHD)’s two daily Paris - Abu Dhabi return services, using cabin crew (CA) from both carriers. (EHD) will continue to operate its other daily service on the route with its own A340-600s.

March 2013: Etihad Airways (EHD) switched its 2x-daily, Abu Dhabi to Amman service to the new Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan.

Air Seychelles (ASY) extended its existing service from Mahé to Abu Dhabi (AUH), which it launched in March last year, with 3x-weekly flights from the (UAE) airport to Hong Kong (HKG). Flights on the 6,000 km route commenced on March 24 and are operated using an A330-200 in competition with Cathay Pacific (CAT)’s 2x-weekly departures. Air Seychelles (ASY)’s entry into the market also brings benefits to its business partner, (EHD), which is the only Middle East Big 3 (MEB3) carrier to stay clear of the Asian financial center.

Air Seychelles (ASY)’s (CEO) Cramer Ball; and (EHD)’s (CCO) Peter Baumgartner, helped dispatch (ASY)’s inaugural service from Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong. The 2 airlines will code share on the route and (EHD)’s (CEO) James Hogan, commented: “The code share with (ASY) allows (EHD) to commence services to Hong Kong and extend its reach into Greater China sooner than would have been possible independently. It gives (EHD) immediate and direct access to rich, new sources of passenger and cargo revenue in Hong Kong and major outbound travel markets in southern China such as Guangzhou and Shenzen.”


(EHD) has opened a line maintenance base at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, its 1st maintenance facility based in the USA.

(EHD) said the facility will perform daily and weekly maintenance checks, scheduled engineering services and fault repairs for its daily 777s flying to Chicago from the (UAE). (EHD)’s base will also perform line maintenance services for airBerlin (BER)’s A330-operated Chicago flights, as a result of a partnership with (BER). “As partners, it makes operational and commercial sense to work together on issues such as common maintenance, and we expect the synergies and efficiencies we achieve through this specific integration to deliver tangible benefits for both our businesses,” said James Hogan President & (CEO) of (EHD).

The new Chicago maintenance operation will be staffed with Abu Dhabi, trained line maintenance airplane engineers (MT) with additional support from Chicago-based airplane maintenance provider, Flightcheck (LLC). Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) appointed former London Heathrow executive Tony Douglas to (CEO). In his new role, Douglas will oversee the multi-billion dollar redevelopment and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport, which will boost its capacity to >40 million passengers a year. As part of this redevelopment, a 2nd runway and a 3rd terminal have been completed. “Tony joins (ADAC) at a critical stage in the company’s journey to deliver an iconic air hub for Abu Dhabi,” (ADAC) Chairman Ali Majed Al Mansoori said. “His leadership will take (ADAC) beyond this vast infrastructure project and on towards meeting our ambitious goal of becoming the world’s leading airports group.”

Douglas once served as (CEO) of the Abu Dhabi Ports Company. He is also former (COO) of international construction Group, Laing O’Rourke where he was responsible for project management for London 2012. “This represents a challenge on a truly global scale with an opportunity to deliver one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects worldwide,” Douglas said.

(ADAC), which is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government, operates and manages Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Bateen, Sir Bani Yas and Delma Island airports.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has extended its relationship with Sanad Aero Solutions with a 10-year agreement for the sale and lease-back of key component spares. Under the deal Sanad, which is wholly owned by Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s government-backed investment and development company, will buy and lease back to (EHD) key rotable component spares, including engines.

The deal, which is valued at >$125 million, builds upon a 2011 sale-and-leaseback deal between the companies to finance 11 spare airplane engines: 5 General Electric (GE 90)s and 6 Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 500)s. “This new transaction provides the airline with a long-term financing solution for many of its key component spares while mitigating residual value risk and providing competitive cost of ownership over the long term,” James Hogan (EHD)’s President & (CEO) said. It “also drives value for both Sanad and (EHD), and will ensure that the United Arab Emirates’ reputation as an aerospace and aviation center of excellence continues to grow.”

Sanad said that since its 2010 launch, it has grown its portfolio to >$650 million in assets under management, supporting several major carriers including Etihad (EHD), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Finnair (FIN), Air Berlin (BER) and others.

April 2013: Etihad Airways (EHD) has reported its strongest passenger and cargo results for a 1st quarter. (EHD) said that total revenues for the 1st quarter reached $1.4 billion, up +15% on the year-ago figure of $989 million. It did not report any profit figures.

1st-quarter passenger numbers grew by +18%, to a record 2.8 million, compared to 2.3 million for the same period last year.

Average seat factor was 80% LF, +4% higher than the previous year despite +12% growth in capacity.

Etihad Cargo also reported a record 1st quarter, with tonnage up +20% at 101,776 tonnes. This was driven by a strong performance in NE Asia, combined with good growth from the Indian sub-continent from mid-February.

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said (EHD)’s 1st quarter results “have again outstripped global trends. This performance demonstrates that (EHD)’s strategy of organic growth, wide-ranging partnerships and strategic equity investments is delivering for us and our partners.”

Revenue from code share and equity partners jumped +34% to $182 million in the 1st 3 months of the year and represented 20% of total revenue for the quarter. “As well as increasing top-line revenue, our equity partnerships will improve bottom-line results, through cost savings delivered by operational synergies,” added Hogan.

(EHD)’s equity alliance comprises Air Berlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Aer Lingus (ARL). Each airline announced profitable 1st-quarter results.

(EHD)’s (ASK)s rose +12% in the 1st quarter to 15.9 billion as the fleet grew to 73 passenger and cargo airplanes, up from 66 at this time last year. (RPK)s rose +17% to 12.9 billion, outstripping capacity growth.

Fast-growing Etihad Airways (EHD) is taking almost a quarter stake in Jet Airways (JPL), giving it a bigger foothold in the fast-growing Indian market.

Under the deal, (EHD) will buy >27 million new shares in (JPL) for $379 million, giving it 24% of (JPL)’s enlarged share capital. The $379 million investment is the 1st by an overseas operator in an Indian airline since ownership rules were relaxed and provides India’s largest carrier with a deep-pocketed global partner as well as cash to retire debt.

(EHD), which has minority stakes 4 other carriers including Air Berlin (BER) and Virgin Australia (VOZ), has been expanding quickly as it competes with regional rivals Qatar Airways (QTA) and Emirates (EAD), which carries a significant share of the Indian traffic to the Gulf and beyond. “It’s a game-changing opportunity for Etihad (EHD), and a game-changing opportunity for India,” Kapil Kaul, regional head of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), told "Reuters."

Kaul said (JPL) would benefit from strategic expertise, cheap financing and possible fuel import benefits in addition to the capital injection. “It (the deal) is expected to bring immediate revenue growth and cost synergy opportunities, with our initial estimates of a contribution of several hundred million dollars for both airlines over the next 5 years,” said James Hogan (EHD)’s (CEO).

As part of the agreement (JPL) will establish a hub in Abu Dhabi and expand its reach through (EHD)’s global network, while the airlines will also expand existing operations and introduce new routes between India and the Gulf.

The deal, finalized after months of negotiations, is a vindication for the government which has struggled to attract overseas companies wary of regulatory uncertainty and bureaucratic red tape.

(EHD) will buy 27.3 million new shares of (JPL) at 754.74 rupees per share, a 31.7% premium to (JPL)’s closing share price, and acquire 24% of (JPL)’s expanded share capital.

(EHD) will also inject $220 million. Part of this includes its February 27, $70 million sale and leaseback purchase of (JPL)’s 3 pairs of slots at London Heathrow Airport. (JPL) continues to operate these slots.

The remaining $150 million will be invested by (EHD) through a majority equity investment in (JPL)’s "Jet Privilege" frequent flyer program. (JPL) owner Naresh Goyal will hold 51% of the airline after the deal. “The price is good for (JPL). I think (EHD) may have paid over the odds slightly, but with Kingfisher (KFH) out of the picture, there is only 1 full service heavyweight in town, and that’s (JPL),” said Sudeep Ghai, partner at consultancy Athena Aviation.

The deal sets a valuation benchmark for further investment in Indian airlines, with budget carrier SpiceJet (ROJ) Ltd frequently the subject of stake sale reports.

(JPL) shares have had a turbulent ride in recent months as talks with Etihad (EHD) dragged on. The stock is up about +70% since November, after media reports about a possible stake sale.

Despite high growth potential, India has been a tough aviation market in recent years, although competition has eased since former No 2 Kingfisher Airways (KFH) stopped flying late last year, dragged down by debt and cash-flow problems.

The premium paid by (EHD) is sharply higher than the 5.5% premium Singapore Airlines (SIA) Ltd paid to lift its stake in (VOZ) Holdings Ltd to 19.9% in another deal announced April 24th.

“This transaction further strengthens the balance sheet of Jet Airways (JPL) and, more importantly, underpins future revenue streams, which will accelerate our return to sustainable profitability and liquidity,” Goyal said.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said the link-up is “expected to bring immediate revenue growth and cost synergy opportunities, with our initial estimates of a contribution of several hundred million dollars for both airlines over the next 5 years. “The Indian market is fundamental to our business model of organic growth partnerships and equity investments. This deal will allow us to compete more effectively in one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the world.”

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse advised (JPL) on the deal, while (HSBC) was the adviser for Etihad (EHD), several sources said.

Current estimates predict the Indian market will grow to 42 million travelers over the next 5 years at a rate of 10% per year. The carriers expect to find synergies and cost savings in areas such as fleet acquisition, maintenance, product development and training.

They will also explore joint purchasing opportunities for areas such as fuel, spare parts and catering supplies. Other areas of cooperation will include joint training of pilots (FC), cabin crew (CA) and engineers (MT), as well as maintenance of common airplane types.


This month, (EHD) started daily, Abu Dhabi to Washington Dulles flights, adding a 4th North American destination to its network.

(EHD) started service to North America in 2006 with flights to New York (JFK). It also operates to Chicago O’Hare and Toronto. The Abu Dhabi to Washington Dulles flights are being operated with an A340-500, configured with 240 seats in a 3-class layout.

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan, in Washington DC for the route launch, told reporters (EHD) is eyeing further destinations in the Americas. “Our expansion continues at a fast rate,” he said. “We enter South America in June with [service to] Sao Paulo. We certainly have it on the radar to announce a new USA destination next year.” (EHD) now serves 86 destinations world wide.

Hogan also expressed confidence in the grounded Boeing 787 and said (EHD) continues to plan to receive its 1st 787-9 in the 2014 4th quarter. With 41 787-9s on order, (EHD) is the largest customer for the 787-9 variant. “The 787 is a great product and the right airplane for us,” Hogan said. “I’ve met with [Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & (CEO) Ray Conner in the last 4 weeks and I’m satisfied with the resolution of the [lithium ion battery] issue. We’ve been very involved behind the scenes with [Boeing].”

Hogan said (EHD) is “absolutely” confident in the 787 Dreamliner. “I’ve been around a long time and I’ve never seen an airplane enter service without some issues,” he commented. “With any new product, you expect some issues.”

Regarding (EHD)’s continuing expansion, Hogan stressed that (EHD) will only launch new service if it makes financial sense. “We wouldn’t enter the Washington market unless there was a business case,” he said. “There was no pressure from the owner [the United Arab Emirates (UAE)], and there never has been, to operate a flight as a public utility.”

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved Etihad Airways (EHD) application to begin code sharing with Aer Lingus (ARL) to USA destinations. (EHD) can now offer 10x-weekly code share flights via Dublin to Boston, 8x- to Chicago and 12x- to New York.

Passengers from Dublin to New York and Chicago will be able to pre-clear USA Customs and Border Protection in Dublin, meaning Etihad Airways (EHD)’s passengers will effectively arrive in the USA as domestic passengers. The service will use Aer Lingus (ARL) airplanes.

(EHD) holds nearly a 3% equity stake in (ARL) and the 2 carriers are discussing additional commercial and cost opportunities. (EHD) carried >215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin in 2012.

Serbia’s (JAT) Airways has a new marketing alliance with (UAE)’s Etihad Airways (EHD). The deal stops short of an equity stake Serbia had hoped for

* (JAT), Etihad (EHD) to team up on flights;

* Etihad (EHD) to start flights from Belgrade on June 15.

(Reuters) stated Serbia’s loss-making (JAT) Airways has secured a marketing alliance with Etihad Airways (EHD) to share route-booking codes, stopping short of the equity tie-up mooted by Serbia’s government.

Mired in recession and struggling to find investors in the crisis-hit European Union (EU), Serbia had hoped (EHD) would buy a stake in (JAT), with media reports suggesting 49% was up for sale.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan told a news conference on April 15 that any investment could be a long way off. “We have to look at (JAT) to see if that opportunity exists. It is still a very early stage of that process.”

(JAT) will add its (JU) code to flights to 21 destinations within (EHD)’s network, while the Gulf airline will put its (EY) code on all 23 (JAT) flights to Europe, Hogan said.

(EHD) will start operating flights between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade on June 15, following Gulf competitor Qatar Airways (QTA), which started flights between Doha and the Serbian capital via Ankara late last year. Serbia has been trying to offload (JAT) for years.

Last month, the government said it was ready to take on 170 million euros/$222.66 million of the carrier’s debt, pay leases for 6 new airplanes from (EADS)’ Airbus (EDS) and secure severance payments for redundant workers.

Etihad Airways (EHD) and Air Canada (ACN) have agreed to increase cooperation through a new code share agreement. The 2 airlines already have interline arrangements in place. The new agreement will offer through-checked bags, reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and code shares between Abu Dhabi and several unspecified North American points served by (ACN) through its Toronto hub. Discussions to finalize details are underway, with the aim of introducing code share services in the 3rd quarter.

Subject to regulatory approval, (EHD) will place its EY code on Air Canada (ACN) flights between Toronto and select North American points. In return, (ACN) will place its AC code on Etihad (EHD) services between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, as well as (EHD)’s flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi. This announcement follows the recent decision by the governments of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Canada to restore the previous visa regime, which means Canadian nationals can once again obtain a free visa on arrival in the (UAE). The (UAE) is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East region and >40,000 Canadians and 150 Canadian companies are based in the (UAE).

Etihad Cargo began daily Abu Dhabi to Washington DC A340-500 service.

Etihad Cargo certified Swissport as its first preferred handling partner (PHP). The 2-year (PHP) certification is initially focused on Etihad Cargo stations in Athens, Geneva, Larnaca, Nairobi, Seoul, and Toronto. Etihad Cargo said it hopes to expand cargo operations with Swissport to additional destinations over time and enhance cargo handling at >100 off-line Swissport destinations that (EHD) offers with its partners.

May 2013: Jet Airways (JPL) shareholders have approved plans for Etihad Airways (EHD) to take a major stake in (JPL). At an extraordinary general meeting in Mumbai, the shareholders agreed to allow (EHD) to take a 24% holding in preferential shares.

The allotment of the shares is subject to fulfillment of certain conditions, including the approval of India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board and the nation’s Competition Commission. The 2 airlines signed their agreement last month, with (EHD) paying $379 million for its shareholding as well as investing a further $220 million in (JPL).

The deal gives (EHD) a bridge into the rapidly-expanding Indian market. The agreement will bring expanded code sharing, integrated frequent flyer programs, plus new routes between India and Abu Dhabi. (EHD) (CEO) James Hogan has described the Indian market as “fundamental to our business model of organic growth partnerships and equity investments.”

(EHD) launched daily, Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam on May 15. (EHD) will begin 4x-weekly, A320 Abu Dhabi to Sana’a on September 1.

Alitalia (ALI) will increase the frequency of its Rome to Abu Dhabi service from 4x- to 5x-weekly, effective 13 June. Partner, (EHD) will place its code on the additional frequency, while also extending its onward code share connections over Alitalia (ALI)'s Rome Fiumicino hub. (EHD) will now code share on (ALI)-operated flights to Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Frankfurt, Geneva, Madrid, Malaga, Malta, Milan, Munich, Sofia, Tirana, Venice, Vienna, and Zurich. (EHD) will substantially increase its connections with the Eastern European nation of Belarus.

(EHD) and South African Airways (SAA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a strategic partnership. (SAA) has signed a code share pact with (EHD); the EY code will go on its (SAA) flights to Sao Paulo.

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) move to nearly double its holding in Virgin Australia (PBI) to 19.9% reinforces the (SIA) Group’s new strategy of focusing more on Asia-Pacific, including the Australian market. The recent purchase of an additional 9.9% stake in Virgin Australia (PBI)/(VOZ) from founding shareholder, the Virgin Group also dilutes the presence of (SIA) rival (EHD), which now owns about a 9% stake in Virgin Australia (PBI)/(VOZ).

Although equity is not the main driver, the increased stake could give the (SIA) Group an edge as it looks to further deepen its code share partnership with Virgin Australia (PBI), particularly in the key Australia to Europe market.

Independent Virgin Australia (PBI)/(VOZ) has quickly emerged as (SIA)’s most significant partner in the 2 years since the 2 airline groups 1st forged a code share agreement, a further testament to the waning importance of global alliances. (SIA), which is a longstanding member of the Star (SAL) Alliance but has traditionally taken a passive role in the alliance, is keen to embed its relationship with Virgin Australia (PBI)/(VOZ) as other current and prospective partners circle.

(EHD) has struck a deal to acquire Abu Dhabi Airport Services, Abu Dhabi Cargo Company and Abu Dhabi In-Flight Catering. The 3 companies, which employ 4,000 staff, are part of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). Following the acquisition, the companies will be incorporated into wholly owned (EHD) subsidiary, Etihad Airport Services.

(EHD) (CEO) James Hogan said the transaction is “critical to the continued growth of the airline” and to meeting Abu Dhabi’s aviation growth plans. The 3 businesses are expected to deliver additional revenues, cost savings and operational efficiencies. (EHD) said it also plans to “accelerate and consolidate” the development of catering, ground handling and cargo operations at Abu Dhabi. The companies will continue to provide services to (EHD) and 3rd-party carriers. Air Berlin (BER), which is cutting -900 jobs as part of its "Turbine" savings program, will transfer >50 pilots (FC) to (EHD) as (BER) reduces its fleet and its majority shareholder prepares for international expansion.

747-87UF (37566, N854GT), Atlas Air (TLS) wet-leased. 1 A330-202 (885, VT-JWJ), Jet Airways (JPL) leased.

June 2013: Etihad Airways (EHD) has increased its equity stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ) to 19.9%, the maximum level approved by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board. "It reflects our strong support for the business strategy and management team of (VOZ) and our enduring commitment to the Australian market," said (EHD)'s President & (CEO) James Hogan.


Etihad (EHD) Cargo has announced the start of its 1st round-the-world freight route as part of its recent agreement with Atlas Air (TLS).

An Atlas Air (TLS) wet-leased 747-87UF (37567, N855GT - - SEE PHOTO - - "EHD-747-87UF - 2013-06") in "Etihad Cargo" colors began serving the Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong to Chicago to Miami to Viracopos to Quito to Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi service this month. The 3 locations in the Americas are new freight destinations for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad (EHD) Cargo.

Earlier this month, Etihad (EHD) Cargo signed a wet-lease (ACMI) deal with Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWH), parent company of Atlas Air (TLS) and Titan Aviation Leasing, as well as majority shareholder in Polar Air Cargo (PAO), for (TLS) to provide the 747-87UF to operate the new schedule.

“This goes beyond simply joining the dots,” (EHD) Chief Strategy & Planning Officer Kevin Knight said. “It’s about working with partners, operating routes which benefit our customers across the globe, entering new markets, establishing new trade lanes, being cost-effective and delivering value.”

The Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) revealed that traffic figures at the hub for the 1st 4 months of 2013 increased by +14% to >5.2 million passengers. In the same period, there were 42,735 flights (a +9.5% increase over 2012). Cargo traffic also increased with 209,880 tnnes passing through the airport and representing a +20.2% growth. Destinations in India, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Pakistan registered the highest traffic volume.

Air Lease Corporation (ALE) has announced a long-term lease agreement with (EHD) for 1 new A321-200 with sharklets, scheduled for delivery in April 2015.

1 747-87UF (37567, N855GT), Atlas Air (TLS) wet-leased for Etihad Cargo services. 1 777-3FXER (41699, A6-ETP) delivery and A330-202 (923, VT-JWM), (jpl) leased, deliveries.

July 2013: Over the last 2 years the 3 major Gulf carriers (Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD), and Qatar (QTA)) have expanded their operations in Southeast Asia by >50%. Assuming at least 1 third of their SE Asian passengers are heading or originating in Western Europe, Gulf carriers now carry more passengers between the 2 regions than their European competitors.

Since reporting its maiden profit in 2011, Etihad Airways (EHD)'s financial results have shown steady and solid growth, even in the face of less than certain global economic conditions. (EHD)’s 1st half 2013 results suggest the strength of its ‘equity alliance’ strategy, with (EHD) recording record double-digit growth in the period, with a particularly strong contribution from its partner airlines.

Revenue is at record levels, but (EHD) only discloses bottom line results on an annual basis. (EHD) reported 2nd quarter 2013 passenger revenue of USD921 million, up +8% year-on-year. 1st half 2013 passenger revenue growth was even stronger, up +13% year-on-year to USD1.8 billion. Overall, total revenue (including cargo) grew to USD2.5 billion for the first six months of 2013, an increase of +14%. Of this, Etihad (EHD)'s partnership revenue comprised 20% of total passenger revenue in both periods.

The outlook for troubled Serbian national carrier, Jat Airways (JAT) has improved significantly following the recent signing of an agreement with Etihad Airways (EHD).

The partnership will allow the modernization of (JAT)’s fleet and changes to its network, while also closely working with Etihad (EHD) to improve its efficiencies, revenue management and cost reduction measures. Etihad (EHD) is also negotiating to acquire an equity stake in the small Serbian carrier with a deal expected to be announced on July 22, 2013.

If consummated, this will be (EHD)'s sixth equity arrangement, following those with Aer Lingus (ARL), airberlin (BER), Jet Airways (JPL) (pending), Air Seychelles (ASY), and Virgin Australia (VOZ).

Etihad Airways (EHD) and Korean Air (KAL) have signed a code share agreement, subject to regulatory approval, offering KE codes on (EHD)’s daily services between Seoul and Abu Dhabi. Members of (EHD)’s Guest and Korean Air (KAL)’s SKYPASS loyalty programs will enjoy full benefits in lounge programs including access, priority check-in and excess baggage allowances for top tier program members, earning frequent flyer points on both airlines flights. This agreement will bring to 46 the number of code shares with which (EHD) will be participating.

(EHD)’s plan to take a 24% stake in India’s Jet Airways (JPL) may miss the completion deadline laid down in the shareholding agreement, according to Indian media reports. The "Business Standard" newspaper said the July 31 transaction closure deadline was likely to be overshot as it has not received regulatory approval from the various Indian government bodies.

The July 31 deadline, known as the long stop date, stipulates that all regulatory approvals should be obtained by that time. The newspaper said that while both sides could agree to extend the deadline, the agreement also allowed for the termination of the deal if regulatory approvals were not met. It is understood that negotiations are at a delicate stage.

According to the newspaper, Indian regulators are seeking revisions to the terms of the deal, amid concerns that additional traffic rights set out in the agreement are biased in favor of (EHD). “Both parties are working towards achieving the regulatory approvals before the long stop date of July 31 2013 stipulated in the agreement,” an (EHD) spokesman said. “We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”

Passengers on all Etihad Airways (EHD)'s daily flights between New York and Abu Dhabi can now use their own mobile phones to text, browse and call, via the Panasonic Avionics eXPhone service and in-flight mobile phone operator AeroMobile. (EHD) launched the Wi-Fi and (GSM)-enabled 777-300ER on June 1st, replacing an A340-500, and increasing capacity on the New York route by +36.6%. Passengers can use the mobile phone service as long as their operator has a roaming agreement with AeroMobile and they are then charged to their mobile phone account.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has placed a $200 million order with Canada’s (CAE) for seven full flight simulators (FFS)s for its Abu Dhabi Training Facility to support its rapidly expanding fleet.

(EHD) has ordered three 787 simulators, two for the A320 and one each for the A380 and A350. All are (CAE) 7000 Series models. They will join (EHD)’s current simulator inventory of one 777, one A320 and two A330/340 (FFS)s.

(EHD)’s training academy is undergoing a major expansion to double its size, which should be completed in early November. The first of the new (FFS)s, for an A320, is scheduled for delivery the same month. The remaining simulators will arrive over the following 12 months. “The pilot (FC) training requirements for (EHD), as well as members of our equity alliance, continue to grow and these new full flight simulators will ensure we are ideally placed for the next phase in our expansion,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

The (CAE) deal includes update services for the (FFS) and a 10-year agreement for training equipment and services. The flight training devices include (CAE) Simfinity Airbus pilot transition trainers and (CAE) Simfinity integrated procedures trainers.

(CAE) will continue to update (EHD)’s existing four (CAE)-built (FFS)s to the latest airplane configurations and technology.

(EHD) operates a fleet of 77 Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) narrow body and wide body airplanes, and has more than >90 airplanes on firm order, including 41 787-9s and 10 A380s.

August 2013: According to, Etihad Airways (EHD) is recruiting 777 First Officers and Captains (FC), A320 First Officer and Captains (FC), and A330/A340 First Officers (FC) for its Abu Dhabi main base.

September 2013: Shares in Jet Airways (JPL) rose as much as +7.7% after Etihad Airways (EHD) said it expected its investment in the Indian carrier to be cleared by Indian authorities “imminently”. The deal, which had been delayed due to concerns raised by regulators and politicians in India, won a key approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in late July. It still needs to be cleared by the antitrust regulator and a cabinet panel. (EHD) must win approval from four Indian governmental bodies before the deal is cleared.

(EHD) and (JPL) have extended the deal closing deadline for the second time until the end of September. (EHD) is buying a 24% stake in (JPL) for about $379 million. It will also invest $150 million in (JPL)’s frequent flyer program, and paid $70 million to buy (JPL)'s three pairs of Heathrow slots through a sale and leaseback agreement. Jet Airways (JPL) shares are up +4.3% at 305 rupees, still less than half the 754.74 rupees a share (EHD) is paying for the stake.

Etihad Airways (EHD) is planning to increase both its frequencies and capacity between its Abu Dhabi base and India. The move comes as (EHD) awaits final approval from Indian regulatory bodies to take a 24% stake in (JPL).

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan has spoken on several occasions of the importance of the Indian market, where a burgeoning middle class is increasingly turning to flying as a mode of transport. “Following the recent signing of a new air services agreement between India and the (UAE), we now have the opportunity to add significant capacity between the two countries, not only meeting existing demand for trade and tourist travel but also ensuring that we can meet the continued strong growth which is expected between our two countries,” Hogan said.

Beginning November 1, (EHD) will more than triple the number of seats it currently offers on its services between Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and New Delhi. By the end of this year, (EHD) will have increased its daily flights to Mumbai and New Delhi from daily to double-daily.

(EHD) will also use larger equipment on the routes, with one of the daily Mumbai services switching to an A340-600 and one of the New Delhi frequencies to now utilize an A330-200, rather than A320-family jets. (EHD) will also upgrade its daily Abu Dhabi - Chennai flights from a 136-seat A320 to a 174-seat A321.

Subject to regulatory approval, (EHD) also intends to code share on a wide range of flights operated within India by Jet Airways (JPL). Details of new routes and code shares between Abu Dhabi and India will be announced as those approvals materialize. Additionally, as part of its increased presence in the Indian market, (EHD) has hired some 200 new Indian cabin crew (CA) personnel.

(EHD) has reportedly increased its shareholding in Virgin Australia (VOZ) by at least +1.4%, taking its holding to a minimum of 12%. (QTA) had a 10.55% stake in (VOZ), but has said in the past it is open to extending its investment. It had approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board to increase its shareholding to as much as 19.9%.

Last month, (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan extolled the virtues of the Australian market as part of his company’s future growth pattern.

Etihad Airways (EHD) commenced operations to Yemen September 1st, linking Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Sana’a (SAH), the capital and largest city in Yemen. The Middle East Big 3 (MEB3) carrier will fly the 1,473 km city pair four times weekly on one of its 136-seat A320s. In terms of competition, Yemenia Yemen Airways (YEM) operates thrice-weekly from Sana’a to Abu Dhabi direct, but each of the inbound flights operate via a separate intermediary point — namely Aden, Seiyun and Riyan. Sana’a becomes non-stop destination #75 for (EHD), and the last of the (MEB3) to serve this point in Yemen. Emirates (EAD) connects its Dubai hub on a daily basis to Sana’a (with wide body A330s), while Qatar Airways (QTA) flies five times weekly from Doha, using A320-series airplanes.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has become the first airline to offer both inflight Wi-Fi and Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) on its A320 airplanes. The first A320, equipped with the combined Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir services, was delivered to (EHD) in August.

October 2013: Etihad Airways (EHD) has continued to report record growth rates in the third quarter, as passenger services revenue broke through the $1-billion barrier.

(EHD) plans to more than triple the number of seats it offers between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai plus New Delhi by the end of the year. (EHD) said it planned to introduce additional frequencies and to upgrade airplanes on some services following a new bilateral agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

By the end of this year, (EHD) said it would be operating double daily to both Mumbai and New Delhi. It will also place a wide body A340-600 airplane on one of its Mumbai flights, and a A330-200 airplane on one New Delhi flight a day. Additionally, it will upgrade Abu Dhabi – Chennai from a 136-seat, A320 to an A321 with 174 seats.

(EHD) said it would also code share on a number of flights operated within India by its partner Jet Airways (JPL), subject to regulatory approval.

(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan, said: “Following the recent signing of a new air services agreement between India and the (UAE), we now have the opportunity to add significant capacity between the two countries, not only meeting existing demand for trade and tourist travel but also ensuring that we can meet the continued strong growth which is expected between our two countries. The big winners will be our passengers and freight customers and the economies of India and Abu Dhabi.”

(EHD)'s boss has indicated the carrier may make more equity investments in smaller airlines. President & (CEO), James Hogan said strategic partnerships and organic growth would continue to be its basis for expanding its global reach. (EHD) is currently involved in three major deals: – the acquisition of 24% of (JPL), a 49% stake and management contract in Air Serbia (JAT), and increasing equity in Virgin Australia (VOZ) from 10% to a target of 19.9%.

“The investments we are making are delivering significant benefits not only to the airlines but to our passengers and freight customers. We will consider more strategic partnerships if they add value.” (EHD)’s equity investment strategy has also seen it snap up stakes in airberlin (BER) and Air Seychelles (ASY), as well as a small stake in Aer Lingus (ARL).

“Equity investments deliver synergy benefits which cannot be achieved through legacy airline alliances,” Hogan added. “Legacy alliances are focused largely on network and revenue benefits. Our equity alliance delivers much broader benefits for all of the partners including opportunities to reduce costs through resource sharing and joint procurement.”

Etihad Airways (EHD) has confirmed it now owns a 19.9% equity stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ). (EHD) first bought 3.96% of (VOZ) in June 2012 and has since been building up its holding. Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board had already approved (EHD) increasing its shareholding to as much as 19.9%.

(EHD) “now holds more than >515 million shares in its equity partner airline,” the Abu Dhabi-based airline said. (EHD) and (VOZ) signed a 10-year strategic partnership agreement in August 2010. “The strategic partnership continues to deliver significant revenue streams and other benefits to each airline,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. “Increasing our equity in (VOZ) will further enrich the commercial benefits.”

(EHD) has strengthened its links with Air Berlin (BER) by opening a new European headquarters in the German capital. The office houses not just Etihad (EHD)'s regional sales and marketing teams, but also joint reservation and ticketing counters for both (EHD) and its local equity partner (BER), in which it holds a 29% stake. "While much of Europe continues to face challenges linked to the prevailing euro crisis, the German inbound and outbound travel is performing well for us," said (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan. "It makes sound business sense to be based in Berlin, and close to our strategic equity partner."

Joost den Hartog and Philip Lewin will lead (EHD)'s Europe and Germany teams, respectively, at the new Berlin office, at which (EHD) has a staff of 35.

(EHD)'s passenger numbers to and from Germany grew +47% last year, says Hogan, citing "strong feeder traffic from Air Berlin (BER)" as a factor in this.

Etihad Airways (EHD) added three flights to its Abu Dhabi - Islamabad route for 11x-weekly service. (EHD) launched daily, Abu Dhabi - Ho Chi Minh City A330-200 service.

Etihad Airways (BAU) and Latvia-based airBaltic (BAU) have signed a code share agreement and will launch 4X-weekly, Riga - Abu Dhabi services from December 16, using an (EHD) Airbus A319.

(EHD) will place its code on 19 airBaltic (BAU) destinations and (BAU) will place its code on six (EHD) destinations in Asia, Middle East, and Egypt.

The new agreement is Etihad (EHD)’s 47th code share agreement.

(EHD) has become the last of the Middle East Big Three (MEB3) carriers to launch services to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) in Vietnam. Qatar Airways (QTA) has been operating flights from Doha since 2007, while Emirates (EAD) began its service from Dubai in June 2012. On October 1st, (EHD) introduced its own daily flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) using its two-class A330-200s on the 5,690 km sector, becoming the first ever commercial passenger service between the two cities. (EHD)’s (CEO), James Hogan said, “Vietnam is not only the 13th most populous nation, it is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, is a gateway for millions of Vietnamese international travellers and a busy trading hub. Our daily services will inject approximately 3,700 new seats a week into the route. This will intensify competition among airlines for business, leisure and (VFR) travel from Vietnam to Europe, and help boost visitor traffic to the (UAE) and (GCC). From an inbound perspective, we are now well-positioned to offer travellers from the Middle East and Europe the convenience of non-stop or one-stop flights to Vietnam, which is becoming one of the world’s most popular holiday travel destinations. We look forward to working with our stakeholders in Vietnam and abroad to bring more international visitors to Vietnam to experience its history, culture and unique character.”

(EHD) will begin Abu Dhabi - Los Angeles service on June 1, 2014, subject to regulatory approval.

(EHD) doubles Abu Dhabi - Jakarta 777-300ER service to 14x-weekly.

(EHD) has temporarily suspended its 3X-weekly passenger flights and twice-weekly cargo flights to the Libyan capital Tripoli, effective immediately, due to what (EHD) described as unspecified “safety and operational challenges which the airline has observed in recent months at Tripoli Airport.”

Although it did not clarify the specific nature of these challenges, (EHD) said it had been concerned about conditions at Tripoli Airport over recent months.

(EHD) (COO), Richard Hill said: “Regretfully, we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend our flights to Tripoli. As the safety and security of our guests, employees and assets remains our number one priority, our assessment of the existing situation at Tripoli Airport does not provide the level of assurance we require to ensure safe operation of our flights.”

He said the suspension was temporary, adding: “Once we are satisfied that the arrangements at Tripoli Airport meet our requirements, we will resume services.”

Etihad Cargo (EHD) and Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC) are to exchange confirmed cargo capacity on the two carriers’ services between Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow and Frankfurt. The agreement allows Etihad (EHD) Cargo to offer capacity to Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC) on one of its weekly freighter services from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt. It will also give (SQC) access to its cargo route network around the Middle East, as well as to Africa and Central Asia.

In return, Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC) will offer capacity on its freighter services to London Heathrow operated via Abu Dhabi. (SQC) began a weekly 747-400F service from Singapore to Heathrow via Abu Dhabi in June. A second weekly frequency on the same routing is due to start October 31.

(EHD) VP Cargo, David Kerr said, “this year, we have strengthened our cargo operations by expanding the freighter fleet, launching new destinations, increasing frequencies, and by working with partner carriers such as (SQC).”

For (SQC), Tan Tiow Kor, Senior VP Sales & Marketing added, “we are very pleased with this capacity exchange with (EHD). It will offer customers of both airlines more choice of flights to ship their cargo and improve access to the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and Germany.”

- - - - -
The following is an analysis by Max Kingsley-Jones, Airline Business:
A few eyebrows were raised two years ago when Etihad Airways (EHD) sailed to the rescue of troubled German leisure carrier Air Berlin (BER). But what at the time looked like an opportune move to grab a slice of one of Europe’s major markets became the launch pad for a major investment program across the globe, and in doing so has allowed (EHD) to carve out a strategy that sets itself apart from its Gulf rivals.

The surprise deal saw (EHD) buy a 29% stake in Air Berlin (BER), and invest $255 million over five years to support its fleet development and future network growth. (EHD), which marks its 10th anniversary this year, has assembled an “equity alliance” that comprises shareholdings in five carriers in Europe, Asia and Australia, and approval is close for a sixth, in India’s Jet Airways (JPL).

“What we’re doing is building a strategy to drive traffic over the hub to give me the network that is competitive with my two near neighbors,” said (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan. “My fiercest competitors are here in the Gulf. This strategy is part of how I differentiate and build a network to compete.”

He divides (EHD)’s equity alliance into two groupings: “The ones where there is a management contract: Air Serbia (JAT) [previously Jat Airways] and Air Seychelles (ASY), and the pure strategic investments: Virgin Australia (VOZ), Aer Lingus (ARL), Air Berlin (BER) and Jet Airways (JPL).”

Despite having been involved with (BER) for 18 months, Hogan is reluctant to reveal how long it will take to return the airline to solid profitability. (BER) suffered a net loss of -€420 million/-$570 million in 2011, but thanks to “non-recurring events” (the sale to Etihad (EHD) of its TopBonus loyalty program), (BER) scraped a small net profit of +€7 million last year.

But Hogan says the success of (EHD)’s tie-up is measured in two aspects: – from a shareholder perspective and from a commercial point of view. “If you look at the commercial agreement, we’ve exceeded our revenue targets and we’ve already clawed back our initial investment of €105 million in cost synergies. So as (EHD), it’s ahead,” he says. “In regard to the ongoing rebuilding of (BER) . . . the issue is to work with the management team and use group deals to help them reshape their cost base. It’s a long road: – it’s a traditional airline and it takes time for a traditional airline to turn. But we’re confident that [Air Berlin (BER) (CEO) Wolfgang Prock-Schauer is on the right track for us as a long-term shareholder, with [restructuring program] "Project Turbine.”
Hogan added that without “a total unfair airport tax”, he is sure that (BER) would already be profitable.

The deal for a 24% stake in India’s Jet Airways (JPL) is still awaiting final approval, but the process is “on track.” This is a clear strategic move to grab a bigger slice of the Indian market, Hogan says. "Millions of Indians travel internationally every year, and that’s growing at +10%. That’s a huge market of opportunity. (EHD) has taken advantage of the new foreign direct investment rules, and to invest you need a good partner. We’ve had a relationship with Jet Airways (JPL) for a long time.”

Some question the wisdom of buying a stake in another loss-making airline, and Hogan concedes that “all businesses go through difficult periods”, but he sees the move as “a true win/win” for both parties.

“Over a period of years our allocation ramps up from 12,000 seats a week to 50,000. We fly to nine cities today,” Hogan says. “When we max out, between us we’ll be flying from Abu Dhabi to 26 cities in India. We will grow our presence in Bombay and New Delhi, so now long-haul flying [from India] to the USA will be over Abu Dhabi.”

Observers believe that if Etihad (EHD) and (JPL) pull off their plan, it will catapult (EHD) forward in its battle with market leader and local rival, Dubai-based Emirates (EAD), which dominates the India - (UAE) sector.

(JPL)’s acting chief, Hameed Ali said in August that the (EHD) investment would “significantly change the landscape of the business”, and enable the Indian carrier to benefit from better bargaining capacity and improved connections.

(EHD) is seconding three executives to the (JPL) management team, and Hogan is “very confident, as partners, that we’ll see Jet Airways (JPL) move into profitability in an acceptable time frame”.

The deals to sort out the loss-making national carriers of the Seychelles and Serbia came after the countries were already in the spotlight for Abu Dhabi investment. These two management contracts resulted from approaches from the local governments, and were agreed with the proviso that the “debts of the past” would be written off.

(EHD)’s conditions included that the management teams would be replaced and the airlines would be “right-sized”. The airlines’ fleets and networks have also been revamped, with (EHD)-common airplane types introduced, some routes dropped and others launched.

The medicine helped at Air Seychelles (ASY), which turned a -$25 million loss in 2011 to a +$1 million net profit in 2012, and should remain profitable this year, says Hogan.

While not strategic, Hogan says that both these shareholdings and management contracts provide Etihad (EHD) with feed and access to key markets, and bring more strength to its growing Abu Dhabi hub. He is guarded about the amount of money Jat Airways (JPL) has been losing, saying only that its deficit is “considerable.” But he confidently predicts that the relaunched Air Serbia (JAT) will be in the black within two years.

And while emphasising that Etihad Airways (EHD) is his “number one priority”, Hogan does not rule out further moves. He admits that his corporate strategy team have had many knocks on the door from willing potential partners, but only serious propositions clear the evaluation process and reach his desk. “We’re not a bank. We’re not here just to create a collection of brands. We’re here to create an equity alliance strategy where we all win,” he says.

Hogan does not have a Willie Walsh-style “shopping list,” but “if there was a compelling opportunity, yes, we’ll consider it,” he says. “Our shareholder is very clear: if it doesn’t make commercial sense, do not step in to it.” There are three key criteria that Hogan and his team examine when considering a strategic investment: do the networks match; would the deal bring “scale or reorganization opportunity”; and does the airline have a good management team in place.

The last point is important, as Hogan does not want (EHD)’s own team distracted: – and this is what, he says, sets the (EHD) strategy apart from the empire building of Swissair (SWS) more than a decade ago. “In the investments we look at, we put in management teams: – but they report to a board. We have representatives on the board, but those (CEO)s are responsible for their own day-to-day business,” he says. “This is the big difference when people say Swissair (SWS) tried this. (SWS) took management control.”

“Scale” is a word Hogan repeats often, pointing out that (EHD) and its equity partners operate a combined fleet of 500 airplanes, and this also helps with buying power: “We’re achieving considerable group deals, which is the important flip-side of this equity strategy: to build scale and improve unit cost,” he says.

As (EHD) has grown in stature over the last two years, it was at the center of another eyebrow-raising development, when AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM) (once highly vocal in its suspicions about the Gulf’s fast-growing carriers, and their support from local governments)– agreed a commercial tie-up with Etihad (EHD).

“With AirFrance (AFA) and (KLM), who were doubtful about the Gulf airlines in the past, we actually brought them to Abu Dhabi and they saw our business,” says Hogan. “We took them through the treasury function. We explained why we don’t have unions and why our productivity is far greater. We took all the myths on. And they saw this was a well-run business.”

Hogan says that the might of (AFA) - (KLM), when combined with (EHD) and its partner airlines Air Berlin (BER), Aer Lingus (ARL) and Air Serbia (JAT), means that “coming out of Europe, we are far stronger than the offering that Emirates (EAD) has.”

And (Ehd)’s link with the old guard does not end there: “We have a good relationship with Air Canada (ACN) and with American Airlines (AAL), with whom we have code shares,” Hogan says. “People who work with us and come into our world see this is just an airline which is 10 years old [and] started with a clean sheet of paper. Quite frankly, any other (CEO) doing what I’m doing with an airline that’s only been around for 10 years would be doing the same.

“This crossroad of the Gulf (of Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai) that’s the old "Silk Road." So we don’t think of traditional traffic flows. And these markets have huge traffic flows.”

(EHD) thinks of itself as a “crossroad”, playing across all the global alliances (an approach that differs from local rivals: Qatar Airways (QTA) has jumped in with the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, while Emirates (EAD) (although also agnostic towards the global groups) is forging strong ties with one partner, Qantas (QAN).

Hogan views the Qantas (QAN)/Emirates (EAD) romance, which blossomed earlier this year, as further proof that the concept of the global alliance is a “model that’s fractured.” He has consistently stated that he sees no value for (EHD) to join the Oneworld (ONE), Star (SAL) Alliance or SkyTeam (STM) Alliance: “We work with airlines across all the alliances. The problem [with joining an alliance] is that while we’re not aligned, everybody’s prepared to work with us.”

But this position would not prevent airlines in which Etihad (EHD) holds a stake, from being in an alliance “if it is the right thing for them to do,” he said. Air Berlin (BER) is currently the only one of the six equity partners that is aligned: – it was in the process of joining the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance when (EHD) acquired its 29% stake. “As a shareholder, we could have discouraged the (BER) alliance move, but I’m happy for (BER) to work within the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, if it benefits (BER),” said Hogan.

Jet Airways (JPL) has been the subject of much alliance speculation, in particular about joining the Star (SAL) Alliance, and again Hogan says membership would not be discouraged “if it made sense for (JPL) and it improved their business and didn’t impact our business." In any agreement there are ‘carve-outs’ where there are areas of overlap, he says.

(EHD) carried 10 million passengers in 2012, but Hogan is guarded on any growth forecast for this year. “We brought in 15 airplanes last year, so we’ve seen growth in passengers, (ASK)s, cargo (ATK)s and revenue,” he said. “What’s important is we’re getting the load factor (LF) and the (RASK) that we’re targeting.”

(EHD) currently serves 94 cities with a fleet of 80 airplanes, including freighters, and is looking to add destinations in “all parts of the world”, said Hogan. “We’ve just gone into Latin America [Sao Paulo]. There will be more flying announced shortly into the USA and more European flying. We’re building frequency in Southeast Asia and into China and into India,” he said.

And after steering (EHD) to a first, albeit small, profit in 2011, Hogan is confident Etihad Airways (EHD) will remain in the black for a third successive year: “And it will be better than last year,” he says. Net profit rose by +200% to $42 million last year (its fiscal year runs to the calendar year), while revenue was up +17% to $4.8 billion.

The challenge now for Hogan and his management team is to perform the same magic with the balance sheets of (EHD)’s equity partners.
- - -

(EHD) has announced plans to start daily 777-200LR flights between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from June 1, 2014. (LAX) is its 4th USA destination after Chicago O'Hare (ORD), New York (JFK), and Washington Dulles.
Trade between the two countries is set to increase beyond the current annual level of USD 22.5 billion.

Etihad Airways (EHD) will buy five Boeing 777-200LRs from Air India (AIN) to support the accelerating growth of its route network. The new airplanes, which will be delivered from the start of 2014 and should come into service from April after a cabin refit, will initially be used on the newly announced Abu Dhabi - Los Angeles route, which starts June 1, 2014.

“The Boeing 777-200LR is a fantastic addition, giving us extra reach immediately and complementing our long-term fleet strategy,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. “Our continued strong organic growth, boosted by the impact of our equity partners, has opened up new opportunities for additional destinations.

“We are looking forward to starting direct services to Los Angeles, as well as increasing our flying to South America. This is the airplane to do that.”

(EHD) said the attraction of the 777-200LR is its reach (a range of 9,390 nm/17,370 km, allowing it to connect to almost any city in the world from (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi hub. Fewer than 60 airplanes were manufactured by Boeing (TBC) and they are the longest-range passenger airplanes in operation.

(EHD) and (AIN) signed a letter of intent (LOI) in Mumbai earlier paving the way for the deal. The 777-200LRs, which have an average age of six years, will be re-fitted in a three-class cabin configuration consistent with similar airplanes in (EHD)’s fleet.

(EHD) flies to New York, Chicago, Washington DC, and Toronto in North America, and to São Paulo in Brazil. It has stated its ambition to add new services to both continents.

The purchase comes as (EHD) finalizes details on a new fleet order, which will meet its organic growth and expansion requirements to 2025 in line with its rolling network plan. “This tactical addition to our fleet adds even further flexibility,” Hogan said. “We’ve been able to respond quickly to a positive opportunity to add to the fleet, allowing us to bring forward our launch plans for a number of new routes.”

Avolon (AZV), the international aircraft leasing group, has acquired two A320 airplanes for delivery to Etihad Airways (EHD), as part of a sale and leaseback transaction. The deal is financed by Abu Dhabi National Leasing. The first of the two airplanes has now delivered. The second is scheduled for delivery in December.

November 2013: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) finally cleared the regulatory hurdle for Etihad Airways (EHD) to buy a 24% stake in Jet Airways (JPL). The deal is the first investment by a foreign airline into an Indian carrier, since the government permitted such investments in September 2012. It is expected to pave the way for other foreign airlines wanting a slice of the India’s huge but under served market.

In a 23-page order, the (CCI) argued the deal—and the new bilateral air-services agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will not significantly impact competition. The new bilateral agreement, signed just after (EHD) announced plans to invest in (JPL), increases the number of seats between India and the (UAE) almost fourfold to 50,000 seats over three years. Other Indian carriers and airports had opposed it, saying traffic would be funneled out of India into Abu Dhabi.

A final agreement between the two carriers is expected to be inked in about two weeks. The process was delayed by several months, and has been cleared by India’s capital markets regulator, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board and the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs. (EHD) will pay $379 million for the equity, in addition to $150 million to buy a majority stake in Jet Privilege, the frequent flier program.

(EHD) will pick up 27.2 million shares at not less than Rs754/$11.81 each. (JPL)’s stock closed at Rs331 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on November 13th.

The tie-up with (EHD) is expected to revive (JPL) that is now steeped in red ink. (JPL) reported its worst ever quarterly loss of -$145 million earlier this month. It has over the past year lost its leadership position to IndiGo (IGO), a low-cost carrier (LCC) that has been able to control costs more effectively.

The money from (EHD) will help repay (JPL)’s high-cost debt. Analysts say the synergies will help cut costs and start the turnaround process. (EHD) has built its network by a string of acquisitions that include Virgin Australia (VOZ), Air Berlin (BER), AirBaltic (BAU), and Air Seychelles (ASY). The agreement with (JPL) will easily be the biggest in terms of potential traffic benefit to the Gulf carrier.

Etihad Airways (EHD) will launch 7x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Medina A320 service from February 1, 2014. (EHD) will add seven flights a week to its Abu Dhabi - Munich route from February 1, 2014. Munich was (EHD)’s first German destination when the service began in June 2004.
Since then, (EHD) has carrier more than one million passengers between the two cities. The new schedule means that (EHD) and equity partner, airberlin (BER), will together offer 49 weekly services from four cities in Germany (Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Düsseldorf) to Abu Dhabi. The services will be operated on an A330-300, departing Abu Dhabi daily at 2.25 am and 8.55 am, to arrive in Munich at 6.15 am and 12.45 pm, respectively. One return flight will leave Munich at 10.35 am, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 7.30 pm, while the other will depart at 10.20 pm, to arrive the next day in Abu Dhabi at 7.15 am.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has placed an order for 25 Boeing 777Xs, 30 Boeing 787-10s and one 777F freighter at the Dubai air show. The order for 25 777Xs covers 17 777-9Xs and eight 777-8Xs. (EHD) is the first carrier to order the 777-8X and will be launch customer of the airplane, which Boeing (TBC) says is expected to arrive around the end of the decade. It has also taken options and purchase rights on a 12 more of the type.

(EHD) has also placed options and purchase rights on 12 787-10s, on top of the firm order for 30 of the type. (EHD) already has 41 787-9s on order. (EHD) has also taken two options on two additional 777 freighters.

* The 787 has reached an order milestone faster than any other wide body airplane in history;

* Etihad Airways (EHD) has become the world’s largest airline customer of the 787 Dreamliner!!!

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner received its 1,000th customer order when Etihad Airways (EHD) announced its order for 30 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at $8.7 billion at list prices.

Launched in April 2004, the 787 family received its 1000th order in approximately nine years, about eight years faster than the popular Boeing 777. Including this latest announcement, the 787 Dreamliner has accumulated 1,012 orders from 60 customers world wide. (EHD) now has 71 787 Dreamliners on order and is the world’s largest airline customer for the airplane.

In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to midsize airplanes, the 787 family provides airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, resulting in exceptional environmental performance. The airplane uses at least -20% less fuel with 20% fewer emissions than today’s similarly sized airplanes. Airlines also realize more cargo revenue capacity (a 20 to 45% advantage over similarly sized airplanes).

The first member of the family, the 787-8, entered service in September 2011, and the longer 787-9 is in testing and on track to deliver in mid-2014. To date, 102 787 Dreamliners have been delivered to 16 customers around the world.

The 787-10 will be the third and longest member of the family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity and high degree of commonality, the 787-10 will set a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics. The 787-10 will be +25% more efficient than airplanes of its size today and more than >10% better than anything offered by the competition for the future. Final assembly and flight test of the 787-10 are set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2018.

Etihad Airways (EHD) is also ordering 40 A350-900s and 10 A350-1000s, plus 36 A320neo-family twinjets. (EHD) is taking the regional version of the A350, and is also taking a single additional A330-200F freighter. (EHD) says the single-aisle deal includes 26 A321neos and 10 A320neos. The A321neos will be fitted with (CFM) International (Leap-1A) powerplants.

All A350s are available only with the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engine.

(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said the airplanes will start arriving in 2018. The deal also includes options on another 30 airplanes, taking the total potentially to 117 jets. Hogan said the structure of the order allows (EHD) to move airplanes between its equity alliance partners.

(EHD) valued the agreement at $26.9 billion.

(EHD) is taking a 33.3% stake in Swiss turboprop operator Darwin Airline to launch regional flights under the Gulf carrier’s branding.

No financial details have been revealed about the investment in the Lugano-based airline, which operates 10 Saab 2000s from its main hub Geneva. However, James Hogan, Etihad’s chief executive, said during the co-operation contract signing at Dubai air show on 17 November that the partnership was “vitally important” for Darwin.

The airline’s turboprop will be rebranded as Etihad Regional with a livery mainly based on the Gulf carrier’s existing colour scheme. However, the lower forward part of the aircraft’s fins will be painted with a Swiss cross to signify the airline’s Alpine heritage. Painting of the first aircraft is to be completed in the first quarter 2014.

Darwin will continue to operate as an standalone airline with a Swiss air operator's certificate.

With the shareholding, Etihad wants to connect secondary and tertiary cities to its network, which are not served by the Gulf carrier, says Hogan. However, Darwin will also be employed to serve Air Berlin and Air Serbia, both of which are part-owned by Etihad.

The move into the regional airline market is a “step change” for Etihad to create a “unique approach to network development for global airlines”, says Hogan. He adds that the Darwin model could be employed for additional regional airlines that might become Etihad’s partners.

The investment comes as Etihad plans to introduce twice-daily services from Abu Dhabi to Zürich from June. The airline will deploy Airbus A330-300s with a three-class cabin layout.

Darwin flies to 21 European destinations today, which are mainly point-to-point services rather than feeder routes, says Maurizio Merlo, the carrier’s chief executive. This is network is to be expanded with 21 additional routes and 18 new destinations between April and June 2014.

Among the new routes from April are flights from Air Berlin hub Düsseldorf to Cambridge, London City and Berlin. From the German capital, Darwin will fly to Poznan and Wroclaw in Poland. Flights from Zürich to Leipzig and from Geneva to Toulouse will be introduced along with services from Rome to Tirana and Zagreb.

In May, Darwin will open flights from Geneva to Belgrade and Zürich and from Zürich to Florence and Turin.

In June, the airline will start flights from Geneva to Bordeaux, Marseille, Nantes and Verona, while Zürich is to be connected with Linz, Graz, Lyon and Verona.

Air Serbia (JAT) on November 19 said it will take 10 Airbus A320neos from the order that shareholder Etihad Airways (EHD) unveiled November 17 at the Dubai Air Show. The A320neos, which are valued at over >$1 billion, will be delivered over the period 2018 - 2020.

December 2013: Less than a month after clearing the final regulatory hurdle in its bid for a 24% stake in Jet Airways (JPL), Etihad (EHD) has announced the first stage of a major expansion in its Indian operations. It is doubling frequencies between its Abu Dhabi base to several Indian cities and increasing airplane capacity.

Etihad (EHD) is doubling frequencies to 14x-weekly between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai and New Delhi (effective immediately); Kochi (June 2014); Bangalore and Chennai (July 2014); and Hyderabad (October 2014). Some flights on its Mumbai and New Delhi routes will be upgraded from A320s to A330s or A340s. New 174-seat A321s will be used on all Abu Dhabi - Chennai services, and between Abu Dhabi and Kochi from June 2014.

Etihad (EHD) is also laying the foundations for funneling increasing amounts of traffic (both passenger and freight) from India through its Abu Dhabi hub. “India is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing air travel markets, and will play an increasingly important role in our growth,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. Pending the opening of a new facility, USA-bound passengers will be able to clear USA immigration and customs at Abu Dhabi. This is a controversial move, with USA airlines complaining that it gives (EHD) an unfair advantage by allowing it to sidestep the often-long immigration and customs queues at USA gateways.

Passengers who have pre-cleared these steps are treated as domestic passengers when arriving in the USA, allowing for faster disembarkation times.

Subject to regulatory approvals, (EHD) and (JPL) also plan to code share on each other’s flights between Abu Dhabi, India and other markets in the Middle East, North America and Europe.

(EHD) will also code share on new flights by (JPL)’s between India and the USA, via Abu Dhabi, again subject to regulatory approval.

Both airlines are also exploring synergies ranging from integration of their loyalty programs to shared airport facilities and offices, common training of pilots (FC) and flight attendants (CA) and deployment of joint sales forces in markets served by both carriers.

(EHD) which is rapidly scaling up Indian connections, could begin to eat into Emirates (EAD)’s India-bound traffic at Dubai. (EAD), currently the largest international airline operating to/from India, is bigger than flag carrier Air India (AIN) in terms of number of international passengers carried. It connects to 10 Indian cities, moving traffic to Europe, North America and the rest of the world via Dubai.

(EHD) has announced plans to open additional new routes in 2014.

On April 1, 2014, (EHD) will launch a daily service from Abu Dhabi to Jaipur in the Rajasthan province of Northern India using two-class (16C business and 120Y economy) Airbus A320 airplanes. This will bring the number of Indian cities served by (EHD) to 10. (EHD) operates from Abu Dhabi to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Trivandrum.

(EHD) will also be increasing from daily to double-daily flights to Mumbai and New Delhi, upgrading to wide body A340-600 airplanes (with three-class configuration) on one of the daily Abu Dhabi-Mumbai flights, and using wide body A330-200 airplanes on one of the daily Abu Dhabi - New Delhi flights. It will also upgrade its daily, Abu Dhabi - Chennai flights from 136-seat A320s to the new 174-seater A321s.

Rapidly expanding (EHD) has announced new services to the USA and Australia. (EHD) will launch direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth on December 3, 2014 (its fifth destination in the USA after Chicago, New York, Washington (DC) and Los Angeles (to launch June 1, 2014)).

(EHD) will serve the ultra long-haul route with a 777-200LR. The airplane will have a three-cabin, 237-seat configuration (8F suites, 40C business class, and 189Y in economy class). The 3x-weekly service will cater to growing demand from both business and leisure travelers.

Dallas is also the largest hub for American Airlines (AAL), (EHD)’s USA code share partner, giving arriving passengers a wide range of connections.

From July 2, (EHD) will launch four flights a week from Abu Dhabi to Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia, using two-class A320s.

On July 15, it will launch a daily nonstop flight from Abu Dhabi to the Italian capital Rome using two-class (22C fully-flat business and 240Y economy seats) A330-200 airplanes. Subject to regulatory approvals, Rome Fiumicino will become (EHD)'s second Italian gateway after Milan Malpensa.

Meanwhile, Etihad (EHD) will commence daily flights to Perth, Western Australia on July 15, 2014. The services between Abu Dhabi and (EHD)’s fourth Australian gateway will bring to 351 the number of weekly flights it operates between Australia and Abu Dhabi. A two-class (22C business and 240Y economy) A330-200 will operate the route.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said the new flights would be the first nonstop services between Western Australia and Abu Dhabi.
“Our analysis shows there is a significant business opportunity on the Perth route,” Hogan said. “Overseas visitor numbers are growing at a steady rate of around +7% overall—with several markets to which we fly, such as Germany, France, Italy, and Ireland recording an increase in visitor numbers of between +8.5% and approximately +30% in the 2012 - 2013 financial year. Arrivals from the Middle East grew at more than +104% over the same period.”

Hogan added, “Western Australians, too, are traveling overseas in increasingly large numbers with an average annual growth rate of +8.5% over the past three years.”

He noted the importance of the airline’s partnership with Virgin Australia (VAU) to the success of the route: “Our partnership with Virgin Australia and code share flights to 14 towns and cities in its Western Australia regional network adds immensely to the strength of the business case for the route and the appeal of our consumer offering,” he said. He also identified a significant new opportunity for revenue growth from business travelers and freight.

“Eighty of the top 300 Australian companies have their headquarters in Perth and many of these have commercial interests in Africa and the Middle East. Equally, many United Arab Emirates (UAE) businesses have a strong presence in Australia, particularly in the agribusiness, resources and tourism sectors.

“On the cargo front, we will aggressively pursue a stake of the current volume of outbound freight and will look to develop additional revenue streams from areas that have not yet been fully developed.”

(EHD) serves Sydney (double-daily) in conjunction with Virgin Australia (VOZ), and daily to Brisbane and Melbourne.

(EHD) has confirmed it is in talks with Alitalia (ALI), which will announce it has met its €300 million/$413 million) funding target on December 20. “Etihad Airways (EHD) is in discussions with Alitalia (ALI). We have no further comment at this time,” an (EHD) spokesman confirmed, following reports that (EHD) is in advanced talks to buy up to 49% of (ALI). An (ALI) spokeswoman declined to comment on the Etihad negotiations, but said an announcement on a capital increase needed to safeguard (ALI)’s future is imminent.

“With today’s subscription by "Poste Italiane" for the final €75 million, the €300 million capital increase process could be defined as completed. We will not have an official statement about that until tomorrow,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Initial take-up for the capital increase looked shaky. When the capital increase option deadline expired on November 28, only €173 million of the €300 million total had been secured. The funding is needed to support (ALI)’s €500 million emergency rescue plan, which includes the €300 million capital increase and €200 million in new lines of credit. AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM), which owns 25% of (ALI), has so far declined to participate.

Later, Etihad Airways ((IATA) Code: EY, based at Abu Dhabi International) (EHD) reportedly struck a deal with Alitalia (ALI). Italy's Transport Minister, Maurizio Lupi told "(ANSA)" newswire, "I can't but express satisfaction for the formalization of Etihad (EHD)'s interest in Alitalia (ALI). It is an important sign that shows the path taken by the government two months ago to safeguard our country's strategic air transport interests, and that of its historic company, was the right one." No disclosure was made on the exact amount to be invested but "Reuters" has pointed to a EUR 350 million/USD 478.38 million investment in return for 49% in the struggling Italian national carrier.

Aegean Airlines (CRM) has reported a profit after tax of +€59.2 million/+$80.4 million for the first nine months of 2013, reversing a loss of -€8.7 million in the year-ago period.

Star (SAL) Alliance member, Aegean Airlines (CRM) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have signed a wide-ranging code share agreement.

The agreement will see (CRM) commence a 4x-weekly service between Athens and Abu Dhabi starting from March 30. Pending regulatory approvals, (EHD) will place its flight code on the new flight. (CRM) will operate a 12C, 156Y-seat, Airbus A320 on the route; Etihad (EHD) will operate daily services to Athens.

(EHD) will also place its code on Aegean (CRM)-operated flights to 16 Greek destinations, and to a further 10 cities across Europe. In return, (CRM) will offer codeshare routes between Athens via Abu Dhabi to Bahrain, Kuwait, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

“By partnering with Etihad Airways (EHD), Aegean (CRM) gains access to the Gulf region and South Africa, as well as increasing connection opportunities to Australia. (CRM) will also open up points on its network to Etihad Airways (EHD) customers, and will enhance access to and from Greece via Abu Dhabi,” (CRM) (CEO), Dimitris Gerogiannis said.

Joan Mwanki, was appointed as General Manager, Nairobi, Kenya.

(EHD) will also receive five 777-200LRs, one 777-300ER, three A320s, three A321s, four A330-200s and one A330F freighter in 2014.

Atlas Air (TLS) has signed an agreement with Hong Kong-based, (BST) Logistics, a business partner of Navitrans International Freight Forwarding, for the wet-lease of one 747-8F. The contract is scheduled to begin in February 2014 and will allow (BST) Logistics to provide dedicated airfreight services on key global routes connecting the USA, Europe, and Asia. Of (TLS)'s six 747-8Fs, two currently operate for Luxembourg's Panalpina World Transport (PLP), two are operated by Polar Air Cargo (PAO) on behalf of (DHL) Express, while a fifth operates for Etihad Airways (EHD).

Etihad Airways (EHD) currently operates 90 airplanes, to 59 countries, 97 destinations, on 123 routes and 233 daily flights.

A320-232 (5882, A6-EIV), ex-(F-WWIJ), delivery.

January 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD), which announced it will accelerate its expansion drive for 2014, released a welter of statistics documenting its activities in 2013.

It recorded almost 12 million passengers, up nearly +16% on 2012’s figure of 10.3 million and a company record. This accounted for some 73% of the 16.4 million travelers using Abu Dhabi International Airport, a figure that rose to 79% when passengers carried on (EHD)'s equity partner airlines that operate into the emirate were added.

(EHD) expanded its code share and equity partnerships, which delivered more than >1.8 million passengers onto (EHD) flights, 38% up on 2012’s 1.3 million.

New code share agreements were signed with Kenya Airways (KEN), Air Serbia (JAT), South African Airways (SAA), Belavia (BLV), Korean Airlines (KAL), Air Canada (ACN) and airBaltic (BAU).

Adding to its four existing equity partners (airberlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY), Virgin Australia (VOZ). and Aer Lingus (ARL), (EHD) announced investments in three additional carriers.

It formalized a five-year contract to manage Serbia’s national carrier, Air Serbia (JAT) (formerly JAT Airways), with a 49% equity stake, obtained approval from the Indian government to finalize a 24% investment in Jet Airways (JPL), and announced plans to acquire 33.3% of Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline, which will become the first airline to operate under the new Etihad Regional brand.

Cargo volumes also rose significantly, with 486,753 tonnes of freight and mail being flown by (EHD), up +32% compared to 2012. (EHD) accounted for 89% of cargo imports, exports and transfers at Abu Dhabi Airport last year.

Bangkok was again the airline’s busiest route, with 742,759 passengers flying to Thailand’s capital in 2013, a +7% year-on-year increase.

Manila was second busiest route (547,068 passengers), followed by London (544,564), Jeddah (373,651) and Paris (338,969).

Last year, (EHD) took delivery of eight airplanes from Airbus (four A320s, one A321, two A330-200s and one A330F freighter), the same number from Boeing (six 777-300ERs and two 777F freighters), and added further leased capacity including its first 747-8F freighter. Its fleet now comprises 89 airplanes, with an average age of 5.2 years.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Christophe Didier as its General Manager Brazil. He joins (EHD) from Delta Air Lines (DAL), where he held a number of senior sales positions in Latin and North America. (EHD) also appointed Juan Torres as General Manager Philippines. This is Torres’ second posting to the Republic of the Philippines with (EHD); he was (EHD)’s General Manager, based in Manila, from October 2006 to March 2010. (EHD) has also appointed Amina Taher, a (UAE) national with more than >10 years’ experience in marketing and communications, as its new Head of Media Relations.

The Air Transport World (ATW) Magazine announced it had awarded Etihad Airways (EHD) "Airline Market Leader." 2013 was a milestone year for the "(ATW) Market Leade"r award winner, a year in which it came of age not only as a commercially focused, profitable business but in which its innovative strategies led to change across the industry.

(EHD) delivered another year of double-digit growth, based on a long-term vision and strategy that has seen it become the fastest-growing, full-service airline in aviation history. (EHD)’s innovative partnership strategy has challenged the alliance norm as the industry knows it. Etihad (EHD) has built more than >40 code share relationships and taken minority equity stakes in selected airlines, creating the largest network of any Middle East carrier.

It has developed from being an airline to becoming a wide-ranging aviation and travel business, with new revenue-adding business streams. Under the leadership of President & (CEO), James Hogan, the (EHD)’s executive team has delivered on a business strategy of ambitious growth while bringing the airline to break-even by 2011. The strategy was based on three core goals: Operate safely; provide best-in-class service to customers; and work to a commercial mandate that would support the economic growth and diversification of Abu Dhabi. Since then, (EHD) has produced regular double-digit annual growth organic growth.

With many new routes planned for 2014, strong growth in the Indian market and the launch of Etihad Regional in Europe, (EHD)’s growth pattern continues on the ascent and makes it a clear choice for the "2014 (ATW) Airline Market Leader."

(EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said that 20% of (EHD)’s revenue (or $5 billion in business) comes from its partners.

Airberlin (BER) and Etihad Airways (EHD), which have been in a strategic partnership for two years, have unveiled an A320 airplane in a specially designed joint livery at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. (EHD) is a 29.21% stakeholder in Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, (BER). “The comprehensive commercial partnership with (EHD) has brought many benefits to (BER), including our shares of joint revenues of €200 million/$273.4 million, which is integral part of our turnaround program,” (BER) (CEO). Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said. He added that this strategy not only provides an expanded offering of destinations and services, but, “We also have developed synergies through the entire value chain, as well as continuously improved productivity and lower costs.”

Both airlines said they will deepen their commercial partnership in 2014.

The two carriers’ network serves 228 destinations in 84 countries. “We are operating 100 code share routes (two-thirds of them by (BER), one-third by (EHD)),” Prock-Schauer added. “Since the launch of the partnership two years ago, commercial ties between (EHD) and (BER) has deepened significantly . . . it enables both airlines to carry nearly 900,000 guests across the two networks,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

He added that (BER) is operating in a tough environment. “We continue our full support behind the airline and its management. We are confident that (BER) is on the right path back to profitability.”

Hogan said (EHD) “invested in (BER) because we see its potential. It is carrying more than >30 million passengers each year. To make the equity investment and establish the commercial partnership (and this long-term commitment) remains key to the (EHD) business strategy.”

Hogan, who said he is confident with (BER)’s (restructuring) development, said (EHD) invested $105 million (in airberlin (BER)) and recouped that amount in six months.

(BER) and (EHD) operate 42 weekly flights between destinations in Germany and Abu Dhabi, which will increase to 49 weekly flights in February when a second daily Munich flight commences. The two carriers are evaluating Vienna - Abu Dhabi service. “We will also increase (airberlin (BER)) frequencies in our (European) key markets by +8% this year,” Prock-Schauer added. (BER) will add new code share destinations in India, Australia, and South Korea.”

In 2013, 563,000 common code share passengers flew across the two networks, a +74% increase over the previous year.

Airberlin (BER), the second largest airline in Germany, carried more than >31.5 million passengers in 2013.

Etihad Airways (EHD) increases Abu Dhabi - New York (JFK) 777-300ER service from 1x-daily to 2x-daily beginning March 1.

JetBlue Airways (JBL) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have unveiled plans for a wide-ranging code share, which will initially cover 40 of (JBL)’s domestic routes.

Subject to government approval, (EHD) will initially place its code on 40 (JBL)-operated services from New York (JFK) and Washington Dulles.

(EHD) President, James Hogan described the USA as a “major and growing market” for (EHD), which already serves three USA gateways: Chicago, New York and Washington Dulles. In June, (EHD) will add a new Abu Dhabi - Los Angeles service, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth in December. “Further code share services are planned on (JBL) flights once (EHD) commences daily flights to Los Angeles from June 2014. Subject to USA and foreign government approval, Etihad Airways (EHD) also plans to code share on JetBlue (JBL) flights between New York and select destinations in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Colombia.”

(JBL) is (EHD)’s third North American code share partner after Air Canada (ACN) and American Airlines (AAL).

(EHD) has signed a code share agreement with Spain's Air Europa (ARE), as (EHD) seeks to expand its European route network. (ARE) will operate three direct flights per week between Abu Dhabi and Madrid later this year.

(EHD) will also fly to Madrid for the first time from Abu Dhabi.
(EHD) will place its "EY" flight code on Air Europa (ARE) flights from Amsterdam, Brussels and Milan Malpensa going to Madrid. In exchange, (ARE) will place its "UX" flight code on (EHD) flights from the same destinations to Abu Dhabi.

Over the summer season, the two airlines plan to expand the number of code share destinations to include cities in Spain and South America via Madrid. More cities will be added in the Gulf region, Africa, and Australia via Abu Dhabi.

"(EHD) is targeting partnerships with smaller (EU) airlines that are less competitive to effectively inorganically grow their European footprint," said Saj Ahmad, the Chief Analyst at StrategicAero Research. "It's a smart, non-confrontational expansion policy that's working well for (EHD) and it's bound to reap dividends for them."

(EHD) (CEO) said "We have been keen to offer our customers direct access to the Spanish capital for a number of years, and doing this now in partnership with Air Europa (ARE) makes perfect business sense.
He added that the new route will support the increase in trade volumes between the (UAE) and Spain, which has grown +75% over the past three years. The route will also bring more business and leisure travelers to Abu Dhabi from Spain.

Etihad Airways (EHD) is to increase it 10x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Dublin 777-300ER service to 2x-daily from July 15.

A USA airline lobbying group has said it will continue to protest the opening of a new customs and immigration pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi. Airlines for America (A4A) has repeatedly urged the USA government not to go ahead with the facility, claiming it gives an unfair advantage to Etihad Airways (EHD), Abu Dhabi’s national carrier. Pre-clearance allows foreign-originating passengers to arrive in the USA as domestic traffic, enabling them to skip the often lengthy queues at immigration desks.

Several members of Congress and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are among others that have spoken out opposing the plan.

The initial flights to be affected by the opening of the new facility operate from Abu Dhabi to Washington Dulles. Flight websites show only (EHD) operates direct between the two points, although American Airlines (AAL) has a code share with (EHD) on the route.

(A4A) said that it “continues to believe that CBP Customs & Border Protection (CBP) should focus on resolving lengthy wait times at USA gateway airports before opening new pre-clearance facilities overseas, and we are committed to working with Congress and the Administration to achieve that goal.”

The concern is that passengers could opt for (EHD) in preference to USA carriers because of the convenience in pre-clearing immigration and customs.

(ALPA) said that “by allowing a (CBP) pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where no USA air carrier currently flies, the USA government is handing a state-subsidized airline, Etihad Airways (EHD), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a major competitive advantage over USA airlines.”

Pre-clearance facilities already exist in Canada, several Caribbean nations and Ireland.

Following the opening, (EHD) said that additional flights to the USA will be processed via the facility in coming days. (EHD) currently operates non-stop daily flights from Abu Dhabi to New York, Washington DC, and Chicago. It plans to open routes to Los Angeles and Dallas later this year.

Etihad Airways (EHD) appointed Dr Nadia Bastaki to the new position of VP Medical Services.

February 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Airberlin (BER) will step up their equity partnership by doubling the weekly total of flights between Berlin and Abu Dhabi to double-daily, starting October 26. (BER) operates a two-class A330-200 on the route.

The two carriers’ existing code share agreement will also be expanded within the next few days to include six Indian destinations served by (EHD) (New Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore).

India-originating travelers will also benefit from improved connection options within the wider airberlin (BER) route network to a variety of European destinations. (BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said the expansion of services means “we are taking greater advantage of our synergies” with (EHD).

(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan added that the partnership with (BER), in which (EHD) has a 29% shareholding, had seen 560,000 passengers flying across the two carriers’ networks in 2013, a +74% increase on 2012.

The Abu Dhabi - Berlin route often had load factors above >90% LF in peak months. “It is therefore crucial to ensure that demand and capacity are better matched.”

Meanwhile, express packages freight carrier (DHL) and Etihad (EHD) Cargo have agreed to share capacity on (DHL)’s new 5x-weekly freighter service operating through Abu Dhabi. The new services use (DHL)’s Airbus A300-600F freighter fleet, and operate from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi, onward to Bagram, Lahore, and Karachi, and back to Abu Dhabi, where cargo can transfer to Etihad Cargo destinations.

The (DHL) Abu Dhabi service started last month and has already resulted in improved transit times for (DHL) cargo coming to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America, (EHD) said. (DHL) shipments from the USA to Abu Dhabi now arrive half a day earlier.

(EHD) will increase its service from 11x-weekly Abu Dhabi - Islamabad to 2x-daily on March 30. Abu Dhabi - Peshawar increased from 2x-weekly to 5x on February 1st. (EHD) also began daily, Abu Dhabi - Medina A320 service.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has added its fourth service into Saudi Arabia, with the start of daily services to Medinah (MED), joining existing flights to Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh. The A320-operated service began on February 1st from (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub. Competition on the 1,510 km city pair comes from Saudia (SVA), which serves the route twice-weekly. SEE ATTACHED - - "EHD-2014-02 - MEDINHA NONSTOP" which shows a delegation of dignitaries celebrating the introduction of non-stop flights.

(EHD) will increase the frequency of its Abu Dhabi - Chengdu service from five-flights-a-week to daily from March 30, 2014. As one of the biggest markets in China for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Chengdu has emerged as a leading economic, transportation and communication center for the Asian country, with nearly half of the world's Fortune 500 companies having operations in the city.

(EHD) launched its Chengdu service on December 15, 2011, offering the first and only direct airline connection between the (UAE) and China's Sichuan province, home to a population of over >80 million. It is the third city to be served by Etihad Airways (EHD) in China, with daily flights also operated to the capital, Beijing, and the country's largest city by population, Shanghai.

Passenger volumes on the Chengdu route increased by +25% last year compared to 2012 levels, while cargo and mail volumes were +19% higher. The flights are operated using a two-class Airbus A330-200 with 22 Pearl Business (C) class and 240 Coral Economy (Y) class seats.

Flights on Etihad Airways (EHD)'s daily service to Chengdu can be booked on, through Etihad Airways (EHD) Contact Centers, or via travel agents.

A possible lifeline for Alitalia (ALI) appeared closer as the Italian flag carrier said that Etihad Airways (EHD) was close to deciding if it would commit to an investment. The two airlines announced in December that talks were ongoing over a possible investment by (EHD) in loss-making (ALI).

(ALI) received a €300 million/$413 million cash injection some weeks ago, but continuing heavy losses had led some observers to forecast another financial crunch for (ALI) by the middle of the year.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan and (ALI) (CEO), Gabriele Del Torchio (ALI) said the two airlines “have entered the final phase of a due diligence process about a possible investment by (EHD) in (ALI).

“During the next 30 days both companies and their advisors will determine how a common strategy can be developed which meets the objectives of both parties. “Any issues that may prevent the establishment of an appropriate business plan will have to be resolved to ensure the plan can be implemented to move (ALI) to sustainable profitability.”

Rapidly expanding (EHD) has been showing particular interest in boosting its presence in Europe in recent months, having taken control of Air Serbia (JAT) and launching a wide-ranging code share agreement with Air Europa (ARE) and a further codeshare with Latvia’s airBaltic (BAU). (EHD) has minority stakes in a number of airlines, including airberlin (BER), Aer Lingus (ARL), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and India’s Jet Airways (JPL).

(EHD) has also launched a European regional carrier, Etihad Regional, via an equity stake in Swiss carrier, Darwin.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Rashed Saif Al Shabi as Area General Manager for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Based in Riyadh, Al Shabi will oversee (EHD)’s commercial activities in the Kingdom, with flights currently operated between Riyadh, Jeddah Dammam, and Al Medina AL Munawra and Abu Dhabi. (EHD) has also appointed Vincent Frascogna as Manager Western Australia, based in Perth. The appointment comes as (EHD) prepares to launch daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Perth on July 15.

March 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported a net profit of +$62 million, up +48% from +$42 million in the year-ago period. (EHD) said the results were due to its unique strategy, which has been to combine organic growth with wide-ranging partnerships and strategic minority equity investments around the world.

“This is another important step forward in our journey as a growing, commercially successful business. We have hit every financial target for each of the last seven years, bringing sustainable profitability to a business that has grown from just $300 million in revenues in 2005 to more than >$6 billion today,” (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said.

Total revenue was up +27% to $6.1 billion. (EBIT) was up +22% to $208 million and (EBITDAR) increased +30% to $979 million, a 16% margin. Traffic increased +16% to 55.5 billion (RPK)s, while capacity increased +17% to 71.1 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 78% LF, unchanged from 2012. Passenger numbers grew +12% to 11.5 million.

(EHD) added six new destinations last year and increased capacity on 18 existing routes.

Etihad Cargo revenues were up +30% to $928 million on volumes of 486,753 tonnes compared to 367,837 tonnes the year before. “We have identified cargo as a major growth opportunity for (EHD) . . . this will be a billion-dollar business in 2014,” (EHD) said.

A key driver of (EHD)’s growth in 2013 was its partnership strategy, based on wide-ranging code shares. (EHD) said it added seven code share partners in 2013, taking its partnerships from 40 to 47, which increased its “virtual network” to almost 400 destinations.

Alliance strategy revenues were up +30% to $820 million, representing 21% of passenger revenues.

Last year, (EHD)’s fleet grew from 70 to 89 airplanes. It announced a $67 billion order for up to 199 airplanes and 294 engines announced in November 2013. (EHD) serves 94 active passenger and cargo destinations, with new services to nine additional cities to commence in 2014.

In 2014, (EHD) plans to introduce 18 new airplanes, including its first Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380 airplanes, both of which are scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter. (EHD) also concluded late in December an agreement to acquire five Boeing 777-200LRs from Air India (AIN) to help accelerate network growth.

“The global market remains challenging in 2014, but the macroeconomic picture is improving in key economies around the world. We believe our new model and the investments we have made in product, service and infrastructure, mean that (EHD) is positioned strongly for top-line growth and bottom-line delivery,” Hogan said.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has announced the creation of the Etihad Aviation Group, the next step in its long-term business strategy. The new structure marks the transition from a single entity airline to a wider global aviation group, (EHD) said.

Group President & (CEO), James Hogan said, “Ten years ago we started life as a small regional carrier, but with global ambitions. Since then, we have grown to become one of the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines, and have expanded and diversified our operations outside the core airline business, laying the foundations to become one of the leading aviation and travel groups in the world.”

(EHD) has created two new positions: (COO) Etihad Airways (EHD) and (COO) Equity Partners. The former position will oversee the day-to-day running of the core airline. The latter position (which is part of a new division to coordinate and manage (EHD)’s investments in its equity airline partners) will ensure an ongoing interface between the airline and its equity partners. The person in this position will be responsible for leading the identification and realization of synergy benefits across the equity alliance, as well as having direct responsibility for Air Seychelles (ASY) and Air Serbia (JAT). Recruitment for both positions is ongoing.

A key element in the new structure is the establishment of the Hala Group, led by (COO) Peter Baumgartner, formerly (CCO) Etihad Airways. The Hala Group has been formed to recognize the airline’s commercial opportunities.

According to the company, functions providing support to the wider Etihad Aviation Group will continue to be led by James Rigney as Group (CFO); Ray Gammell as Group chief-people and performance officer; and Kevin Knight as Group chief strategy and planning officer. The Group will create a new position of chief technology officer, for which it is actively recruiting.

Hogan said the new structure will “greatly enhance and improve the way we work in harmony with our partner airlines and subsidiaries” and “will ensure that we work more closely than ever before to maximize the tremendous opportunities and deliver a sustainably profitable future for Etihad Airways (EHD) and the wider Etihad Aviation Group members, while ensuring we meet ambitious targets relating to revenue, cost and synergy benefits.”

AirFrance Industries (AFI) (KLM) (E&M) will repaint five Etihad Airways (EHD) Boeing 777-200s, including stripping, sanding, painting and coating of the fuselage, vertical fin, stabilizer, engines and wings. The airplanes will be liveried in the (AFI) (KLM) (E&M) paint shop at Schiphol airport between February and April 2014.

April 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) has reported first-quarter revenues of $1.4 billion, up +27% compared to $1.1 billion year-over-year.

Cargo revenues also climbed +26% to $243 million. The cargo business reported strong year-over-year rises in freight volumes on its India (up +32%) and China (up +14%) routes. (EHD) predicts its freight division will surpass the billion-dollar mark by the end of the year.

Passenger boardings were up +14% to 3.2 million, while Etihad Cargo carried nearly 128,000 tonnes, up +26% year-over-year. Capacity (ASK)s were up nearly +21% to 19.2 billion, from 15.9 billion a year previously.

(EHD), which has taken equity partnerships in a string of carriers around the globe, together with a rapidly expanding portfolio of code shares, noted that revenue from its code share and equity partners rose +23%, to $223 million, compared to the year-ago quarter.

(EHD) attributed its growth to the rapid expansion of its international route network, both in terms of new destinations (six over the past year) and increased frequencies on existing ones. (EHD) plans to open a further eight routes in 2014, increasing its route network to 103 locations.

In early March, (EHD) announced the creation of Etihad Aviation Group, the next step in its long-term business strategy.

Etihad Airways (EHD) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation between the two national carriers. The (MOU) covers a range of services including code sharing, frequent flyer reciprocity, airport lounge access, air pass agreements and cargo cooperation.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said the two companies have a history of cooperation on the Abu Dhabi - Manila route. “This relationship will go a long way in providing our combined customer base with a much more enhanced set of travel options,” (PAL) President & (COO), Ramon Ang said. “This also comes at an opportune time for (PAL), which is in the thick of a fleet modernization and expansion program that will see (PAL) pushing further not only into the Middle East but also to other parts of the globe.”

Etihad Airways (EHD) began daily, Abu Dhabi - Jaipur Airbus A320 service.

Fiji Airways (APC) has also announced a new interline agreement with (EHD), which will allow reciprocal sales on routes to a number of destinations in the Middle East, Africa, North America, Asia, and Australia. The agreement is effective immediately, and is “the starting point of further negotiations between the two airlines,” Fiji Airways (APC) said.

(APC) has code share or interline agreements with a number of carriers, including American Airlines (AAL), Cathay Pacific (CAT), Qantas (QAN), and Air New Zealand (ANZ), as well as a cargo interline agreement with Emirates SkyCargo (EMC).

Etihad Airways (EHD) which acquired a 24% stake in Jet Airways (JPL) on April 23, 2013, has suspended its code-sharing agreement with (JPL). The dramatic move came after the USA (FAA) downgraded India to a Category 2 rating under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, based on a recent reassessment of the country's civil aviation authority (CAA). The decision, which took effect on February 1, puts India on the same level as Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, among others.

As a result (JPL) and national flag carrier, Air India (AIN)/(IND) cannot now launch new services to the USA airports and they will be subject to increased safety checks. The (FAA) statement said it had determined "that India at this time is not in compliance with the international standards for aviation safety oversight." It stated that Indian air carriers had failed to fix previously raised safety concerns and had not appointed an adequate number of Flight Operations inspectors. Soon after the announcement, United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines (AAL) also suspended their code sharing agreements with Jet Airways (JPL), as under USA law, USA carriers are not allowed to coordinate with Category 2 airlines.

(EHD) (which created the Etihad Aviation Group in March) has announced five senior appointments in Operations, Marketing and Guest Experience, as part of the next step in its long-term business strategy. According to (EHD), the new structure marks the transition from a single entity airline to a wider global aviation group.

The appointments include former Air Canada (ACN) Managing Director Flight Operations, Rick Allen as (EHD) Senior VP Operations; former (EHD) VP Network Operations, Chris Youlten promoted to Senior VP Airport & Network Operations; former (EHD) VP Marketing, Andrew Ward promoted to Senior VP Marketing; former (EHD) VP Guest Experience, Fiona Morrison moved to VP Guest Experience at the Midfield Terminal, ((EHD)’s new hub airport from July 2017); and former Air New Zealand (ANZ) General Manager Customer Experience, Calum Laming to become VP Guest Experience (Laming was previously Head Guest Experience at Etihad Airways (EHD).

(EHD) also appointed Abdelrahman Abdullah Al Madhloum Al Suwaidi as its new General Manager for Cyprus.

Etihad (EHD) is hiring around 22 pilots (FC) from Jet Airways (JPL) for its Boeing-777 wide-body airplane fleet. These pilots (FC), who were previously flying Airbus A330s for (JPL), will be based in Abu Dhabi for a minimum contract of one year (excluding four months of training). These pilots (FC) will get tax-free income, bonuses and a hike of about +30 - +40% on the current base salary of about Rs 6 - 7 lakh a month.

Sources said an internal job notice had been sent to the pilots (FC) in Jet Airways (JPL) on April 10. In all, 11 positions have been offered to Captains (FC) (minimum 6,000 hours) and a similar number for Co-pilots (minimum 1,000 hours) as well. The recruitment process is expected to be completed in May. "(JPL) has excess pilots (FC) for its A330 fleet, so (EHD) has offered them these positions. Some of the Captains who have applied, have 15,000 - 20,000 hours to their credit. Most likely, these pilots (FC) will be absorbed back into (JPL) once their contract with (EHD) is over."

The move comes three months after (EHD) had offered similar jobs to Air India (AIN) pilots (FC), with a promise of a fat pay hike. Incidentally, (EHD), which is in the mid of a massive expansion spree, had recently purchased five Boeing 777LR (Long range) airplanes from Air India (AIN) and may also buy +3 more of the same airplanes from (AIN).

"(EHD) is rapidly expanding operations, and since it takes a long time on new airplane deliveries, they are growing through acquisitions. In the last few months, (EHD) hads held "roadshows" for pilots (FC) for narrow body and wide body airplanes in Delhi and Mumbai," said an official.

(JPL), in which (EHD) picked up a 24% stake for over >Rs 2,000 crore in April last year, currently has 101 airplanes (12 airplanes from the A330 family, 59 737s, 10 777s, and 18 ATRs. (JPL) is believed to have 10 787 Dreamliners and around 50 737 Max airplanes on order. On the other hand, (EHD) currently has a fleet of 94 planes, with a further 225 on order.

In the quarter ended December 31, 2013, (JPL) posted a net loss of -R268 crore.

(AMECO) (BEJ) is now providing Line Maintenance and releasing service for Etihad Airways (EHD) at Chengdu. In December 2013, (AMECO) (BEJ) opened another outstation, at Hangzhou International Airport.

May 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) 4x-daily, Abu Dhabi - Doha service will operate from the new Hamad International Airport in Doha. (EHD) added three flights to its Abu Dhabi - Athens route for a total of 10x-weekly beginning July 2. Abu Dhabi - Larnaca goes from 3x- to 5x-weekly and will be offered daily for the summer season July 1 - September 30.

Etihad Regional began 2x-weekly, Geneva - Toulouse Saab 2000 service; from May, an ATR72-500 will fly the route and from June will increase to 3x-weekly.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has increased its stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ) to 21.24% from 19.9%, following approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. (EHD) first purchased a stake in (VOZ) in June 2012, taking a nominal 3.96% shareholding in (VOZ). It has since increased its stake in small increments, reaching 19.9% in October 2013.

The two airlines signed a 10-year commercial partnership agreement in August 2010, and (VOZ) has since formed similar alliances with its two other major airline shareholders, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Air New Zealand (ANZ). In March, Singapore Airlines (SIA) increased its stake in the Australian carrier from 19.8% to 22.2%, while (ANZ) has reportedly increased its stake from 23% to 25.5%.

Etihad Airways (EHD) is to acquire maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) operation, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), owned by investor Mubadala. (EHD) is to take over its Engineering assets, paint facilities and personnel to enable it to carry out airframe and component work on its expanding fleet, including its new Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s.

Abu Dhabi’s investment house, Mubadala has signalled a major switch in its ambitious aerospace strategy, offloading its maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) unit (ADAT) to Etihad Airways (EHD), while taking full control of specialist Italian airframer, Piaggio Aero.
(EHD) Senior VP Technical, Jeff Wilkinson will be responsible for (ADAT) from the end of this month.

Although (ADAT)’s component and airframe activities (including a new three-bay Airbus A380 hangar) will transfer to (EHD), Mubadala will retain the higher-margin engine (MRO) business, setting up a new company. This is likely to be in Al Ain, where it already has military (MRO) activities, and which is home to its aerostructures subsidiary, Strata.

(EHD) has unveiled plans to set up a cadet pilot (FC) training facility, with the acquisition of the Horizon International Flight Academy’s fixed-wing training division.

Al Ain-based Horizon, which has trained Etihad Airways (EHD)’s cadet pilots (FC) for the last seven years, is a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company. It offers a variety of qualifications for rotary and fixed-wing trainees, including Private Pilot’s Licenses (PPL), Commercial Pilot’s Licenses (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot Licenses (ATPL).

(EHD) has created a wholly owned subsidiary called Etihad Flight College, which will acquire Horizon’s fixed-wing training business. Horizon will retain its helicopter activities. The acquisition is already in progress and is subject to regulatory approvals.

As part of the deal, (EHD) will acquire 13 Cessna 172SP Skyhawks, three Diamond DA42NGs, two flight training simulators and Horizon’s hangar facilities at Al Ain International Airport. It will also take on all of Horizon’s fixed-wing flight instructors and some support staff.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said establishing the Etihad (EHD) Flight College “is a natural part of our strategy to produce the best pilots (FC) to support our rapidly expanding fleet. It also helps underpin the growth and development of the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi.” The rapidly expanding (EHD) employs more than >1,600 pilots (FC).

Etihad Flight College will also introduce Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) training. This hands-on course takes a zero-hour student to commercial airline First Officer-level within 14 - 18 months, preparing students to operate multi-pilot commercial airplanes, rather than single-engined trainers. It is airline-specific because students are trained in their future employer’s operating procedures. Around 250 graduates have already registered for (EHD)’s (MPL) course, with the first course scheduled to begin later this year.

Etihad Airways (EHD) will offer an ultra-premium, two-person “Residence” class (at a cost of $20,000 one-way (along with first-class “Apartments” on its Airbus A380s) - - See video - -

Business (C) class “studios” will be featured on both its A380s and Boeing 787s.

The new products, which have been under development for the past five years, are modeled on the hotel/corporate jet market and will launch with the delivery of (EHD)’s 10 A380s and 71 787s from this December.

(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said, “I think, in about three hours’ time, our competitors will be scratching their heads. We believe with this product, we have raised the bar and have the best offering of any long-haul airline.”

Located on the forward upper deck of the A380, the self-contained Residence holds two people and comprises a private living room, double bedroom, bathroom and shower. The product, which also includes a Savoy-trained personal butler, will cost $20,000 one-way between Abu Dhabi and London for single- or double-occupancy. Effectively a fourth class, only one Residence will be fitted on each A380, measuring 125 sq ft.

“The Residence bedroom is at the front end of the airplanes, where you can’t fit a normal seat. What we have endeavored to achieve on the A380 is the same experience as you would get on a private jet or yacht. It will redefine the luxury travel experience. If you were taking a private jet, it would cost $100,000 to $160,000 and we believe our product is far superior,” Hogan said.

No upgrades to the Residence will be given, although frequent travelers will be allowed to trade in their miles for three or four times the normal first-class rate. “We are going to be very pure on price with the Residence. It is exclusive and we want people to aspire to it,” Hogan said.

On the opposite side of the A380 forward fuselage, there is a shower and changing room for first-class Apartment guests. Each A380 will be configured with nine 39 sq ft. Apartments (six will have interconnecting doors), arranged either side of a central aisle to give more space back to the passenger. They are equipped with a separate arm chair and bed, a private mini bar and a sliding door.

“On the A380, we’re introducing the first apartments on an airplane in the world. It is a sitting room and a bed. It is exclusive to the A380 and will be the largest first class in the sky,” Hogan said.

A lounge/meeting area will be positioned between the first (F)- and business (C)-class and will be shared by both cabins. To make way for a central seating area, the lounge is equipped with a sideways galley. This will require additional cabin floor reinforcement.

The Boeing 787 will have a separate first (F)-class product from the A380, but both airplane types will feature business (C) class “Studios” in a 1-2-1 layout. The A380 will be configured with 70 Studios, while the 787 will hold 28.

Etihad (EHD)’s 787s will be a mix of two- and three-class airplanes. Those equipped with first (F) class will have eight “Suites,” facing forward and aft, arranged in a 1-2-1 layout around two curved aisles. “It was a challenge for Boeing to maximize the space,” Hogan said. Each mini-cabin will be fitted with a sliding door and will boast a lie-flat bed, personal mini bar and wardrobe.

Finally, both the A380 and 787 will be fitted with economy (Y) Smart Seats, featuring a fixed wing that projects from the headrest for passengers to sleep against. The A380 will hold 417 economy (Y) passengers in a 3-4-3 layout, while the 787 will carry 199 in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Hogan declined to comment on the total investment in the A380 and 787 cabins, but added: “We have applied strict economic criteria so the weight, range and cost have been key factors. That is why we have taken so long behind the scenes to prepare this.”

The A380’s first route will be London Heathrow (LHR) from December 27, followed by ultra long-haul routes to destinations including Melbourne, New York, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Sydney. The 787-9s and -10s (which will be delivered from 2014 - 2023 and configured with two- and three-class cabins, will ultimately be deployed to 40 destinations including Dusseldorf, Mumbai, and Washington.

“After the arrival of the first A380s and 787s, our new 777s will be inducted. Over the next four years, we will retrofit our current fleet to the new standard as they go through their check cycle,” Hogan said. (EHD) is also aiming to complete its fleet-wide Internet roll-out by February 2015. “I believe this will be fundamental to business and leisure passengers moving forward,” he added.

The design process for (EHD)’s A350 and next generation 777s interiors has already begun. Their cabins will be adjusted to type, but will carry the same themes as the A380s and 787s.

Follow this link to see videos:

(EHD) has 10 A380s and 71 787s on order.

Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC) - - SEE PHOTO - - EHD-2014-05-MIDFIELD TERMINAL COMPLEX" is on track to open July 17, 2017, (CEO), Tony Douglas confirmed. The new 700,000 sq m facility (the largest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi) will handle 30 million passengers annually, more than doubling its current capacity. The (MTC) will provide a full terminal building, passenger and cargo facilities, and duty-free shops and restaurants. It will include 49 gate houses, 65 stands and 14 remote stands. It will also have 106 passenger boarding bridges.

The (MTC) is located between the airport’s two runways, which allows for the quickest possible journey from runway to stand. One of the runways is currently closed for renovation to handle Airbus A380 airplanes; it should be completed by the end of this year.

The terminal will have 156 conventional, plus 43 self-service, check-in kiosks and 161 security screening checkpoint counters. The baggage handling system will have a capacity of 19,000 bags per hour. It will house 27,500 sq m of lounge facilities for up to eight airlines.

“We are sure that the Gulf area will become the global center of aviation by 2020 - 2030,” Douglas said.

(MTC) is expected to become a dedicated terminal for Etihad Airways (EHD), including its partner and equity partner airlines.

According to an airport statement, in June 2012, Abu Dhabi Airports Company signed an AED10.8 billion/$2.9 billion contract with the joint venture of Turkey’s (TAV), Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Arabtec Construction to build the new complex.

London Heathrow (LHR) is the world's most popular airport for non-local airlines to send their A380 to, and its position will be further cemented as Etihad Airways (EHD) intends to operate two A380s from Abu Dhabi starting later in 2014. But when including local operators, it is Etihad's (EHD) rival up the "road" (Emirates and Dubai International) that offers the overall largest number of A380 movements. Dubai accounts for 21% of all global A380 movements in May 2014, owing to Emirates (EAD) and its position of having the largest A380 fleet. (LHR) sees only 8% of global A380 movements, but when excluding movements from local airlines, Dubai falls to eighth place. Los Angeles and Hong Kong are also popular A380 destinations.

There are 128 A380s in service as of May 7th 2014, with one third of them operated by Emirates (EAD)alone. While Airbus (EDS) continues to deliver about two A380s each month, in the past year, only British Airways (BAB) became a new A380 operator. The latter half of 2014 will be busier with four new A380 operators: Asiana (AAR), Etihad (EHD), Qatar (QTA), and likely Skymark (SKM). But after 2014, there are only three disclosed A380 operators, two of whom (Virgin Atlantic (VAA) and Air Austral (AUX)) are unlikely to take delivery of their A380s. 175 A380s remain to be delivered, over half of them to Emirates (EAD). That figure could change as airlines cancel A380s and Emirates (EAD) eyes yet another A380 order, potentially with new engines.

June 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) has extended its Jet Airways (JPL) code share and launched flights to Etihad Regional’s Zurich hub, while airberlin (BER) is adding Abu Dhabi from Stuttgart (its first long-haul link from the airport). After securing regulatory clearance, (EHD) and its equity partner Jet Airways (JPL) have added another 43 routes to their code share, taking the total number of destinations covered to 71. These include 31 domestic routes, operated by Jet Airways (JPL), marking the first time (EHD)’s code has been placed on flights within India.

In return, Jet Airways (JPL) has placed its code on +20% more (EHD) flights, including its services from Abu Dhabi to Chicago, New York, Dublin, and Milan. “This code share expansion is a milestone development for both airlines. In addition to placing our ‘EY’ code on domestic flights within India for the first time, the agreement now covers all six of (JPL)’s services to Abu Dhabi.”

News of the expanded code share coincided with the launch of two other significant routes: Zurich and Los Angeles.

(EHD)’s first flight between Abu Dhabi and Zurich touched down June 1, adding a new daily connection with its Etihad Regional network, which is operated by its Swiss equity partner Darwin Airline. This marks (EHD)’s second Swiss link, joining its daily Geneva service.

On the same day, (EHD) operated its inaugural Los Angeles flight using a three-class Airbus A340-500 (although it will transition to a Boeing 777-200LR from mid-July). The daily service is (EHD)’s fourth USA route, joining Chicago, New York, Washington DC and (from December 4) Dallas/Fort Worth. Passengers were able to use (EHD)’s controversial USA pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi before boarding, avoiding these processes on arrival.

(EHD)’s German equity partner, airberlin (BER), has also unveiled plans to connect Stuttgart with Abu Dhabi twice-daily from December 1. This marks the first nonstop service between the cities. “The new Abu Dhabi route, still subject to government and regulatory approvals, is (BER)’s first long-haul destination from Stuttgart. The service will be operated by an Airbus A320 airplane configured with 12C seats in business class and 132Y in economy class,” (BER) said.

This winter, (EHD) and (BER) will offer 63 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Germany from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart.

In late May, Etihad (EHD) started a code share with Aegean Airlines (CRM), with the launch of (CRM)’s new 4x-weekly Athens - Abu Dhabi A320 service. (EHD), which has served Athens since 2009, is stepping up its own daily service to 10x-weekly from July 2 and deploying A330-200s on the route instead of A320s. During the winter, it will return to the smaller airplanes.

Aegean (CRM) will carry (EHD)’s code on its 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi flights, as well as its services to 16 destinations across Greece.

Etihad Cargo began commence a weekly freighter service to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. On the return sector to Abu Dhabi, the freighter will also stop in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania's biggest city) is a major industrial and economic center in East Africa, and following the first Etihad Cargo flight, all subsequent weekly freighter services will operate every Monday to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR).

Etihad Cargo will deploy one of its three Airbus A330-200F wide body freighters on the route, offering customers heavy uplift capability of up to 64 metric tonnes. Initially, the airline expects the service to carry heavy electronics, medical equipment and food items to Dar es Salaam, with primarily perishable goods destined for the Gulf region and Europe loaded for the return flights.

After months of negotiations, Etihad Airways (EHD) and Alitalia (ALI) announced on June 25th they have agreed to a deal that will see the fast-expanding (EHD) take a 49% stake in the struggling Italian flag carrier. The two carriers confirmed they had “agreed on the principal terms and conditions of a proposed transaction, whereby (EHD) will acquire a 49% equity stake in (ALI). The airlines will now move to finalize the transactional documents, which will include the agreed-upon conditions, as soon as possible. The conclusion of the investment is subject to final regulatory approvals.”

The statement did not detail how much (EHD) is paying for the stake, but press reports have talked of a cash injection of as much as €500 million/$680 million. This follows a rescue package, agreed to late last year, which included €300 million from new investors, plus €200 million in new lines of credit. However, with (ALI) continuing to hemorrhage cash, it was widely believed (ALI) would run out of funding by late summer.

The two airlines have been in talks since late last year, with major areas of negotiation including the number of redundancies required to slim down the business, together with ways of restructuring (ALI)’s existing debts.

Alitalia (ALI) has been a perennial loss maker, but is regarded by the Italian government as a national entity that must be preserved.
(ALI)’s attraction for (EHD) lies in its extensive route network (including extensive routes to South America) that has virtually no overlap with that of (EHD). If the two carriers’ networks are successfully integrated, they would see further traffic flows funneled through Etihad (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi hub.

The deal marks the most audacious of (EHD)’s strategy of acquiring stakes in carriers. Other equity partner airlines include airberlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Virgin Australia (VOZ).

AirFrance (AFA) - (KLM) has a 25% stake in (ALI). (EHD) holds minority stakes in a number of airline partners and in May increased its stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ) to 21.24% from 19.9%, following approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Etihad (EHD) said it had made its decision following a review of the criteria and measurement of the Skytrax Airline Rating System. “The measurement of customer satisfaction and feedback is important to Etihad Airways (EHD),” it added. “(EHD) subscribes to monthly industry research and undertakes comprehensive monthly surveys to monitor customer satisfaction, using the insights to continually improve its products and services.”

It is understood that (EHD) (which holds a four-star Skytrax rating and has won several awards from the organization in recent years) felt there were inconsistencies and a lack of transparency in Skytrax’s rating system.

An Etihad (EHD) source said the problem was exemplified by the use of lie-flat beds. (EHD) had invested in lie-flat beds, yet had remained in the four-star bracket, while others with the same cabin facilities had been granted five-star status. “We’ve been trying to understand why there are inconsistencies and what the criteria [for judging] are. The decision to withdraw was based on being unable to get clear enough answers.”

A good star rating is potentially important in attracting business to an airline and moving up a grade can bring benefits to the bottom line. Skytrax described (EHD)’s comments as potentially misleading and omitting salient facts that apply to an airline’s star rating.
“For a Skytrax audit review, where we work in conjunction with the airline (product consistency, planned changes and airplane fleet information) are transparent and key elements of the assessment criteria. When an airline is either unable to, or does not wish to provide information that may potentially influence the star rating, Skytrax has no option but to curtail work on such a project.”

The statement added that (EHD) could not demand to be withdrawn from the World Airline Awards, since those results were directly decided by customers: “Skytrax do not exercise control over which airlines are nominated in the survey ratings, and to subsequently seek to impact the results of a public vote would be unacceptable.”

Skytrax (CEO), Edward Plaisted said the company “did not have the level of information [from Etihad (EHD)] that enabled us to finalize a new rating this year or to calculate what next year’s rating would be.” An important aspect in grading an airline is in the consistency of the product it provides to customers. If a carrier said plans to introduce an improvement to its onboard facilities, Skytrax accepts that this could take some time to be implemented across a fleet. “We assess their information and say we’re prepared to apply a future rating from a certain date and that, in broad terms, is where we have a difference of opinion between (EHD) and us,” he said, adding confidentiality agreements between Skytrax and an airline mean he was restricted in what he could say.

Etihad Airways (EAD) has appointed Robert Douglas as its General Manager Armenia, effective immediately. The 30-year aviation veteran will lead (EAD)’s Armenian Sales & Marketing Operations from its new Yerevan office.

777-237LR (36303, A6-LRD), ex-(VT-ALD), to Amsterdam for repaint into (EHD) colors, A320-232 (6134, A6-EIX), ex-(F-WWIP), A321-231 (6143, A6-AEC), (BOC) Aviation leased, and A330-243F (1524, A6-DCD), ex-(F-WWKT) delivery.

July 2014: SEE ATTACHED - - "EHD-2014-07-INTERIOR UPDATE-A/B/C."

Etihad Airways (EHD), the Abu Dhabi state carrier recorded a 48% jump in 2013 net profits to +$62 million, and carried 11.5 million passengers last year. (EHD) has recorded first-half revenues of $3.2 billion, up +28% compared to the year-ago period.

(EHD) is expanding operations globally and is growing its network by acquiring equity stakes in carriers such as airberlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Aer Lingus (ARL), Air Serbia (JAT), and Jet Airways (JPL). (EHD) recently announced that it is moving ahead to acquire a stake in loss-making Italian carrier, Alitalia (ALI).

Singapore’s Changi Airport could become a casualty of Etihad Airways (EHD)’s new long-haul fleet expansion, when (EAD) cuts its Changi stopover on one of its Australian routes next year.

(EHD) started services from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub, the world’s 102nd busiest airport, to the capital of Armenia: – Yerevan (EVN). Commenced on July 2nd, the 1,989 km sector will be flown four times weekly by (EHD)’s 136-seat A320s. The Middle East Big 3 (MEB3) carrier will face no direct competition on the city pair, and is also the first of the (MEB3) to add Yerevan to its respective network, although Emirates (EAD)’s (LCC) flydubai (FDB) does operate there from Dubai (thrice-weekly).

(EHD) will expand its USA network to six destinations with the launch of San Francisco, California, services November 18. (EHD) will operate a daily flight with a 346-seat, three-class 777-300ER leased from its strategic partner Jet Airways (JPL).

San Francisco follows the introduction of double-daily flights to New York and daily flights to Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D C. The San Francisco service will be followed by flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, from December 3. “The USA has been placed at the heart of our network development this year, with services launched to Los Angeles last month and flights commencing to Dallas in December 2014,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

“This launch is also testament to our successful partnership with Jet Airways (JPL), as the route will be initiated using their 777-300ER airplane through a lease agreement; the flights will be operated by (EHD) and its crew.”

Meanwhile, Etihad Cargo has started freighter flights between Abu Dhabi and Hanoi’s Ni Bài International Airport. The dedicated cargo service will operate 2x-weekly to the Vietnamese capital, using an A330-200F. Abu Dhabi - Hanoi flights will be via Mumbai, while the return service will be nonstop.

Etihad Cargo expects the new service to carry raw materials, consumer goods and perishables to Hanoi, with electronics and textiles destined for the Gulf region, Europe and Africa on the return flight.

“Vietnam is an important market for Etihad Cargo, and our new twice-weekly Hanoi service will build on our existing daily bellyhold operations to Ho Chi Minh City further south,” (EHD) Chief Strategy & Planning Officer & Head, Crystal Cargo Division, Kevin Knight said.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has announced a series of new routes for 2015. It intends to start daily flights to Madrid and Edinburgh together with Kolkata and Entebbe. (EHD) will also operate 4x-weekly services to Hong Kong and 3x-weekly flights to Algiers.

Additionally, its existing daily flights to Brisbane, currently operated via Singapore, will become a direct service from June 2015. This route will be operated using a three-class Boeing 787-9.

Further service upgrades in June 2015 include the introduction of a three-class Airbus A330-300 on daily flights to Singapore, and a three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on flights to Moscow, marking the debut of first-class (F) cabins on both of these routes.

James Hogan, Etihad’s President & (CEO), said: “The expansion will also create new opportunities to enhance our code share agreements and align operations with key airline partners, such as Virgin Australia (VOZ), Jet Airways (JPL), Air Seychelles (ASY), Air Europa (ARE), and Kenya Airways (KEN). Between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong, for instance, our four weekly flights will combine with Air Seychelles (ASY)’s three weekly flights to provide a daily frequency.”

The start of services to Edinburgh follows a promise by Hogan in February to the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association that (EHD) would start flights from Scotland in 2015. He added that a second service would be introduced from Scotland to Abu Dhabi in five years’ time. The new route, which will commence on June 8, will be operated with a two-class Airbus A330-200.

“Scotland has been on our radar for some time,” said Hogan. “The two cities share strong tourism links and the (UAE) is Scotland’s primary trade partner in the Gulf region, which will fuel strong demand among business and leisure travelers.”

(EHD) believes that demand for the new route will be boosted by Edinburgh’s strong links with the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and, in particular, Australia. Edinburgh is ranked as the second most visited city in the UK for Australians, as around 8% of Australians are of Scottish descent.

Etihad (EHD)’s newly announced routes will see Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners fly directly between Brisbane, Australia and the (UAE) capital of Abu Dhabi route from June 2015. It currently uses Airbus A330-200 airplanes on the Singapore stop en route between the two cities.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan described the move as part of “our global network development [that] supports a long-term vision to provide travelers with an extensive range of destinations.”

More pertinently, (EHD) is supporting its own cost reduction with the removal of Changi’s airport charges, plus it will be getting more airtime out of the airplanes on the same route, as well as making the most of the 787’s fuel efficiency. This could be the first of a list of operators that cut out intermediary airports on long-haul flights using the range of 787 and Airbus A350s to provide economic one-stop transport on intercontinental legs.

The issue (EHD) will face is customer take-up. The new longer run will mean passengers have to sit continuously in the same seat for the 13 hours or so the journey takes. Previous attempts at ultra-long haul have seen mixed results (Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s red-eye flights from Changi to New York and Los Angeles took up to 18 hours, but were pulled after a few years due to critical load factors leading to rising fuel costs, as well as passenger fatigue, even on the relatively comfortable Airbus A380.

The Brisbane - Abu Dhabi route was flagged by Hogan as part of Etihad (EHD)’s push into the far corners of Asia, and was backed up with the introduction of flights to Phuket, Thailand, and Perth, Australia before the end of 2014. It is assumed these would both be nonstop. Hogan also announced a broad strategic partnership agreement with Philippine Airlines (PAL), covering code share flights, loyalty programs, airport lounge access, joint sales and marketing, domestic air passes, and the coordination of ground operations at the airlines’ Abu Dhabi and Manila airport bases.

Hogan described the moves as part of (EHD)’s “expansion [that] will create new opportunities to enhance our code share agreements and align operations with key airline partners” and underlines (EHD)'s policy of non-alliance operation combined with individual agreements — or partial takeovers.

The (PAL) - Etihad agreement also includes cargo, with belly-hold cargo capacity sharing between Abu Dhabi and Manila, as well as connecting into Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with both airlines concentrating on high-value cargo, such as pharmaceuticals.

Etihad Airways (EHD) expanded its presence in Italy and Australia, with the addition of daily services to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Perth (PER) on July 15th. A330-200-operated flights to the Italian capital, the world’s 34th busiest airport, will face direct competition from Alitalia (ALI), which flies the 4,345 km route five times weekly.

Etihad Airways (EHD) is partnering with Google to launch "Flight Search." Using Flight Search, travelers in the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Ireland will be able to explore and compare flights to and from any of Etihad Airways (EHD)’s 103 destinations, and view live ticket prices for more than >1,400 of (EHD)’s weekly flights.

Etihad Airways (EHD) will soon perform all scheduled and non-scheduled line maintenance on Air New Zealand (ANZ) airplanes in Melbourne at its Tullamarine Engineering facility. (EHD) and (ANZ) have agreed to provide reciprocal line maintenance services in Melbourne, Australia, and Los Angeles, California.

(ANZ) already performs line maintenance for (EHD) in Los Angeles. Maintenance services performed in Melbourne and Los Angeles may include transit, daily and weekly checks, scheduled Engineering services and fault repairs for the airplane systems and passenger cabins.

(EHD) has appointed Wuraola Oduntan as its new Generalo Manager for Nigeria. The appointment took effect July 1. She succeeds Maurice Phohleli, who was recently appointed VP Africa Sub-Sahara & Indian Ocean.

(EHD) flies to over >100 (existing or announced) destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.

(EHD) received two new Airbus airplanes (an A321-231 and an A320-200), that expanded its fleet size to 101 airplanes following the delivery of its 100th and 101st airplanes on June 30. (EHD) currently operates three Airbus A321 with seven more on order. (EHD) will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380 airplanes in October and December of this year, respectively. The A380 will also feature (EHD)'s new luxury suites, which include a three-room cabin featuring a living room, bathroom and double bedroom.

(EHD) placed its largest ever order, valued at $67 billion, for 199 airplanes and 294 engines last November. (EHD), which began operations in 2003, now has more than >220 airplanes on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s.

Abu Dhabi International Airport has upgraded its facilities in time for summer operations. The airport has opened +20 new boarding bus gates and has increased Terminal 3 capacity by +44%. It has also added +6 wide body airplane stands, which will increase flight capacity +10%, with a total of 63 stands.

The upgrades also include 16 new X-ray machines in Terminal 3, which is dedicated to Etihad Airways (EHD). An enhanced and expanded baggage transfer system has been introduced for handling transfer luggage between connecting flights, increasing handling capacity by +40%. “As we look ahead to a record number of passengers using Abu Dhabi International Airport as their connecting hub or destination airport, the number of flights we will handle during the peak travel months will leap by +18% to nearly 170 daily flights compared to last summer,” Abu Dhabi Airports Chairman H E Ali Majed Al Mansoori said.

The airport developments are part of the capacity enhancement program, which will lift capacity to 18 million passengers a year. When the Midfield Terminal Complex opens in 2017, capacity will increase by a further +30 million passengers.

Separately, Dubai International Airport has resumed full operations following an 80-day closure to resurface the northern runway and upgrade the southern runway. On July 21st, the airport handled +31% more flights since construction began on the runway upgrades, which were part of Dubai Airports’ $7.8 billion master plan to expand airport capacity to more than >103 million passengers by 2020.

All airlines had been forced to reduce flights during the period.

Emirates Airline (EAD) (CCO), Thierry Antinori said earlier this year that Emirates (EAD) had to ground 20 airplanes (including eight Airbus A345-500s, some A330s and a few Boeing 777s) during the refurbishment. It also had to reduce passenger offerings around -10%. “This will have, of course, an impact on our revenues,” he said.

Flights that had temporarily moved to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) during the runway upgrade, have returned to Dubai International (ncluding flydubai (FDB), Malaysian Airlines (MAS), Royal Brunei (RBA) and PAL Express (PHP), as well as selected flights from Qatar Airways (QTA) and Gulf Air (GUL). Four airlines will continue to operate from (DWC), comprising Wizz Air (WZZ), Gulf Air (GUL), Qatar Airways (QTA) and Jazeera Airways (JZI).

(GE) Aviation (GEC) has awarded Etihad Airways (EHD) a TRUEngine designation for its (GE)-(CF6)-powered Airbus A330s. Nearly 9,000 engines operated by more than >130 operators have now received TRUEngine designation.

August 2014: The long-mooted deal between Etihad Airways (EHD) and Italian flag-carrier, Alitalia (ALI) finally came to fruition August 8th in a complex transaction worth €1.75 billion/$2.35 billion.

Both sides said they planned a reinvigorated and profitable Alitalia (ALI), with particular attention being paid to developing long-haul routes. The deal must first gain regulatory approval and is subject to (ALI) and its existing shareholders completing certain conditions.

(EHD) said it was taking a 49% stake in (ALI) for €387.5 million.
However, this is just a small part of the overall plan, which foresees (ALI) becoming profitable by 2017.

(EHD) will also pay €112.5 for a 75% share in (ALI) Loyalty, which operates "MilleMiglia," the airline’s frequent flyer program, and a further €60 million for five pairs of slots at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). These will be leased back to (ALI) on an arm’s length basis.

The transaction is due to be completed December 31, 2014.

(EHD)’s investment will be provided through a combination of equity injections, asset purchases and other financing facilities, and funding arrangements to restructure (ALI)’s balance sheet.

(EHD)’s contribution will be complemented by a further equity investment of €300 million from existing (ALI) shareholders, including Intesa San Paolo (€88 million), Poste Italiane (€75 million), UniCredit (€63.5 million), Atlantia (€51 million), (IMMSI) (€10 million), Pirelli (€10 million), and Gavio (€2.5 million).

Beyond this direct investment, there will be up to €598 million in financial restructuring of short- and medium-term debt by financial institutions and existing bank shareholders. Italian financial institutions have extended €300 million of new loan facilities.

Announcing the deal, (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan, said: “We believe in (ALI). It is a great brand with enormous potential. With the right level of capitalization and a strong, strategic business plan, we have confidence (ALI) can be turned around and repositioned as a premium global airline once again.”

(ALI) has only occasionally made a profit in its long history and has been teetering on the brink of insolvency for some time. A capital injection late last year bought some breathing space, but commentators warned (ALI) was likely to run out of money by this summer.

Talks with (EHD) have been continuing for months, with particular sticking points including finding a way to deal with (ALI)’s debt pile and cutting the Italian company’s workforce.

(ALI) (CEO), Gabriele Del Torchio described the agreement as “an excellent outcome for (ALI). We have had to take some tough decisions in a very robust negotiation process, but we have achieved the consensus we require to create the right shape and size for (ALI) in the future. This investment will provide financial stability and enable us to position (ALI), and the travel and tourism industry in Italy, for long-term growth.”

Hogan said the agreement was “a strategic, long-term commercial investment” for (EHD). “On completion, we are committed, with the other shareholders, to build a reinvigorated (ALI) as a competitive, sustainable and profitable business that can operate successfully in the global air travel market.

He cautioned: “However, ultimately it has to work as a business and the goal is for sustainable profitability from 2017.”

“(ALI) can succeed and it can grow again, but it needs to build from solid foundations. We have made it clear from the start that our entire investment should be focused on supporting the implementation of the new business plan, which will see this goal come to fruition.
There is a long road ahead, first to complete the transaction and then to deliver this new vision. Today marks a critical step on that journey.”

Etihad Airways (EHD) announced it is suspending flights to Erbil, in the Kurdish region of Iraq. It cited advice received “regarding the possibility of a deteriorating security situation in the region” where fundamentalist Islamic State insurgents have occupied a swathe of Iraqi territory in the west and north-central regions of the country. The insurgents have reached the borders of the largely autonomous Kurdistan region and Kurdish Pesh Merga fighters, spread too thinly over a long front, have retreated north.

Etihad (EHD) operates a 4x-weekly service to Erbil with Airbus A320s. It said the suspension would start immediately and run until further notice. Flights to its other Iraqi destinations, Baghdad and Basra, continue to operate as normal.

Etihad Cargo launches 2x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Moscow (DME) Airbus A330-200F service on August 13.

Etihad Airways (EHD) announced the appointment of Matthew Jennings to the newly created position of Senior Manager of Public Affairs, based in Washington, DC. (EHD) has appointed Gianni Tronza as its new General Manager for Switzerland, effective immediately. In his new role, Tronza will be based in Zurich, where he will lead (EHD)’s expanded commercial operations in Switzerland.

Etihad Airways (EHD)’s introduction of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 will mean major changes for its Australian network when the airplanes are delivered at the end of the year.

(EHD) is on track to take delivery of its first A380 in December and is scheduled to receive four more in 2015. They will be used on the Abu Dhabi - London route from December 27 and March 1, and the Abu Dhabi - Sydney route in June.

Etihad (EHD) currently operates 11x-weekly service on the Sydney route (seven with Boeing 777-300ERs and four with A340-600s). The A380 will replace daily 777 services, which will replace the A340s.

(EHD) executives have previously said the A380 may also be deployed on Melbourne routes from 2016. (EHD) said Melbourne “is definitely on the list of potential A380 markets, but we are not yet in a position to confirm our 2016 airplane deployments.”

Meanwhile, (EHD)’s first Boeing 787-9 is expected to be used on its Dusseldorf route from December 1, and then its Mumbai and Washington DC services in January. On June 1, it will deploy on Brisbane flights.

The Abu Dhabi - Brisbane route, which is currently served as a one-stop via Singapore service, will switch to nonstop service with the introduction of the 787. The Abu Dhabi - Singapore leg will remain and will be served with a three-class A330 (bringing first class to this route for the first time).

(EHD) is also considering using the 787 on its service to Perth However, since it began flying the route with two-class A330s in July, it does not plan to switch it to the 787 before 2016.

September 2014: Etihad Airways (EHD) will add a daily, Abu Dhabi - Karachi for a 2x-daily, Airbus A320 service from November 18.

Etihad Crystal Cargo has launched a twice-weekly, A330-200F-operated freighter service linking Abu Dhabi and Moscow Domodedovo. Russia has grown to become a key market for (EHD) and the new service allows it to capitalise on ht increasing trade between Russia and the (UAE).

Emirates Airline (EAD) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have halted flights to Sana’a International Airport, the capital of Yemen, because of heavy fighting between Shiite rebels and Sunni militia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based daily, the "National," reported.

Due to the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, Etihad (EHD) has suspended all flights to Sana’a immediately and until further notice, the daily said, adding (EHD) will continue to closely monitor the situation in Sana’a before recommencing scheduled services.

An Emirates (EAD) spokesperson said: "Emirates (EAD) has canceled flights to and from Sana'a (EK 961/962) on September 24th and 25th 2014 due to the ongoing civil unrest in Sana'a. We are closely monitoring the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers, but we will never compromise the safety of our passengers and crew."

Flydubai (FDB) canceled flights to Sana’s on Tuesday, September 23rd.
On Monday, September 22nd, Egyptair (EGP), Gulf Air (GUL and Royal Jordanian (RJA) canceled services, according to

Etihad Airways (EHD) is scheduled to take delivery of its first Airbus A380 on September 25th during ceremonies in Hamburg. The A380 is one of 10 (EHD) has on order and will include an ultra-premium, two-person “Residence” class along with first-class “Apartments.”

(EHD) revealed its A380 cabin configuration in May, modeling it on the hotel/corporate jet market. Located on the forward upper deck of the A380, the self-contained Residence caters for two people and comprises a private living room, double bedroom, bathroom and shower. The product, which also includes a Savoy-trained personal butler, will cost $20,000 one-way between Abu Dhabi and London for single- or double-occupancy. Effectively a fourth class, only one Residence will be fitted on each A380, measuring 125 sq ft.

On the opposite side of the A380 forward fuselage, there is a shower and changing room for first-class Apartment guests. Each A380 will be configured with nine 39 sq ft Apartments (six will have interconnecting doors), arranged on either side of a central aisle to give more space back to the passenger. They are equipped with a separate arm chair and bed, a private mini bar and a sliding door.

A lounge/meeting area will be positioned between the first (F)- and business (C)-class and will be shared by both cabins. To make way for a central seating area, the lounge is equipped with a sideways galley. This will require additional cabin floor reinforcement.

Some of (EHD)’s 71 Boeing 787s, the first of which will be delivered Saturday September 27th from Seattle, will also have a separate first-class “Suite” product and all will feature business (C)-class “Studios” in a 1-2-1 layout.

The A380 and 787 will both be fitted with economy (Y) Smart Seats, featuring a fixed wing that projects from the headrest for passengers to sleep against. The A380 will hold 417Y economy passengers in a 3-4-3 layout, while the 787 will carry 199 in a 3-3-3 configuration.

The A380’s first route will be London Heathrow from December 27, followed by ultra long-haul routes to destinations, including Melbourne, New York, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Sydney. The 787-9s and 787-10s (which will be delivered from 2014-23 and configured with two- and three-class cabins) will ultimately be deployed to 40 destinations including Düsseldorf, Mumbai, and Washington.

First A380 delivery ceremonies at Hamburg will be attended by (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan and Airbus President & (CEO), Fabrice Brégier.

Etihad Airways (EHD) revealed its new livery in ceremonies in Hamburg where its first of 10 Airbus A380s was rolled out. (EHD) contracted brand consultants Landor to create the new livery, which features gold, sand and brown geometric patterns that (EHD) calls “facets of Abu Dhabi.”

The A380 will be delivered later this year and will launch (EHD)’s services with flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow. The A380 will include an ultra-premium, two-person “Residence” class along with first-class “Apartments.” (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said that the Residence suite had already been sold for that first flight and that interest in the new premium cabins was huge, since (EHD) revealed its A380 cabin configuration in May, modeling it on the hotel/corporate jet market.

Located on the forward upper deck of the A380, the self-contained Residence holds two people and comprises a private living room, double bedroom, bathroom and shower. The product, which also includes a Savoy-trained personal butler, will cost $20,000 one-way between Abu Dhabi and London for single- or double-occupancy. Effectively a fourth class, only one Residence will be fitted on each A380, measuring 125 sq ft.

On the opposite side of the A380 forward fuselage, there is a shower and changing room for first (F) class apartment guests. Each A380 will be configured with nine 39 sq ft apartments (six will have interconnecting doors), arranged either side of a central aisle to give more space back to the passenger. They are equipped with a separate arm chair and bed, a private mini bar and a sliding door.

A lounge/meeting area will be positioned between the first (F) and business (C) class, and will be shared by both cabins. To make way for a central seating area, the lounge is equipped with a sideways galley. This requires additional cabin floor reinforcement.

Some of (EFD)’s 71 Boeing 787s, the first of which will be delivered on September 27th from Seattle, will also have a separate first (F) class “Suite” product and all will feature business (C) class “Studios” in a 1-2-1 layout.

The A380 and 787 will both be fitted with economy Smart Seats, featuring a fixed wing that projects from the headrest for passengers to sleep against. The A380 will hold 417Y economy passengers in a 3-4-3 layout, while the 787 will carry 199Y in a 3-3-3 configuration.

October 2014: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) has reported a +29% increase in third-quarter revenue, which it attributed to accelerating growth in both the passenger and cargo sectors.

(EHD) said revenues were $1.8 billion, up from $1.4 billion for the year-ago period. It did not release profit figures.

Passenger numbers, at 3.9 million, were +30% higher than the year-ago period, while cargo grew +9% to just under 145,000 tonnes.

The figures outstripped capacity growth; passenger capacity, as measured by (ASK)s, grew +16%, to 22 million, while cargo capacity rose by just +1%. Cargo remains on course to become a billion-dollar business in 2014, (EHD) said. (EHD) booked $284 million in cargo revenues in the third quarter, giving a year-to-date figure of $804 million.

Significantly, given the efforts (EHD) has put into building its network of code share and equity partners, it said that its associated airlines had delivered 1.1 million passengers onto its flights, a +41% jump compared to the same period last year. These travelers contributed $352 million, or 27% of (EHD)’s passenger revenue.

(EHD) said it remains on track to achieve its strongest ever annual results, having carried 10.5 million passengers and almost 415,000 tonnes of cargo in the year-to-date period ended September 30.

(EHD)’s workforce jumped +38% to 22,886, up +38% year-on-year. Part of this significant increase was attributed to (EHD)’s acquisition of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies from Mubadala earlier this year.

News Item A-2: President & (CEO), James Hogan commented: “Our focus on organic growth, code share partnerships and minority investments in other airlines has continued to produce strong results, despite the prevalence of industry challenges such as volatile oil prices, economic and political instability, overcapacity in the market, and access constraints. “We are confident about sustaining our profitability in 2014 and there are a number of important milestones in the final quarter, including the entry into service (EIS) of Etihad Airways (EHD)’s ground-breaking Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

“These airplanes will feature our next generation first (F), business (C) and economy (Y) class products, together with “The Residence” by Etihad (EHD), the world’s first three-room private cabin. In addition, we will introduce Phuket, San Francisco, and Dallas into our network over the remainder of this year.”

New destinations in the fourth quarter will include Phuket, San Francisco, and Dallas.

News Item A-3: The third quarter was notable for (EHD) and Alitalia (ALI) signing a transaction implementation agreement, which, subject to regulatory approval, will result in a €1.76 billion/$2.25 billion investment in the struggling Italian flag-carrier (ALI). (EHD)’s investment will be complemented by a €300 million investment from existing core Alitalia (ALI) shareholders, up to €598 million in financial restructuring of debt, and €300 million of new loan facilities.

(EHD) sees (ALI) as providing the transatlantic component of its growing global network,

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) began 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Baku service on October 1, 2015; 3x-weekly – Tbilisi, on October 2 and daily, Dar es Salaam service, December 1.

News Item A-5: The following is from Air Transport World (ATW)'s Aaron Karp's blog in AirKarp:

"Gulf airlines take on ‘subsidy’ claim."

When asked at the "World Route Development Forum" in Chicago (1st week of October) for his advice to USA airlines concerned about the rise of the "Big 3" Middle East carriers, Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark said, “Don’t worry about us. Get on with the job. Focus on what YOU’re doing.”

But airlines in the USA and Europe are indeed worried about Dubai-based Emirates (EAD), Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) and Doha-based Qatar Airways (QTA), and complain that all three benefit from unfair state support from oil-rich governments. The “Big 3” Gulf airlines are aggressively expanding, adding more USA and European destinations, and trying to convince Americans and Europeans they can fly anywhere in the world one-stop via lavish Middle East hub airports on shiny, comfortable new airplanes with top amenities.

During a visit to Washington DC earlier this month, American Airlines (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said, “The Gulf carriers are encouraged by their governments to grow, and are given everything they need to grow (perhaps by subsidies), but nevertheless, we have these regions with no home markets and relatively small economies with their airlines buying the most airplanes in the world and flying over cities to connect people.”

Emirates (EAD) currently serves nine USA airports and “there are more coming,” Clark said. The USA routes generate about 7% of (EAD)’s revenue. Etihad (EHD), meanwhile, flies to six USA airports, and will operate 45 weekly flights to the USA by the end of 2014 (Earlier this year, (EHD) celebrated the inauguration of Miami service with a gala dinner featuring a performance by the singer Gloria Estefan). Dallas/Fort Worth became Qatar (QTA)’s seventh USA destination over the summer.

Etihad (EHD) Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, Kevin Knight, also speaking at the Chicago conference, decried “a resurgence of protectionist sentiment, particularly here in the USA and Europe.”

(EAD)'s Clark asked, “Why would they [USA airlines] be concerned about something that’s good for consumers, good for the industry, good for the cities being served?”

He said USA and European airlines’ contention that United Arab Emirates (UAE) carriers Emirates (EAD) and Etihad (EHD) are heavily subsidized is “so far from the truth.” Yes, Clark acknowledged, the Dubai government gave Emirates (EAD) startup capital in 1985, but he said it told (EAD)’s management, “You must compete like everyone else.”

Emirates (EAD) operates “without any state government involvement at all, except that the government of Dubai is very proud of Emirates” and “recognizes the criticalities of what we do,” Clark said. And there, of course, is the crux of the dispute over whether (EAD) is subsidized. “If there is any subsidy (if you call it that), it’s because the [Dubai] government does the right thing by aviation,” Clark said. That means significant investments in infrastructure such as the $33 billion expansion planned for Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport. The expansion was approved this month (less than a year after Dubai’s second multi-billion dollar airport opened for passenger traffic).

Dubai believes nearly one-third of its entire (GDP) will be made up of aviation and aviation-related activities by 2020.

Airlines in the USA and Europe, which often fight for space at capacity-constrained airports and battle government regulations they believe hurt their profitability, are flabbergasted by the backing (EAD) receives from Dubai, even if, as Clark contends, it doesn’t come in the form of direct “subsidies.”

“Government support comes in many ways,” Clark said. “The government of Dubai and the government of Abu Dhabi and the government of Qatar understand what aviation can do” for an economy.

“Our industry is ferociously competitive,” United Airlines (UAL) Vice Chairman, Jim Compton said in Chicago, adding that Middle East carriers “benefit from positive, rather than detrimental national aviation policies.”

(EHD)'s Kevin Knight said that, beyond favorable aviation policies, Etihad (EHD) gets no direct benefits from being owned by the Abu Dhabi government. “We get no free fuel,” he said. “We pay for fuel at market rates just like everyone else.”

Brian Havel, the Director of the International Aviation Law Institute at Chicago’s DePaul University, said “open skies seems to have reached a peak, and a lot of the European carriers” are pushing the European Union (EU) to limit Gulf airlines’ market access. “If airlines want to ask for less regulation, then why are they also asking for the government to intervene, when they see competition from certain regions?” he asked. “It’s no wonder governments think they’re getting mixed signals from airlines.”

News Item A-6: German aviation authorities are questioning the continuation of code share routes between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner airberlin (BER), which are very important for both carriers between Germany and Abu Dhabi.

(EHD) is (BER)’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in this Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner.

According to several German media reports, about 30% of these routes, which operated using airberlin (BER) airplanes, could be affected and some code share connections may have to be postponed.

The German federal aviation authority checks code share deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. “In the last six schedule periods, all together three years, we have always received permission allowing us to operate these code share flights. [We hope we can] continue with these code share flights,” airberlin spokesperson, Aage Duenhaupt said.

“It cannot be possible that an already-established agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE] and Germany has to be questioned again. Remarks and questions have come from only one side’s perspective,” Duenhaupt said, adding that both carriers remain confident the code share agreements will be granted again.

Airberlin (BER) plans to start also daily, Stuttgart - Abu Dhabi flights using Airbus A320s for the upcoming winter schedule. Austria-based (BER) subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI) will start daily Vienna - Abu Dhabi services from the end of November.

News Item A-7: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Bruno Matheu to the new position of (COO) - Equity Partners in the Etihad Airways (EHD) Aviation Group, effective in December. Matheu joins (EHD) after two decades at Air France (AFA) - (KLM), where he most recently served as Chief Long-haul Officer. He has previously worked in executive roles across the airline’s commercial, network, marketing and revenue management operations.

Etihad (EHD) said Matheu will lead strategic developments to optimize business performance, revenues and cost synergies between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its equity partners across the world, and provide strategic leadership for airline partners, where (EHD) has management responsibility. (EHD) has acquired minority shareholdings in airberlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Aer Lingus (ARL), Air Serbia (JAT) and Jet Airways (JPL), and is currently in the process of formalizing equity investments in Alitalia (ALI) and Swiss-based Etihad Regional, operated by Darwin Airline.

Etihad (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said he is “confident Matheu will be able to direct our partnership strategy and manage the supportive collaboration between our equity partners to optimize its commercial and network benefits within the geo-political environment in which we operate.”

EHD) has appointed Dimitrios Karagkioules as General Manager Thailand. Karagkioules, who has more than >20 years of airline experience, takes up the Bangkok-based role after five years in Athens as (EHD) General Manager Greece. Prior to joining (EHD), he held a number of Athens-based sales and marketing management roles at Continental Airlines (CAL) and Delta Airlines (DAL).

News Item A-8: Etihad Airways (EHD) has launched a new brand that envelops (EHD) and five of its partner airlines in a group that will synchronize schedules and frequent flyer benefits in a similar way to the three global alliances.

Etihad Airways Partners will initially include Etihad Airways (EHD), airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), India’s Jet Airways (JPL), and Darwin Airline, Etihad (EHD) announced Wednesday, October 8th.

(EHD) has equity stakes in each of these partner carriers. However, it said any airline can become an Etihad Airways Partner even if it is part of an existing alliance. Airberlin (BER) is a member of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance.

The key emphasis for Etihad Airways Partners is a strong commercial partnership and shared values, (EHD) said. “We are broadening our business model to articulate and define a partner proposition for like-minded airlines, which will result in synergies and efficiencies for participating airlines on the one side, and enhanced network choice, service and frequent flyer benefits for the consumer on the other,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

“The Etihad Airways Partners logo is a seal of excellence and global cooperation. It will be displayed on airplanes and on branded materials by a group of airlines working together to connect travelers around the world, and increasingly to harmonize standards in the air and on the ground.

“The potential for network alignment to maximize flight connectivity for passengers, together with a shared passion for superior service, are central to the ethos of the Etihad Airways Partner concept,” he said.

Benefits will include standardized mileage and tier benefits across all partners, no blackout periods and priority services.

Etihad Airways Partners will also have access to economies of scale and operational synergies such as centers of excellence, shared sales teams in certain destinations, joint procurement of services and supplies, and shared pilot (FC) and cabin crew (CA) training at the Etihad Airways (EHD) facilities in Abu Dhabi.

shows L - R: Maurizio Merlo, (CEO), Darwin Airline; Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, (CEO), airberlin (BER); James Hogan, President & (CEO), Etihad Airways (EHD); Cramer Ball, (CEO) Jet Airways (JPL); Dane Kondic, (CEO) Air Serbia (JAT); and Manoj Papa, (CEO) Air Seychelles (ASY).

(EHD)’s objective with its new "Partners" initiative is not to compete with the three global alliances but to link members’ frequent flier programs, synchronize networks and see cost efficiencies, (EHD) President & (CEO) James Hogan said.

Later, however, (reported October 10th) German aviation authorities (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, or LBA) denied the continuation of 34 code share routes between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner airberlin (BER) for the coming winter schedule, effective at the end of October.

(BER) (CEO), Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said that (BER) “has been informed from Etihad (EHD) that these 34 flights are no longer confirmed. These are flights that will be operated by (BER) airplanes with (EHD)’s code.”

(EHD) is (BER)’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner.

Both carriers are stunned with the decision, because the code shares are an essential part of their cooperation. In total, there are 60 code share flights operated between the two airlines.

No details are available about why the (LBA) denied the continuation of the code share routes. “All this does not correspond with our legal position,” Prock-Schauer said. “This [move] creates damage to the trust from our passengers in longtime existing flight connections.” The decision “also brings danger to German jobs,” he added. “Further growth [within aviation] will happen outside Germany and strengthen hubs in other countries. For German airports, this will result in the loss of attractive flights and less growth.”

The German federal aviation authority checks code share deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. The (LBA) has granted code share operations six times in the past three years.

It is understood this is the first time the (LBA) has made such a decision regarding aviation agreements between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany.

According to Prock-Schauer, the decision affects about 46,000 bookings. However, all passengers will be transported as planned.

(BER), which will absorb most of the financial impact, said it will use all legal steps to fight against the (LBA) decision. “The (BER) management and its board of directors will will work intensively on all economical and political areas to find a solution to undo this decision,” Prock-Schauer added.

Airberlin (BER) spokesperson Aage Duenhaupt said recently it cannot be possible that an already-established agreement between the (UAE) and Germany has to be questioned again. Remarks and questions have come from only one side’s perspective, he added.

(BER) reportedly generates a turnover of €100 million/$127 million per year with code share flights (with all partner carriers), according to several media outlets.

From January to the end of September, airberlin (BER) transported 24,838,203 passengers, up +0.6% compared to the year-ago period.

New Item A-9: Etihad Airways (EHD) has signed a commercial agreement with Swedish digital air traffic management products supplier, AVTECH to implement its Aventus NowCast Descent service for Etihad (EHD)'s operations into London Heathrow, Abu Dhabi, and Jakarta airports.

The agreement will run for two months, allowing joint analysis that will form the basis for subsequent negotiations and agreement on delivery of the service to (EHD)’s full network of some 90 airports worldwide.

The Aventus NowCast system uses atmospheric modeling, combined with weather information ((AMDAR) and/or (TAMDAR)), to provide accurate wind information and/or four-dimensional trajectories for flights. It creates high-resolution wind models and wind data packages for the different segments of a flight, a so-called NowCast. Data packages are uplinked to airplanes to enable the onboard Flight Management Systems (FMS) to accurately calculate an optimized flight profile and the actual time when each waypoint of a flight will be reached. Benefits include fuel and CO2 savings, especially in time-based operations, where financial and environmental benefits through the provision of increased efficiency and punctuality of individual flights are even greater.

(EHD) Senior Manager Fuel Efficiency, Sander de Moor said: “If successful, apart from entering in a long-term agreement, (EHD) will also consider expanding the agreement to cover the en route capability offered by AVTECH’s Aventus Enroute product, covering accurate wind data for the entire flight. Longer term, we are expecting others in the field of aviation to catch up and make these enhanced capabilities and tools a standard, which will help the industry as a whole to become more efficient.”

News Item A-10: Etihad Airways (EHD) has now deployed mobile and Internet connectivity across its entire fleet of 24 Boeing 777s. Soon (EHD)’s entire fleet of 89 passenger airplanes will be connected.

November 2014: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) began daily Abu Dhabi - Phuket Airbus A330-200 service.

(EHD) started its new non-stop daily service between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and San Francisco (SFO), (EHD)’s fifth destination in the USA on November 18th. The 13,124 km route is not actually operated with (EHD's own airplane, as it is flown by a Jet Airways (JPL) 312-seat 777-300 instead. While there is no direct competition on the city pair, Emirates (EAD) does offer a daily connection to the Californian city from its Dubai hub.

(EHD) will increase Dallas/Fort Worth - Abu Dhabi Boeing 777-200LR service from 3x-weekly beginning in December, to daily on April 16.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) has recruited 40 fully qualified pilots (FC) from Alitalia (ALI) as part of a large-scale global campaign to hire between +500 to +600 captains (FC) and first officers (FC) over the next three years, to keep pace with the rapid expansion of its fleet and global network.

The new (ALI) recruits are in the process of transferring to Etihad (EHD) under a three-year contract, with the option to become a permanent employee after this period.

(EHD) and Alitalia (ALI) signed a strategic agreement last August in a complex transaction worth €1.75 billion/$2.35 billion, which saw the (EHD) take a 49% stake in (ALI) for €387.5 million.

Thirty-eight pilots (FC) are expected to begin work at Etihad Airways (EHD) before the end of this year, while the remaining two will join (EHD) during the first two months of 2015.

Captain Francesco De Liddo and First Officer Paolo Sala became the first two recruits from the group to join (EHD). Both employees will attend a three-month training program, which is conducted in-house at the Etihad Training Academy in Abu Dhabi, to change their pilot (FC) license from Airbus A330/A320 to Boeing 777 airplanes.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said recently in Hamburg that 120 Alitalia (ALI) pilots (FC) have been transferred to (EHD) “where we need them for our growth.”

Hogan said: “To help achieve our target, we conducted a road show in Italy earlier this year to present our airline to Alitalia (ALI)’s pilots (FC) and invited those interested in joining us to attend interviews and assessments in Rome or Abu Dhabi.”

Struggling Jet Airways (JPL), one of India’s biggest airlines, reported a quarterly profit for the first time in two years, boosted by a one-off gain from the sale of a frequent-flyer scheme.

(JPL), in which expanding Gulf airline Etihad Airways (EHD) has bought a 24% stake, remained in the red when the sale proceeds were stripped out, but still improved its operating performance markedly.

(JPL) announced a +698-million-rupee/+$11.3 million net profit for the second-financial quarter to September, in contrast with a -8.9-billion-rupee net loss in the same year-ago period.

“I am extremely pleased by the progress,” (JPL) recently appointed (CEO), Cramer Ball, known as a turnaround specialist, said.

The publicly traded airline, which last reported a quarterly profit in 2012, has been seeking to pilot its way back to profitability in India’s congested skies.

While India’s passenger aviation market is one of the fastest-growing globally, cut-throat fare wars and too many carriers mean most of the country’s airlines are losing money, analysts say.

Stripping out the 3.05-billion-rupee earnings from the sale of its frequent flyer scheme, (JPL) lost -2.35-billion rupees, but this was still a vast improvement from (JPL)’s year-earlier loss.

Revenues climbed by -13.7% to 6.13 billion rupees, said the statement released after financial markets closed. “This (result) is in keeping with our three-year turnaround plan,” (JPL)'s (CEO) said.

Cramer in July forecast that (JPL) would return to annual profit in 2017 through cost-cuts, route-sharing with new partner Etihad (EHD) and restructuring hefty debt. “Restructuring initiatives with route and network rationalisation are already yielding dividends,” Cramer said of the quarterly results.

(JPL) is also phasing out chronically money-losing budget-flight operations by December to become a full-service airline.

Indian airlines’ bottom lines also will get some relief in months ahead from sharp reductions in jet-fuel prices, which account for as much as 40% of operating costs.

India cleared last May (EHD)’s purchase of the (JPL) stake for 21-billion rupees/$330-million.

Etihad (EHD) has spent over >$1 billion over the last two years buying stakes in ailing airlines in a global expansion drive, including the 49% acquisition of Italian flag-carrier Alitalia (ALI), now in its final regulatory approval stages.

(EHD)’s Jet (JPL) buy came after India relaxed foreign ownership rules to allow overseas carriers to purchase up to 49% of local airlines.

Deep-pocketed (EHD) is hoping to utilize (JPL)’s network as a springboard to earn money from rising passenger traffic from India to the Middle East and beyond.

(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan told a New Delhi business audience ahead of the earnings announcement, that the Jet (JPL) purchase was “a long-term investment. We knew it would be a long journey” winning regulatory clearance, Hogan said, due to infamous red-tape, India’s new government has promised to reduce, to spur a sputtering economy.
But now “I can tell our stakeholders… the investment is safe,” Hogan said.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Eszter Ungar as its Head of Corporate Affairs for the region. She joins (EHD) from Boeing (TBC), where she held the position of Communications Director for (EU)/(NATO), Northern Europe & Africa, based in Brussels. Eszter will be based at (EHD)’s European headquarters in Berlin and will be responsible for building and managing (EHD)’s brand and reputation in Europe as well as supporting its engagement with European Union (EU) institutions.

(EHD) has appointed Shane O’Hare as Senior VP Marketing. Most recently, he served as the President & (CEO) of Royal Jet (RJT), the largest private jet company in the Middle East.

News Item A-5: Etihad (EHD) Cargo has placed a third Boeing 747F freighter from Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (TLS) as part of a multi-year wet-lease (ACMI) agreement. The 747F, which is scheduled to come into service in November, has a payload capacity of 115 tonnes and a range of more than >8,000 km.

News Item A-6: Etihad Regional, which was launched on January 16th and is operated by Darwin Airline, added two more European routes to its network. On November 1st, the airline added its second route to Lugano (LUG), with twice-daily flights from Zurich (ZRH), utilizing its 51-seat Saab 2000s. This sector is already operated by SWISS (CSR) (four times daily), which is using leased metal from Austrian Airlines (AUL)’s fully-owned subsidiary, Tyrolean Airways. In fact, Darwin Airline has written recently to Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) questioning the legality of SWISS’ plans to engage Austria’s Tyrolean to operate Swiss domestic flights. Furthermore, on November 3rd, Etihad Regional, continued its expansion at Dresden (DRS), when it added 12 weekly flights to Vienna (VIE), using its 68-seat ATR72s. The airline opened a new base at Dresden on September 1st, when it started daily flights to both Amsterdam and Zurich. The 393 km airport pair from Dresden to Vienna is not served by any other carrier.

News Item A-7: The $20,000 ‘Residence’ suite on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s first Airbus A380 superjumbo, featuring three rooms and a dedicated butler, is already sold out for the initial 10 flights, the (EHD) said.

Bookings for the ultra-luxurious cabin boasting a double bed, living area and shower cubicle are running far ahead of the usual 50% reservation-rate for first-class berths, (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said in Dubai. “We’ve been quite happy with the takeup,” Hogan said at an industry conference. “There’s a market there.” The price charged for the sole Residence berth on each A380 will cover a one-way trip only, while permitting dual occupancy.

News Item A-8: Alitalia (ALI) has announced plans to serve its Etihad Airways (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi home base from Milan Malpensa and Venice, plus an expanded code share with its new equity partner covering 46 routes.

Effective March 29, 2015, (ALI) will add daily Abu Dhabi flights from both Italian cities. The Milan Malpensa-originating service will be operated using Boeing 777s, while Venice will be served by Airbus A330s.

The routes, which will join (ALI)’s existing Rome Fiumicino - Abu Dhabi link, remain subject to regulatory clearances. This will take (ALI) to a total of 42 round-trip flights between Italy and Abu Dhabi.
“By tripling our flights to Abu Dhabi, passengers from Northern Italy can reach many South East countries in the world with convenient code shared flights on Etihad Airways (EHD). Connections between Italy and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have never been so strong. We decided to focus our efforts in expanding our flights in Northern Italy, where the best of Italy’s industry resides,” (ALI) (CEO), Gabriele Del Torchio said.

The new links will be operated in code share partnership with (EHD), which also operates its own daily, Abu Dhabi - Milan Malpensa flight.

Both airlines already code share on each other’s daily services between Abu Dhabi and Rome, and subject to government approval, (EHD) will add its designator to 15 of Alitalia’s domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino Airport next year.

The extended partnership comes just days after (EHD) secured European Union (EU) clearance to acquire 49% of the Italian carrier.

News Item A-9: FlyNiki (NKI) launched its first long-haul route with daily, Vienna - Abu Dhabi Airbus A320 services on November 24, featuring 12C business- and 132Y economy-class seats with Wi-Fi service. Etihad Airways (EHD) has placed its "EY" code on the service as part of a code share agreement with FlyNiki (NKI). “Starting long-haul operations is one of the biggest projects (NKI) has done recently. Our Vienna flight offers connections to 44 destinations here in Abu Dhabi,” Managing Director, (NKI), Christian Lesjak said.

Lesjak expects (NKI) will transport around 100,000 passengers in the first 12 months on the route (around 75% will be transfer passengers in Abu Dhabi). “For example, subject to governmental approval, we will place our code on 22 destinations, like Sydney, on (EHD) flights,” he said.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29.21% stake in (BER). During the current winter schedule, the airberlin group operates 2x-daily, Berlin Tegel - Abu Dhabi services, daily service from Düsseldorf, daily service from Stuttgart (starting December 1) and new Vienna service to Abu Dhabi. New Hamburg - Abu Dhabi service is also under consideration.

Airberlin (BER) spokesperson, Aage Duenhaupt said Wi-Fi will be implemented on all its airplanes from January onward, which will be completed in three years.

FlyNiki (NKI) is the seventh airline to enroll onto the Etihad Partners program, alongside airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Jet Airways (JPL), Darwin Airline and Etihad Airways (EHD). The program, launched in October, differs from legacy airline alliances by offering benefits beyond pure commercial cooperation, including network and frequent flyer alignment.

December 2014: News Item A-1: Alitalia (ALI) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have completed formalities related to transferring operations from the “old” Alitalia (CAI) to the new Alitalia Società Aerea Italiana (SAI).

Alitalia (SAI) has been set up as a corporate entity in which (EHD) has acquired its 49% equity stake. Assets and liabilities have been transferred to enable (ALI) to maintain its operations.

The two airlines announced in June that Etihad (EHD) would take the 49% stake for €387.5 million/$472 million, which has now been paid. This is just part of a much larger €1.75 billion deal between the two carriers.

The remaining 51% shareholding is held by Alitalia (CAI) through its MidCo vehicle, which has contributed the agreed assets and liabilities for the continuation of the airline.

The transaction will become effective December 31, 2014 and Alitalia Società Aerea Italiana (SAI) will commence operations January 1, 2015.

When the long-mooted deal was announced, it was regarded as the last, best chance for the perennially loss-making Italian national carrier to remain in existence. Despite a bailout almost exactly a year ago, that was regarded as a stop-gap and observers feared that Alitalia (ALI), one of the world’s best-known airline names, would run out of cash at some point in 2014.

Since the deal was finalized, there has been a major clear-out of senior Alitalia (ALI) management, with ex-Etihad (EHD) personnel stepping in to several positions. The revived carrier will place much greater emphasis on long-haul services, while scaling back short-haul operations, which have been badly affected in recent years by low-cost carriers (LCC)s.

News Item A-2: Star (SAL) Alliance member, (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) are set to begin code share operations between Scandinavia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, will make (SAS) Etihad (EHD)'s 47th global airline partnership and its 22nd in Europe. For (SAS), Etihad (EHD) is its 23rd code share partner and the third with strong presence in the Middle East.

Both airlines will also develop and sign a frequent flyer agreement for members of Etihad "Guest" and (SAS)’ "EuroBonus" loyalty programs.

“This code share agreement with (SAS) will improve flight connections to Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen, as well as a number of important secondary cities across Scandinavia deepening our ties with Europe and European carriers,” (EHD) Chief Strategy Officer, Kevin Knight said.

The deal will see (SAS) place its (SK) code on (EHD) flights between Abu Dhabi and Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan Malpensa, Zurich, Geneva, and London Heathrow.

In turn, (EHD) will place its (EY) code on (SAS)-operated flights from these European destinations, excluding Brussels, onto (SAS) hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.

The (EY) code will also be placed on flights beyond Copenhagen to Billund and Ålesund; beyond Oslo to Ålesund, Kristiansand, Trondheim, and Stavanger, and beyond Stockholm to Umeå, Sundsvall and Östersund.

Etihad Airways (EHD) began 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi - Dallas/Fort Worth service and was welcomed on its inaugural landing at Dallas by a water cannon salute. The 777-200LR-operated service is expected to be upgraded to daily on April 16th 2015 and becomes (EHD)’s sixth USA city.

News Item A-3: South African Airways (SAA) and Etihad Airways (EHD) have announced plans to step up cooperation as part of their existing strategic partnership agreement.

From March 29, 2015 (SAA) will begin a daily service between Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi, complementing (EHD)’s existing daily flight between the two cities.

(SAA), which has been loss-making for several years, a situation linked partly to its recent revolving door approach to appointing (CEO)s, will have access over (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi hub to markets including the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and Asia.

The airlines have also announced a significant development in their code share agreement to include 49 routes, more than double the previous number. Subject to regulatory approval, (EHD) will place its EY code on (SAA)’s new Johannesburg - Abu Dhabi service, in addition to 16 of (SAA)’s other services from Johannesburg to destinations across Africa. In return, (SAA) will place its SA code on 32 (EHD) routes beyond Abu Dhabi.

In addition, the airlines will improve the alignment of their frequent flyer programs.

Both carriers said they are continuing to explore areas for further cooperation, including joint sales and marketing programs and the coordination of procurement, facilities and airport operations.

“The partnership between Etihad Airways (EHD) and South African Airways (SAA) has been a resounding commercial success for both airlines,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. “Since our code share flights were first on sale in July last year, we have placed more than >20,000 passengers onto each other’s flights, and there is huge potential to significantly increase that number as the cooperation is developed in the coming years.”

“Our multi-layered partnership with (EHD) has been instrumental in allowing (SAA) to establish new connections between the African continent and other markets worldwide for its passengers. “Under the second phase of our cooperation, we will better serve established regions such as North America, Europe, and Australia, while strengthening our presence in fast-growing markets across the Middle East and Asia,” (SAA) acting (CEO) Nico Bezuidenhout said. “In particular, the code share expansion will support a planned adjustment of our network to strengthen access into the fast-growing China and India markets.”

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) has signed a code share agreement with Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARG) that will help fill out (EHD)’s network in one of the few areas of the world where it is still poorly represented.

The agreement will become effective February 1, 2015 and will offer (EHD) passengers greater access to South America via Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARG)’s Buenos Aires hub.

(EHD) will place its EY code on (ARG) flights across the Argentinian airline’s extensive domestic network, as well as to destinations in South America including Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay. Some 20 South American destinations are covered.

“Code shares are a fundamental pillar of (EHD)’s strategy and our new commercial partnership with (ARG) is a significant development for both airlines,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. “We are now able to enhance our business and leisure travel offering between the (UAE), Argentina and onwards to the strategically important South American market.”

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD)’s Technical Maintenance department set a new world record by replacing a (GE90) engine on one of its Boeing 777 passenger airplanes in less than seven hours, using Lean and Six Sigma. It usually takes between 20 and 25 hours to replace an airplane engine.

News Item A-6: Etihad Airways (EHD) unveiled its first Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 787-9 airplanes at its Abu Dhabi base on December 18th.

New cabin interiors are being introduced on the airplanes, including the "Residence by Etihad," a three-room suite with dedicated butler, on the forward upper deck of the A380. “These innovations represent our vision for the future,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

The much-talked about Etihad Airways (EHD) "Residence" has received its first guest. The inaugural ticket for the three-room suite was sold to Miami-based businessman, Gino Bertuccio.

The "Residence" features an exclusive three-room private cabin, including a living room, double bedroom and ensuite shower room. These features are only available on (EHD)'s incoming fleet of Airbus A380 airplanes.

The first guest Bertuccio will have a Savoy Academy-trained butler on call throughout the duration of his flight.

The A380 will also offer the First Apartment, a living space with reclining lounge chair and ottoman, which opens up to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully flat bed.

The First Suite on (EHD)’s 787, meanwhile, offers guests a suite with mini-bar, privacy and center seats that can be joined to create a double bed.

There will be 70 Business (C) Studios on the upper deck of the A380, while the 787 will have 28C, all offering aisle access and a flat bed.

The two new types will also see the debut of (EHD)’s Economy (Y) Smart Seat.

Together with the new hardware, (EHD) used the occasion to unveil its first new cabin crew (CA) uniform since its inception in 2003.

The A380 and Boeing 787 will now continue test operations before starting commercial flights. The A380 will operate daily to London Heathrow from December 27, while the 787 will begin operations to Düsseldorf from February 1. The 787-9s will be deployed on five other routes by mid-2015, including Washington DC, Moscow, and Brisbane.

(EHD) will take delivery of four A380s and three Boeing 787-9s in 2015. (EHD) has 10 A380s, 41 787-9s and 30 787-10s on order.

To coincide with the December 18th launch, (EHD) announced financing arrangements for its first A380 and for some of its 787s. It said it had received financing from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank for its first Airbus A380-800, following a competitive global request for proposals. “We are thrilled to secure strong interest from Abu Dhabi’s local banks as we continue our journey of expansion,” (CFO), James Rigney said.

(EHD) announced it had selected Abu Dhabi-based (FGB) and the National Commercial Bank (NCB) of Saudi Arabia to provide financing for the purchase of an unspecified number of Boeing 787-9s. The financing from (FGB) and (NCB) is being provided through Sharia-compliant facilities following a request for proposal issued in May this year. “The deal with (FGB) and (NCB) provides financing that enables us to expand our fleet significantly and deliver an unrivalled product on the new Boeing 787,” Rigney said. “(FGB) has been a key financial partner over the years and we are pleased to take this partnership forward. We also welcome (NCB) on its first direct financing agreement with us as an important new partner and look forward to growing our relationship with them.”

News Item A-7: 4 777-35R (35159, A6-JAA; 35160, A6-JAB; 35163, A6-JAE; 35164, A6-JAF), wet-leased to Jet Airways (JPL), 787-9 (39646, A6-BGA), A321-231 (6382, A6-AED), ex-(D-AVXT), and A380-861 (166, A6-APA), EX-(F-WWSS), deliveries.

News Item A-8: See video - - "EHD-1ST RESIDENCE PASSENGER" - -

January 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) has further increased its stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ), in the wake of official approval for such a move.

(EHD) has bought a new tranche of shares, lifting its stake in Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) from 22.9% to 24.2%.

Etihad (EHD) has steadily increased its interest in Virgin Australia (VOZ) since it made an initial purchase of 3.9% of its stock holding in 2012.

(EHD) said that the off-market transaction followed clearance from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board to hoist its stake in (VAH) in line with the country’s Corporations Act 2001.

The significance of the move was outlined by Etihad (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan. Increasing (EHD)’s stake in (VAH) confirmed its confidence in Virgin Australia (VOZ)’s management team and business strategy and cemented further Etihad Airways (EHD)’s commitment to Australia, he said. “The Australian market is one of the most important in Etihad Airways (EHD)’s network and our partnership with Virgin Australia (VOZ) (enhanced by investment in the airline) is key to our commercial success.”

(EHD) and Virgin Australia (VOZ) have a 10-year commercial agreement, which runs until 2020, which includes code sharing on each other’s networks, joint marketing, frequent flyer reciprocity, exchange of technical crew, and the wet lease of a Virgin Australia (VOZ) Boeing 777 to operate a weekly service between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur.

News Item A-2: "Air Serbia (JAT) will be mainly focusing on its intra-Europe and regional growth for the time being, due to the fact that it does not have any wide-body airplanes at this stage, but it is very keen in attracting more Chinese travelers and providing as much convenience as possible. Consequently, (JAT) has worked very closely with its equity partner, Etihad Airways (EHD) in terms of streamlining flight connections between Belgrade and Chinese destinations via Abu Dhabi. Additionally, (JAT) is actively following up on expanding its collaboration with Air China (BEJ)," Dane Kondic, (CEO) of Air Serbia (JAT) said in December 2014.

News Item A-3: "USA carriers should tread carefully in their anti-Gulf carrier campaign" January 21, 2015 by Karen Walker in Air Transport World (ATW) Editor's Blog:

Following a bit of saber-rattling last year, leaders of the “big three” USA consolidated carriers, American (AAL), Delta (DAL), and United (UAL), are believed to be ramping up their campaign in Washington DC against the major Gulf carriers, which are looking to expand their North American footprints.

The USA carriers should tread carefully. There are risks to a strategy that could lead to regulatory intervention on what is essentially a "marketplace" issue.

First, airlines do themselves no favors if they play the game of (rightly) rejecting regulation where it is not necessary, but (wrongly) seeking it when it suits them. Lawmakers should stay out of airline business practices such as ancillary fees, use of phones (when operationally safe), and other product-related decisions where rules are not applied to other travel businesses and have nothing to do with safety, security and anti-competitive behavior. Requesting help to keep out competition, sends mixed signals to Washington and opens a back door to the era of heavy-handed economic regulation. Remember when the (CAB) defined what could count as a “sandwich?"

These same USA carriers are turning to the Asia market and transpacific routes to get a bigger slice of that fast-growing market; one made possible through "Open skies." If USA carriers seek regulatory help to fend off Gulf competition in North America, then they have no recourse should Asian flagships do the same to them.

That isn’t to say a competitive threat doesn’t exist. In a report headed by Professor Martin Dresner, a member of the University of Maryland faculty and one of the country's leading aviation economists, empirical results suggest that greater competition by Gulf carriers in USA international markets is associated with significant growth in USA - Middle East traffic volumes and small but statistically significant traffic losses and fare reductions for USA carriers in route markets connecting the USA with Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

But the answer isn’t to whine about competition to Congress; rather, USA carriers must work to ensure their customer products remain the popular choice. As Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark said in Chicago last year, “Don’t worry about us. Get on with the job. Focus on what you’re doing.”

Second, the “government subsidy” accusations that the USA carriers use as the foundation for their anti-Gulf carrier campaign, fall into the “people in glass houses” category. Each of the carriers that are leading this campaign have benefited from Chapter 11, allowing them to clean their balance sheets and void obligations to creditors and employees. They also enjoy legacy rights on some of the world’s most lucrative hub airports and routes, particularly in the transatlantic market. Individual USA states provide millions of dollars of incentives that help support, attract and keep their local carriers.

Whatever ‘subsidy’ accusations are leveled at the Gulf carriers, each effectively started from scratch, and built their global networks and customer bases on their service reputations, not on inherited rights. In other words, the customer chose the product. That’s the market at work, and that’s where USA carriers should invest their time and resources, not in lunches on Capitol Hill.

News Item A-4: Qatar Airlines (QTA) & the (IAG): "Shifting sands in the global reach of the Gulf carriers" January 30, 2015 by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog:

The announcement that Qatar Airways (QTA) has acquired a 9.99% stake in (BAB)/(IBE) parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG) is an interesting development in the ongoing change in the international airline landscape prompted by the growth of the Gulf carriers.

(QTA) (CEO), Akbar Al Baker describes the taking of a stake in the (IAG), worth about $1.7 billion, as an “excellent opportunity to further develop our Westward strategy.” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said he was “delighted” about the investment, and opportunities to work more closely with (QTA).

There’s an interesting history to the (IAG) and (QTA) connection. Al Baker and Walsh are long-time, firm friends who each hold the other in high respect. In October 2013, (QTA) joined the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance, becoming the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance. British Airways (BAB), a founding (ONW) member, was (QTA)’s sponsor and Walsh spoke very enthusiastically about the importance of having (QTA) join. My understanding is that his enthusiasm was not matched by every (ONW) member (CEO).

Dubai-based Emirates (EAD), meanwhile, remains alliance-independent, but in 2013 it entered a five-year alliance with Qantas (QAN), another Oneworld (ONW) Alliance founding member. And Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) owns a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), another (ONW) airline. (EHD) has its own version of an alliance, taking stakes in relatively small carriers and creating a constellation of airline equity partners that includes airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), India’s Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Aer Lingus (ARL). Interestingly, the (IAG) wants to buy Aer Lingus (ARL), a move, which if it happens, would further tangle the (IAG)-Oneworld (ONW)-Gulf carrier web.

(EHD), of course, is also now a 49% owner of Alitalia (ALI) (to keep you on track with the alliance matings here, (ALI) is a SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member). But (QTA)’s stake in the (IAG) is the first time that one of the “Big Three” Gulf carriers has invested in one of the “Big Three” European airline groups of the (IAG), the Lufthansa Group and Air France (AFA) - (KLM).

It will be fascinating to see if the (QTA) - (IAG) deal marks the beginning of more such equity partnerships (within the caps of the (EU) airline ownership rules) between Gulf carriers and their European counterparts. The fact is that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for the “traditional” global hubs of Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Heathrow, and Paris to compete with the “modern” world hubs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar.

In the USA, meanwhile, there is growing awareness that what happened in Europe regards Gulf competition could happen in America. A campaign is being run by North America’s “Big Three” (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) to try and get lawmakers to review "Open Skies" policies and the international air transport competitive landscape to take account of the rise of the Gulf carriers.

Flying under the radar so far in the shifting sands of air transport power houses is Turkish Airlines (THY), which is a Star (SAL) Alliance carrier and which has developed an extensive network, very large and modern fleet and highly successful global hub in Istanbul. It will be interesting to see whether that continues to be the case if, as Al Baker described it, a “Westward strategy” by Gulf carriers begins, in some eyes at least, to look more like a "Westward" invasion.

News Item A-5: See video - - "EHD-A380 1ST CLASS LHR - ABU DHABI" -

February 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) carried close to 14.8 million passengers, up +23% over 2013. Despite its rapid increase in capacity, this continued to be outstripped by growth in passenger demand.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline said it carried more than >74% of the 19.9 million passengers who traveled through Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2014. Adding passengers from (EHD)’s equity partners that operate into the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s capital, that figure rose to 82%.

The passenger and cargo figures surpassed (EHD)’s double-digit targets for both categories.

Etihad (EHD) added 10 destinations to its route network: Medina, Jaipur, Los Angeles, Zurich Perth, Rome, Yerevan, Phuket, San Francisco, and Dallas.

Expansion of its code share and equity partnerships, meanwhile, delivered more than >3.5 million passengers onto Etihad (EHD) flights, a +40% jump over 2013’s 2.5 million.

New code shares were launched with Air Europa (ARE), JetBlue (JBL), Philippine Airlines (PAL), (GOL) (GOT), (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines (CRY), and Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARG) (while Etihad (EHD) expanded its existing code shares with South African Airways (SAA), Alitalia (ALI), and Jet Airways (JPL)).

Cargo grew +17% to 568,648 tonnes. Etihad Cargo expanded its dedicated freighter services to several destinations, including Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Hanoi, and Moscow. A freighter service was also launched from Milan to Bogotá and from Bogotá to Amsterdam, following an agreement with Avianca Cargo.

(EHD)’s fleet comprised 110 airplanes as of December 31, 2014 (up +24% year-on-year), with an average age of 5.5 years. (EHD) took delivery of its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 in December.

(EHD) received an additional nine Airbus airplanes (two A330-200s, three A321s, three A320s and one A330-200F) and six Boeing airplanes (one 777-300ER, five 777-200LRs) in 2014, while also adding further leased capacity.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) began operations to Kolkata (CCU) on February 15th, its 11th destination in India (adding to its existing 121 weekly services to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chennai, and Thiruvananthapuram). The daily services from (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub are flown by its 140-seat A320s, with no direct competition.

Air Seychelles (ASY) has added Amman to its code share agreement with Etihad Airways (EHD). (ASY) will place its HM code on 14 weekly, (EHD) Abu Dhabi - Amman flights. Amman is the seventh code share city for (ASY) in the region, with (ASY) already placing its code on (EHD) services to Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Riyadh, Muscat, Bahrain and Kuwait. (ASY) also will add its code on 21x-weekly, (EHD) Mumbai - Abu Dhabi flights, connecting to Seychelles.

News Item A-3: Etihad Airways (EHD) has begun operations with its recently delivered Boeing 787-9. Its initial service, from Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf, took place February 2nd.

(EHD) is the first airline in the Middle East to operate the 787-9.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said, “The Boeing 787 will provide us with a clear reduction in operating costs and carbon emissions, at maximum reliability and efficiency.”

(EHD) has chosen to outfit its initial airplane in a three-class configuration, with eight First (F) Suites, 28 business (C) class and 199 economy (Y) seats.

It will begin taking delivery of two-cabin versions next year.

(EHD) has 71 787s on order, in a mix of 787-9 and 787-10 variants. It intends to deploy them on significant medium- and long-haul routes in the coming months, including Washington DC, Mumbai, Moscow, and Brisbane as the fleet builds up.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) has acquired 75% of Alitalia (ALI)’s "MilleMiglia" frequent flyer program (FFP), valued at €112.5 million/$129 million, marking its third loyalty scheme stake.

“The investment is part of the recapitalization and restructuring of Alitalia (ALI), which provides (ALI) with a sound financial platform for its future growth,” Alitalia (ALI) (CEO), Silvano Cassano said.

With this latest deal, Etihad (EHD) operates (FFP)s for seven carriers and has majority stakes in three (FFP)s beyond its own "Etihad Guest" program. These comprise airberlin (BER)’s "topbonus," (ALI)’s MilleMiglia, and Jet Airways’ "JetPrivilege" loyalty schemes.

(EHD) acquired 75% of MilleMiglia owner, (ALI) "Loyalty," through its Global Loyalty Company (GLC). (ALI) has retained the remaining 25% stake. (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said this marks “a fundamental part” of (EHD)’s investment in (ALI), giving (GLC) “true global scale and a critical mass of valuable, high-spending consumers.”

MilleMiglia has 4.6 million members, taking (EHD) to a total of 14 million members across its four loyalty programs (Etihad Guest, topbonus, JetPrivilege and MilleMiglia).

“The loyalty program sector is a faster growing and higher margin business than the airline industry. Importantly, this investment also ensures MilleMiglia’s members will benefit from exciting long-term plans to develop Global Loyalty Company into a broader, multi-partner loyalty program across the core markets of Italy, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” Hogan said.

(EHD)’s network of equity partners includes airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Alitalia (ALI), Etihad Regional operated by Darwin Airline, Jet Airways (JPL) and NIKI (NKI).

News Item A-5: (SITA) introduced its new automated passport control (APC) at Abu Dhabi International Airport. This new technology allows USA passengers to pre-clear USA Customs & Immigration using kiosks. (SITA) reports this will streamline border control processes and move passengers through securely in less than <60 seconds.

(SITA)’s "OnAir" celebrates 13 million users of its Mobile OnAir in-flight phone service in 2014. The service is offered on 15 airlines. Of the equipped airplanes, 37% of passengers are connected to the in-flight network. The onboard mobile network includes email, social media and Internet usage. Text messaging accounted for 31% of usage and phone calls made up 21%.

News Item A-6: Jet Airways (JPL) is planning to lease three A330-200Fs from equity partner Etihad Airways (EHD) ahead of its entry into the dedicated-freight market.

India's "Business Standard" newspaper said the A330-200Fs will allow (JPL) to take on rival Emirates (EAD) in the India - United Arab Emirates (UAE) cargo market.

(EHD) is currently leasing three 777-300ERs from (JPL) with a fourth due for delivery later this year.

March 2015: News Item A-1: See video "Nicole Kidman Movie Star Ad"

News Item A-2: American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL) joined with a number of unions March 4th to accuse the three major Gulf carriers of receiving government subsidies totaling more than >$40 billion.

Representatives of the USA airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Allied Pilots Association, and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants held a joint press conference in Washington DC as part of the USA carriers’ campaign against Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA).

The USA carriers claim the subsidies that the Gulf carriers receive from their government owners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar contravene fair competitive practices requirements of the "Open Skies" agreements that the USA has signed with Qatar and the (UAE).

The (CEO)s of (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) held behind-closed-doors meetings with White House and government officials earlier this year and showed them financial documents they say support their claims of large government subsidies.

Today, they made public those documents. They did not explain why the documents were not revealed earlier.

Among their allegations, the carriers say that Qatar Airways (QTA) benefits from billions of dollars in interest-free, unsecured loans from its state owner that it does not have to pay back. Etihad (EHD), they say, has received $6.3 billion in direct equity infusions plus $4.6 billion in interest-free loans. Emirates (EAD) removed $2.4 billion in 2014 oil hedging losses from its books, the USA carriers say, and has benefited from $2.3 billion in subsidies for Dubai airport expansions.

The USA carriers said the financial details came from statements that the carriers have to file with other countries where they operate, including New Zealand and Singapore.

The USA carriers also accuse their Gulf rivals of “skyrocketing capacity” at more than three times the growth rate of global (GDP) (+11% versus +3%) and of starting to penetrate the transatlantic market via fifth freedom routes such as New York - Milan - Dubai.

They have requested USA government officials not to allow any of the Gulf carriers to add new flights to the USA, while they discuss the situation and their allegations are considered. To date, they say, their case has been taken “very seriously” and being looked at “diligently” by the government officials with whom they have met.

In February, a group of Washington lobbyists and a FedEx Express (FED) executive said the campaign by the USA carriers was an effort to roll back "Open Skies" and keep out international competition.

The heads of Emirates Airline (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have strongly defended their airlines against allegations of large government subsidies leveled at them by the three big USA carriers (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Airlines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL)).

SEE ATTACHED "EHD-2015-03 - ETIHAD GROWTH-A/B" and reaction by USA's Delta (DAL), United (UAL), and American Airlines (AAL).

News Item A-3: "In "Open Skies" War Game, Gulf Carriers 3: USA Carriers 0," by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 5, 2015.

Today, after two years of “investigation” and a largely behind-closed-doors campaign (apart from the Delta (DAL) (CEO)’s unfortunate (CNN) TV interview), the three major USA carriers finally made public the document that allegedly proves their Gulf carrier rivals are operating only because of more than >$40 billion subsidies from their state owners.

Representatives of American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) held a press conference jointly with representatives of major airline unions to defend their campaign, provide an outline of the document, and insist that they are taking action not because they don’t believe in "Open Skies" (they love the other 112 USA agreements, they just don’t like those with the (UAE) and Qatar) or are against competition (“bring it on,” but it must be fair).

You can read the news summary of the press conference here, and responses from Emirates (EAD) President, Sir Tim Clark and Qatar (QTA) Group (CEO), Akbar Al Baker here.

But what was my quick take from this press conference? In my view, not a lot. It only raised more questions about the USA carrier (CEO)s’ true motivations behind this strange campaign.

First, any time that the three biggest international USA carriers join forces (backed solidly by their union groups) you have to wonder at the real story. Job protectionism is fine, but (like competition itself) must be done on a sound basis. I don’t see a case made.

Second, if the so-called “breakthrough” (their words) by the USA carrier investigation into Gulf carrier financials was the simple discovery that they could access the numbers via countries like New Zealand and Singapore, why did it take two years to compile a report? And, if the evidence is so damaging, why was this not made public much earlier, rather than shuffling secret documents around White House and government rooms? Unfair competition is a serious allegation: if you have the proof, show it and take it to Justice. The USA carrier reps were posed that question today by a reporter. Their reply: “We just didn’t.”

The third question relates to Chapter 11, a uniquely USA system that allows airlines in dire financial straits (for whatever reason) to hold off their creditors, wipe out debts and restructure. Outside the USA, Chapter 11 is seen as a subsidy. The USA carriers insisted today it was not a subsidy in the view of the USA. That’s irrelevant in a global market. It’s what counts as a subsidy in global eyes that matters.

The USA carriers also said today that Chapter 11 means you have to shrink your airline. So how come (AAL), fresh out of bankruptcy protection, is now the world’s largest carrier and investing heavily in new airplanes and products?

I’ll leave the last word for now to a response to the press conference from USA - (UAE) Business Council President, Danny Sebright. “Before claiming government support for international competitors, the Big 3 [USA carriers] may first want to check their own balance sheets. Since 2006, the Big 3 transferred billions of dollars of pension liabilities directly to Uncle Sam, while leaving creditors holding the bag for billions more, through multiple bankruptcies. They received billions in cash payments and guaranteed loans in a direct government bailout, while enjoying the advantages of antitrust immunity to fix transatlantic fares with their European partners,” Sebright said.

The USA airlines should “stop complaining and start competing,” he added.

Unless and until American (AAL), Delta (DAL), and United (UAL) have a more compelling case that is not so clearly about closing the competitive door after they got what they wanted via Chapter 11, I suggest that’s good advice. By my count, they are already several points behind in this game, and they now risk scoring home goals.

News Item A-4: "Etihad (CEO) Speaks Out on USA Airline Campaign Against Gulf Carriers" by (ATW) Editor, Karen Walker on March 17, 2015

Etihad Airways (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan has made his first public comments on the growing campaign by the three largest USA carriers against the three Gulf airlines they say operate on the basis of unfair government subsidies.

In a strong keynote address at the USA Chamber of Commerce Foundation 14th Annual Aviation Summit in Washington DC, James said this was the right time and the right forum “to clear the air.”

(AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) have joined forces in a campaign, supported by several USA union groups, to have "Open Skies" agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar reviewed. They say that (EHD), (EAD) and (QTA) breach "Open Skies" rules, because they are heavily subsidized and distort the competitive marketplace. In a white paper, the USA carriers accuse (EHD) alone of benefiting from $6.3 billion in state equity infusions and $4.6 billion in government interest-free loans.

Hogan countered those accusations, saying "Open Skies" has been “a model of success, generating enormous benefits for travelers and for airlines in the USA, the (UAE) and around the world.”

“As one of the newest national airlines anywhere in the world, we’ve had to create everything from scratch: every bit of product, every bit of our operations, every bit of our infrastructure,” he said.

“Etihad (EHD) is a David, a David who’s been facing Goliaths since 2003, when we started. In virtually every market we’ve entered, we’ve had to face existing competitors, with established businesses, established infrastructure, established sales and marketing, established brands, and established customer bases.

“To take them on, we’ve had to work harder and we’ve had to work smarter. That’s called competition.

Hogan said (EHD) had been helped by its geographic position, at the crossroads of today’s trade and travel routes. “We’ve been helped by our blank sheet of paper (no legacy systems, no legacy airplanes, no legacy mindsets),” he added.

As a national airline owned by its government, Hogan said, (EHD) was no different from scores of airlines around the world. The airline has always made clear it has received equity investment and shareholder loans, which have been supplemented by $10.5 billion in loans from international financial institutions. “Our shareholder believes in our business plan. They have increased their commitment as we have developed—they have invested in our success.”

Hogan did not directly address the $10.9 billion in subsidies that the USA white paper alleges. But he said "Open Skies" was about customer choice.

“Customers choose to fly Etihad Airways (EHD) because we offer a great product, with outstanding service, on the routes they want to fly, at prices that are competitive within those markets.

“They choose us against many different competitors, depending upon which market we are in. But quite honestly, it is very rare that USA carriers offer those alternatives. No USA carrier flies into Abu Dhabi. There are very few USA carriers operating to where we do in the Indian sub-continent, in Southeast Asia, or in the wider Middle East.

He ended by saying, “We make no apologies for offering new competitive choice for air travelers. We hope to continue to do so around the world.”

The furor over alleged Gulf carrier subsidies and "Open Skies" compliance got a thorough airing March 17th at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation 14th Annual Aviation Summit in Washington DC.

The debate was healthy and overdue. After too many behind-closed-doors meetings and secret reports, the summit (and all credit to chief organizer, Carol Hallett) finally provided a forum for all sides to state their cases.

Among those weighing in at the summit were Lufthansa Group (CEO) Carsten Spohr, Etihad Airways (EHD), James Hogan, Boeing Commercial Airplanes (TBC) (CEO), Ray Conner, United Airlines (UAL) (CEO), Jeff Smisek and American Airlines (AAL) (CEO), Doug Parker. Emirates (EAD)’s President, Tim Clark, meanwhile, addressed the issue via a briefing at the National Press Club in Washington.

What was interesting was how Smisek and Parker both seemed careful to focus much of their arguments on the Gulf governments rather than their state-owned airlines. Indeed, Parker said he was not challenging the motives of the Gulf carriers. He also acknowledged to reporters that (EHD) was a code share partner (a good one) and that he had a positive meeting with Hogan earlier this week. (For the record, Qatar (QTA) is a fellow member of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance with American (AAL), but no mention was made of meetings with Akbar Al Baker).

Smisek, similarly, said the Gulf carriers were “good airlines.”

That’s a lot more constructive than where the USA campaign has appeared previously, with direct and repeated digs at the airlines themselves, repeated mentions of their “sheik” rulers and, worst of all, (DAL) (CEO) Richard Anderson's remarks made on (CNN) TV News in February.

I asked Parker today if he felt those remarks by Anderson had been unhelpful to the campaign (Anderson was not at the summit or scheduled to participate). To his credit, Parker took the question and gave what I believe was his first public remark on the incident.
“I don’t agree with Mr Anderson’s remarks, but he apologized,” he said. “What I know is that (DAL), (UAL) and (AAL) all agree on the principles that we love to compete, but the playing field has to be level. And we are agreed that we want consultations.”

This issue will not be resolved soon. The much-touted "white paper" commissioned by the USA airlines and that alleges more than >$42 billion of government subsidies to their Gulf carriers, will be challenged. Some of its numbers seem to be based on old data and may prove irrelevant. The USA carriers still risk having counter-attack subsidy accusations made at them, and not all will be defensible. And, being newly profitable (as they deserve to be; there is nothing wrong with profitable airlines), US Congress is bound to question why USA carriers that survived because of Chapter 11 support and approved mergers, now want to shut out competition.

But at least this debate was a start on the more level playing field of openness and debate, and all sides had their say.

News Item A-5: "European Union (EU) Seeks Mandate for Talks with Gulf States Over Subsidies" by (ATW)'s Aaron Karp, March 18, 2015.

Citing “distortions in the market,” European Union (EU) Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc said she will seek a new mandate from (EU) countries to open talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia over “unfair subsidies to airlines.”

Bulc said the request for talks with Gulf states was initiated by France and Germany. She pointed to the study recently issued by major USA airlines, alleging more than >$40 billion in state aid to Gulf airlines over the last decade. “Gulf carriers compete with Europe’s airlines on international flights,” Bulc said. “The subsidies they receive, create distortions in the market, denting the competitiveness of (EU) and USA carriers, critics say. According to the [USA airlines’] study, Gulf airlines received interest-free loans, free land and low airport charges, among others.”

French Secretary of State for Transport, Alain Vidalies and German Transport Minister, Alexander Dobrindt said in a joint statement, “European airlines are losing market share against the Gulf companies because of their unfair competitive practices, and in particular because of the significant public subsidies and guarantees they enjoy.” The two ministers said they want the European Commission to develop a “common strategy on controlling foreign airlines’ operations with traffic rights in the (EU).” They said the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Austria support their position.

Bulc said the mandate she is seeking to “curb market-distorting state aid to airlines” could also extend to China, Brazil, and Turkey.

Emirates Airline (EAD) President, Tim Clark, speaking to reporters in Washington DC, said his company will issue a “line by line response” to the USA carriers’ report. “We will do it in a very methodical, clinical manner,” he said.

Responding to Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO), Carsten Spohr announcing his support for the USA airlines’ campaign against Gulf carriers, Clark said, “Once we have disproved the allegations against us, then let’s have a talk about who is saying what. We have been dealing with the question of subsidies for many, many years in the European area and other parts of the world, and we have successfully dealt with that.”

"FedEx: Don’t ‘Capitulate’ to USA Passenger Airlines on "Open Skies" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, March 19th, 2015.

FedEx Corporation (FED) is pushing back hard against major USA passenger airlines that, in the cargo giant’s view, are trying to get the USA government to alter "Open Skies" agreements with Middle East states that are integral to FedEx (FED)’s business.

American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) have accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar of providing more than >$40 billion in state “subsidies” to Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) over the past decade, and appear to want the USA government to limit those airlines’ access to the USA by revisiting "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and Qatar signed in 1999 and 2001, respectively. (EU) transport minister Violeta Bulc cited the USA airlines’ allegations when announcing she is seeking a new mandate from (EU) countries to open talks with the (UAE), Qatar and Saudi Arabia over “unfair subsidies to airlines.”

FedEx (FED), however, said "Open Skies" deals with Middle East states are crucial to its air cargo business and is urging the USA government not to “capitulate to the interests of a few carriers who stand ready to put their narrow, protectionist interests” ahead of the USA’s broader economic interests. (FED) is especially concerned about potential restrictions to its air cargo hub in Dubai.

Speaking to analysts, (FED) President & (CEO), David Bronczek said, “Our view is very simple. We believe in "Open Skies" and free trade, and we’ve been doing this for decades now. We base our whole business model on "Open Skies." We have a lot of business in the Middle East, a lot of business in Asia, and around the world. And of course for us, competing in an "Open Skies" environment is critical for us.”

In a letter recently sent to USA Secretary of State, John Kerry, Bronczek said, “Retrenchment in any way from "Open Skies" by the USA would jeopardize the economic growth benefits that air cargo provides. Retrenchment would result in higher fares and fewer options for flying passengers. Retrenchment benefits only a very few.”

Specifically, Bronczek said the "Open Skies" agreements the USA has with Middle East nations “are very valuable” to FedEx (FED), noting the Memphis-based express delivery operator’s Dubai hub was enabled by the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies" accord signed in 1999. “FedEx (FED) flights from the USA crisscross with our flights from India and Asia [at the Dubai hub] in order to move USA products into local markets,” he wrote. “This hub also acts as our gateway to Africa.”

Bronczek said (AAL), (UAL) and (DAL) “believe they have little to risk by limiting foreign carrier access to USA markets. What they want is for the USA government to protect them from competition from able, attractive new entrants.” He noted that “FedEx (FED) alone operates almost two-thirds more flights to the Middle East than all the USA passenger carriers combined. Modifications to [the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies"] agreement might spell the end of these opportunities.”

FedEx (FED) Founder, Chairman & (CEO), Frederick Smith told analysts this week that (FED) remains “very much in support of continuation of "Open Skies” and said the USA passenger carriers’ effort is part of a “very concerning trend” globally of “protectionism over the last several years.”

News Item A-6: Air Seychelles (ASY) recorded a net profit of +$3.2 million for 2014, up marginally from 2013’s figure of +$3 million. Revenue rose +20% to $106.9 million, up from +$88.7 million in the previous year.

The slowing of profit growth was a result of increased expenditure in growing the route network. New services to Paris, Mumbai, Dar-es-Salaam, and Antananarivo were launched in 2014, but the last three, in particular, got underway too late to have an appreciable effect on profit figures.

The Paris service, launched mid-year, is understood to be doing well, but new routes typically take 12 - 18 months to realize their potential.

During 2014, (ASK)s increased by +27% following the delivery of an Airbus A320, and two DHC-6-400 Twin Otters, to complement the Airbus A330-200, which flies long-haul routes to Paris and Hong Kong, via Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg.

Cargo tonnage for 2014 rose strongly +34% to 7,311 tonnes.

“The continued strengthening of the business is very pleasing and is a result of an effective management team, committed workforce, and a strong and trusted partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD),” said Joël Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs & Transport and Air Seychelles (ASY) Chairman.

Etihad (EHD) acquired a 40% stake in Air Seychelles (ASY) in 2012. Its involvement was followed by the implementation of a turnaround plan to reverse previous losses. “With further significant financial support from its shareholders, we hope Air Seychelles (ASY) can announce a further expansion of its network in its key markets as well as new markets in 2015, thereby increasing its economic contribution to Seychelles,” Morgan added.

“Our increased profit figure is the result of higher revenue, greater productivity and an ongoing focus on costs,” (CEO) Manoj Papa commented, adding that the competitive environment remained “challenging.”

“Our strategy is to use Seychelles’ unique position in the Indian Ocean to capture the strong travel flows between East Africa, the Western Indian Ocean, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Indian subcontinent. The strong growth in passenger numbers from Mumbai to other destinations on our network shows this approach is working.”

During the year, Air Seychelles (ASY) signed two new code share agreements (with Alitalia (ALI) to Rome and Venice, and Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) to Bangkok.

News Item A-7: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Linda Celestino as VP Guest Services. Most recently, Linda was General Manager In-flight Services & Product at Oman Air (OMR). She has also served as President of the New York-based Airline Passenger Experience Association.

News Item A-8: Direct Maintenance has begun providing line maintenance to Etihad Airways (EHD), supporting Airbus A330-200Fs at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. The Dutch Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) organization also held an (EASA) Part-66 approved module training session, including exams, at Nairobi, Kenya, in October and November 2014.

News Item A-9: Etihad Airways (EHD) has introduced its second Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner into commercial service, providing capital-to-capital service between Washington DC and Abu Dhabi.

777-35R (35158, A6-JAD), ex-(JPL) ex-(VT-JEP) in Jet Airways (JPL) colors.

April 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) increases 3x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Tehran A320 service to daily on April 15. (EHD) will add another daily, Abu Dhabi - New York (JFK) service on December 1 with Airbus A380 service.

News Item A-2: German aviation authorities are again questioning the continuation of code share routes for the upcoming winter schedule between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner, airberlin (BER). The affected routes are between Germany and Abu Dhabi.

(EHD) is (BER)’s biggest single shareholder and owns 29.21% in its Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partner.

Last October, German aviation authorities cleared the continuation of 34 code share operations of (BER) and (EHD) between Germany and Abu Dhabi. The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA) had previously denied the continuation of code share routes for the coming winter schedule, effective at the end of October.

The German federal aviation authority checks code share deals every time airlines submit winter and summer schedules for flights to and from Germany. Airberlin (BER) received permission for the summer schedule early this year, (CEO), Stefan Pichler said in March.

(BER) spokesperson Aage Duenhaupt said the next round of talks on traffic rights between the governments of Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may start by the end of April. (BER) hopes to find a general solution for a permanent code share agreement without the continued questioning.

Separately, Duenhaupt confirmed that (BER) is not looking for new investors, as reported in some German media outlets. There are also no plans to request additional financial help from Etihad (EHD), he said.

Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member, (BER) reported a third-quarter 2014 net profit of +€49.9 million/+$62.2 million, down -50.5% compared to a net profit of +€101 million in the year-ago period, as it continues cost-cutting measures.

(BER)’s preliminary operating result (EBIT) presented on March 26 stands at a loss of -€278.8 to -303.8 million in the 2014 fiscal year, narrowed from a loss of -€231.9 million year-over-year. (BER) said 2014 was dominated by high restructuring costs. Total revenue for 2014 was €4.16 billion (2013: €4.15 billion), up +0.3% from the previous year.

Airberlin (BER) (CEO), Stefan Pichler, who took the helm February 1 to move the company forward with its restructuring program, said the company should again achieve an operating profit in 2016.

News Item A-3: Etihad Airways (EHD) will continue to expand its cross-Atlantic routes between North America, the Middle East and the sub-Indian continent, but has no plans to fly between Europe and the USA, according to an (EHD) senior executive.

News Item A-4: Senior executives from two of the three major USA carriers involved in the growing dispute over alleged unfair competition from the Gulf carriers, said they are simply asking for government-to-government consultations on the USA "Open Skies" agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar.

Speaking as panelists at the (CAPA) Americas Aviation Summit in Las Vegas April 28, American Airlines (AAL) Senior VP Government affairs Will Ris and Delta Air Lines (DAL) Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, Ben Hirst said that both of the "Open Skies" agreements include a clause that allows either side to request government-to-government consultations for any reason related to the agreement. They said they want those consultations to happen soon, but are not against the Gulf carriers or against competition.

There was no representative from the USA third airline (United Airlines (UAL)) that joined (AAL) and (DAL) in commissioning a white paper report alleging that Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have received a total of more than >$40 billion in subsidies from their state owners, that contravene the “fair competition” conditions of the "Open Skies" agreements.

“This is not a campaign. From the (AAL) point of view, this is not about airlines at all. It’s about USA government trade policy. When you have an airline receiving massive amounts of government money and unfettered access to the USA, we should do something about that,” Ris said.

Hirst said (DAL) was being “foreclosed” from serving the India market because of Gulf carrier capacity there. “We are not serving those markets because of subsidized flow from the Gulf,” he said.

Etihad (EHD) General Counsel & Company Secretary, Jim Callaghan was the only panel representative from the Gulf carriers. He said he had seen the “exact same playbook” before, when he was formerly at Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair (RYR) and European majors “threw the kitchen sink at us.”

Callaghan said, “The three largest carriers not just in the USA but also in the world, and which also control the three clubs (the global alliances) that control 50% of the world’s traffic, are trying to shut the door on any competition or potential competition. That’s what’s going on here.”

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD) announced that Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) will approve its 33.3% investment in the Swiss regional carrier, Darwin Airline.

Since January 2014, Lugano-based Darwin Airline has operated as Etihad Regional under a brand and partnership agreement with Etihad Airways (EHD).

(FOCA)’s approval now enables the companies to leverage fully the benefits of their partnership, including code sharing on flights within and beyond Europe.

James Hogan, President & (CEO) of Etihad (EHD), said the investment was in line with the growing trend of consolidation in the airline industry, to ensure the continuation of viable, reliable and stable air services, and to maximize flight connectivity.

Hogan expressed disappointment that some opportunities for both carriers had been diminished or lost because of the length of the regulatory review process. “Because of the time taken to approve this partnership, and intense competition during this period, Etihad Regional has been forced to reduce or withdraw services on a number of routes, which were launched on the expectation that they would be supported by traffic flowing between the (EHD) global network and the Etihad Regional network in Europe,” Hogan said.

Etihad Regional axed its Lugano - Zurich, Zurich - Linz, Geneva - Toulouse and Geneva - Nice routes from the start of February. There will also be redundancies as a result of Darwin’s restructuring. Once formalities are completed to activate the investment, Etihad Regional will have much greater connectivity, not only with (EHD), but also with its other partners in Europe, including Alitalia (ALI), airberlin (BER), and Air Serbia (JAT),” Hogan said.

News Item A-6: Etihad Airways (EHD) equity partner, airberlin (BER) has resigned its membership of the Association of European Airlines (AEA), accusing the lobbying organization of taking a protectionist stance against the three major Gulf carriers.

The move by airberlin (BER), Germany's second-largest carrier, is the latest in the growing dispute over whether Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) are state-subsidized and represent unfair competition in the market place.

The dispute spread to Europe this year after three USA majors, American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL) began a campaign against the Gulf carriers last year. They commissioned a 55-page report that alleged (UAE)-based (EAD) and (EHD) and Qatar-based (QTA) have benefited from over >$40 billion in state subsidies. The USA carriers said this was a violation of USA "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and (QTA). The USA government has begun a review of the complaints.

* USA review of Gulf carriers should establish facts vs fancy:

International Airlines Group (IAG) carriers British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) withdrew their (AEA) membership at the end of March, also citing a lack of policy alignment. (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh has said he has “no issues” with the expansion of the Gulf airlines and that he admires them. Earlier this year, (QTA) became (IAG)’s largest single shareholder, with a stake of almost 10%.

Announcing airberlin (BER)'s move today, (CEO) Stefan Pichler accused (AEA) of “allowing itself to be driven by airlines which [are] desperately trying to erect a new wall around Europe.” He added that there are “increasingly obvious discrepancies” in the views of (AEA) members. “We see no future in a protectionist aviation policy in Europe,” he said.

(BER) said it will now actively promote its own initiatives in Brussels.

* European associations confirm tie-up talks:

(AEA)'s response to airberlin (BER)'s move was, "It is totally incorrect to portray (AEA) as a protectionist association that is creating a wall around Europe. None of the campaigns initiated by (AEA) on liberalization, external relations, or ownership and control have advocated protectionism.”

News Item A-7: Etihad Airways (EHD) is the 4th largest airline in the Middle East in terms of fleet size.

(EHD) one of the two flag carrier airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has a head office in Khalifa City, near Abu Dhabi City. (EHD) will operate a fleet of 122 airplanes in 2015. The fleet consists of Airbus A330-200s, Airbus A340-600s and Boeing 777-300ERs.

News Item A-8: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed (UAE) national, Othman Aleghfeli as Area Manager Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). His current position is Assistant General Manager for (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi Hub. In the new role, Othman will oversee (EHD)’s operations and driving growth in the (GCC). He will be the first (UAE) national to hold this position. He joined (EHD) in 2007.

May 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported a net profit of +$73 million for 2014, up +52.1% from the +$48 million reported for 2013.

(EHD) said the results were its fourth consecutive year of profit and its “strongest to date,” largely attributable to a +26.7% increase in total revenue driven by strong passenger and freight demand. Revenue for the year reached $7.6 billion, with growth in passenger traffic outstripping capacity increases.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: “Our shareholder has set a clear commercial mandate for this business and we continue to deliver against that mandate. Our focus is on sustainable profitability and our fourth year of net profits, at a time when we continue to invest in the new routes, new airplanes, new product and new infrastructure needed to compete effectively, shows we are serious about that goal.”

Passenger numbers in 2014 increased +22.3% year-over-year to 14.8 million, with (RPK)s up +23.6% to 68.6 billion. (ASK)s were up +21.8% to 86.6 billion, and load factor up +1.2% points to 79.2% LF. Cargo revenue was up +19.2% to $1.1 billion, with freight and mail volumes rising from 487,000 to 569,000 tonnes.

Hogan said that a key driver of (EHD)’s growth in 2014 was its partnership strategy, including minority equity investments in strategically important airlines, which generated revenues of $1.1 billion in 2014, an increase of +37.7% year-on-year, accounting for 24% of Etihad (EHD)’s total passenger revenues. (EHD) has equity stakes in Air Serbia (JAT), Alitalia (ALI), airberlin (BER), Air Seychelles (ASY), Aer Lingus (ARL), Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ), and Swiss-based Etihad Regional, operated by Darwin Airline.

Hogan said that, “although our growth continued strictly to plan in 2014, we are currently faced with unprecedented external challenges. Of particular concern has been the rise in aggressive protectionist sentiment in Europe and the USA, where both Etihad Airways (EHD) and its partner airlines are being targeted. These attempts to limit competition are detrimental to consumer choice. They threaten to damage the significant progress that our airline has made in offering improved travel connections, product and service standards, and value for money.”

A report just published by global consultancy Oxford Economics suggested that Etihad (EHD) will contribute $2.9 billion to the USA economy and support 23,400 American jobs in 2015. Commissioned by the airline, the report (“The economic impact of Etihad Airways (EHD) on the USA economy) projects that by 2020, (EHD)’s operating expenditure and capital investments in the USA will almost double, to support 46,200 American jobs and deliver $6.2 billion a year.

It says that, since 2004, (EHD) has introduced or ordered almost 120 Boeing airplanes at a current list price of $36.5 billion, and has also chosen USA suppliers for equipment ranging from cabin interiors to in-flight entertainment systems.

The report also pointed out that, in 2014, (EHD) delivered 182,000 connecting passengers onto USA airlines, a figure that is forecast to increase +65% to reach approximately 300,000 this year.

Etihad (EHD) VP International & Public Affairs, Vijay Poonoosamy said: “Put into perspective, that’s equivalent to five full Boeing 737-800 flights every day of the year.”

Oxford Economics valued the economic benefits of connectivity between the USA and destinations in the (EHD) network at $410 million this year, rising to an expected $850 million by 2020.

News Item A-2: The USA government is “taking very seriously” the request Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) and their labor groups have made that consultations begin with the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar on alleged subsidies for the airlines from those countries, a USA Department of State official said.

The government is doing its “due diligence” on the subsidy claims the USA carriers have made against Emirates Airline (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA), Tom Engle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs, said, speaking at the Phoenix International Aviation Symposium. The effort is an interagency affair, with State, Transportation & Commerce leading the investigation, with help from the USA Trade Representative and the Council of Economic Advisers, Engle said. He declined to describe a timeline for when the government will decide if it will proceed with consultations. Public comment is being solicited on a website, and the government will provide the opportunity for rebuttals before making a decision.

Consultations, or formal government-to-government talks, are provided for under the "Open Skies" treaties should one party have a grievance or dispute. At issue is whether the three Persian Gulf carriers receive subsidies that distort the market, making it difficult for USA carriers to compete for lucrative international traffic, particularly to South Asia.

Representatives from (DAL), (AAL) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) drove this point home forcefully at a panel discussion here, while also reiterating their support for "open skies" as a policy.

But at issue is that the three Gulf carriers are “instruments of government policy,” existing solely and subsidized to carry out Qatar’s and the (UAE)’s aims to flow passengers over their hubs in Doha, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, Ben Hirst, (DAL) Chief Legal Officer said. “We are concerned about USA policy that opens the doors of this huge market to entities that basically are arms of the state,” (AAL) Senior VP Government Affairs, Will Ris said.

John Byerly, the former State Department official who negotiated more than >70 "Open Skies" policies and is now a consultant to Emirates (EAD), rejected the USA airlines’ claim to support "Open Skies." Asking for Gulf carriers’ capacity to be frozen at the January 28 level until consultations play out, is an abrogation of the treaty. "Open Skies" liberalize the market. “They [the Gulf carriers] are beating [the USA airlines] in the market place,” Byerly said. “These USA airlines had a nice, comfortable little nest, with alliances and joint ventures (JV)s.”

The international aviation playing field has never been level; rather, it has always had “bumps and hills,” Byerly said. "Open Skies" allow the market to function as freely as it can in such a regulated industry, he said.

Video clip: The (MSNBC) news program looked at the Gulf carrier subsidies dispute:

News Item A-3: "New Etihad Airways (EHD)-Commissioned Report Dismisses Excess Capacity Claims" by Karen Walker, May 22, 2015.

The Gulf carriers have not put excess capacity into the market, according to a report commissioned by Etihad Airways (EHD), the second white paper it has published in the ongoing dispute between the major USA and Gulf carriers.

The "Edgeworth Report," commissioned by (EHD), dismisses what it says are “simplistic claims” in a report produced by Compass Lexecon. “The markets in which (EHD) operates have much higher average rates of economic growth than the global average, which in turn, drove a higher demand for air services. The Edgeworth Report also identified other considerations such as pent-up demand due to under-servicing by USA carriers,” (EHD) said on May 22nd.

Earlier in May, (EHD) released a report it commissioned, researched and compiled by "The Risk Advisory Group," as a direct counter to the USA carriers’ claim that the three Gulf carriers have received $42 billion of subsidies from their state owners, that contravene the terms of the "Open Skies" agreements between the USA, the (UAE) and (QTA). The (EHD)-commissioned report alleges (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) (and those they merged with through USA industry consolidation) have received some $71.5 billion in financial benefits over the past 15 years, mainly by being able to wipe out debt through Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

The Edgeworth Report also analyses (EHD)’s pricing on the routes on which the airline competes with the three USA carriers and their global alliance partners. It found that (EHD)’s prices are competitive.

The report says that the Compass Lexecon report is “fundamentally flawed” and “ignores key evidence” because it contains two unsupported assumptions: it treats as an accepted fact that (EHD), Emirates Airline (EAD), and Qatar Airways (QTA) have received subsidies; and it assumes the three USA carriers “own” traffic on existing routes and the Gulf carriers are only entitled to compete for traffic if they can prove they have stimulated this traffic.

The Compass Lexecon report also establishes no “causal link” between any alleged subsidies and any claimed harm to the USA airlines, (EHD) points out.

“The Compass Lexecon Report fails to establish any actual harm caused by the Gulf carriers to USA carriers, whereas the Edgeworth Report demonstrates that competition has led to overall market growth and increased consumer choice,” (EHD) says.

“The claims made by the three USA carriers that (EHD) and other Gulf carriers are damaging their business and taking ’their’ passengers, are not only false, but also arrogant. They do not ‘own’ these passengers, nor do they do have a right to them. At (EHD), we believe we must earn the business of our guests by offering the best value and product for their money, along with the most convenient service,” (EHD) Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, Kevin Knight said.

“We work with 48 airlines around the globe who take advantage of our strategic position in the Gulf to connect their passengers to the emerging markets of the Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Asia. We also feed our passengers onto the networks of our partner airlines, including the USA carriers, thus increasing the reach of our respective networks and increasing choice to consumers.”

(EHD) also confirmed today that it will file its full response with the USA government by the end of May, the deadline for comments to the departments of Commerce, State & Transportation which are conducting a review of the subsidy allegations.

The (CEO)s of (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) say they will go to Congress if the Obama administration does not act on their complaints about the three Gulf carriers being subsidized by their governments.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Abdulmohsen Al Sayegh as Air Seychelles (ASY) (CFO).

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD) plans to revamp services between Abu Dhabi and Singapore with an upgrade to three-class service from June, and the introduction of the Boeing 787-9 from August.

(EHD), which will add eight first-class (F) seats to current cabins, will also rearrange schedules to “offer guests in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore more convenient travel times and improved connectivity,” Etihad (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said. The Singapore - Abu Dhabi route is currently served by Airbus A330 airplanes.

(EHD) offers daily services between the two cities, but its June update and the addition of first class on the route will offer direct competition to Singapore Airlines (SIA)’s premium customers flying to the Gulf States, Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

The 787-9 airplane will offer 235 seats across the three-class configuration, and will complement (EHD)’s first 787-9 operations to Washington and Mumbai.

News Item A-6: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Philip Philippou as its new General Manager Greece. He joins (EHD) from Oleander Travel in the Netherlands. (EHD) has appointed Iwan Kip as General Manager Indonesia, based in Jakarta. He is formerly (EHD) Director Sales & Operations-Netherlands. (EHD) has also appointed Robert Douglas as General Manager for Kazakhstan, effective July 1. (EHD)
named Emirati national, Majed Al Marzouqi, as its new VP Corporate Safety & Quality, succeeding Paolo LaCava, who joined the management team of (EHD)’s strategic partner, Alitalia (ALI).

News Item A-7: Direct Maintenance and Etihad Airways (EHD) have further extended their teaming, with Direct providing line maintenance in Entebbe, Uganda.

News Item A-8: Etihad Airways (EHD) has chosen air transport Information Technology (IT) specialist, (SITA), for end-to-end baggage tracking services. Powered by (SITA)’s Air Transport Industry Cloud, (SITA)’s new BagJourney service gives (EHD) a cost-effective and accurate way to track passengers’ bags anywhere along their journey, from check-in to the destination airport.

(SITA) has sealed a five-year deal with Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide a full range of integrated airport solutions from July 2017. This includes (SITA)’s next generation airport management system, common-use passenger processing platform, automated boarding gates, flight information display systems and baggage management services.

A380-861 (176, A6-APC), ex-(F-WWAY) delivery.

June 2015: News Item A-1: Equity funding and shareholder loans received by Etihad Airways (EHD) from its Abu Dhabi government owner fully comply with the USA - (UAE) "Open Skies agreement," (EHD) said in submissions to a USA government review of alleged subsidies provided to the three major Gulf carriers.

The review, being conducted by the USA Departments of Commerce, State & Transportation, was triggered by a report commissioned by the three major USA carriers ((AAL), (DAL) and (UAL)) that documents what they claim are $42 billion in disallowed government subsidies to state-owned (EHD), (EAD) and (QTA). The USA airlines are requesting government-to-government consultations on the issue.

Deadline for submissions and comments to the USA review was May 31. In its submissions, (EHD) strongly refutes the USA carrier report allegations and says the equity funding and shareholder loans provided by Abu Dhabi, by way of investing in a successful business model, “fully comply with the USA - (UAE) Air Services Agreement and all other applicable rules.”

(EHD)’s submission also reiterates a report it commissioned in which it says the three USA carriers and those that they have merged with during industry consolidation and restructuring have gained more than >$70 billion in benefits from USA government authorities, and through legal processes such as Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, over the last 15 years.

In a letter supporting the airline’s formal submission, (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan, said, “(EHD) did not seek this fight; we focus on making money by providing world class, innovative, re-imagined and value-for-money product and services to our guests.”

(EHD)’s main points in its submission are that

* (EHD)’s conduct, and that of the (UAE) government, is fully consistent with the USA – (UAE) Air Services Agreement, applicable USA law and the governments’ respective treaty obligations;

* Government ownership is not an issue under the USA - (UAE) Air Services Agreement;

* Shareholder equity and loans are not subsidies;

* (EHD) does not charge artificially low fares;

* And that (EHD) causes no harm to the USA carriers, but provides them with significant commercial benefits in terms of connecting passengers onto their networks (an estimated 300,000 in 2015).

The submission says that (EHD), launched in 2003, had to invest heavily to compete effectively against its more established competitors. It says the Abu Dhabi government has invested $14.3 billion in (EHD), of which $9.1 billion was provided in equity funding and a further $5.2 billion was provided in shareholder loans.

“These commitments were made on the basis that (EHD) would operate commercially, deliver a long-term return on investment, repay shareholder loans and achieve sustainable profitability,” (EHD) said.

“(EHD) receives no government subsidies or sovereign guarantees and, contrary to the claims of some competitors, it does not receive free or discounted fuel or airport services in Abu Dhabi, its home and global hub.”

(EHD) also says it has raised more than >$11 billion in long-term funding through the global financial markets, including $3.7 billion debt funding raised in 2014. Approximately $5 billion of (EHD)’s borrowings have been repaid since 2003, including $800 million in 2014.

“Our story is one of an airline that has chosen to challenge the global status quo, bringing new competition to markets that have for too long been dominated by the major legacy airlines,” Hogan commented.

The submission also talks issue with the USA carriers’ claim that they collectively lost 5% points of their share in the Indian subcontinent market to the Gulf carriers.

“What they neglected to mention is that during the same period their passenger numbers actually grew by +18%. So while their collective market share actually went down by a relatively insignificant -4.4% points (not -5% points), their actual passenger volumes grew by over +18%, or over >250,000 passengers, including both economy (Y) and premium (C) classes. This passenger growth clearly demonstrates the power and effects of "Open Skies" and liberalized traffic rights,” the (EHD) submission said.

“The Big Three carriers affirmatively and voluntarily choose not to directly serve (EHD)’s key Middle East and Indian Subcontinent markets in a meaningful way. Instead, they are routing USA passengers through congested European hubs and on to their European alliance partners to serve certain destinations. Indeed, the Big Three carriers’ campaign is little more than a regulatory attempt to further cement their oligopoly, particularly on transatlantic markets.”

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) will add a fourth daily, Abu Dhabi - Bangkok Boeing 777-300ER service on July 1. (EHD) also begins daily, Abu Dhabi - Singapore Boeing 787 service on August 1. (EHD) began A320 Abu Dhabi - Entebbe 4x-weekly service.

June 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD), on June 15, commenced services to Hong Kong (HKG) from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) base. The daily service, which is actually flown by A330-200s from its partner airline Air Seychelles (ASY), will face no direct competition, however fellow (MEB3) carriers, Emirates (EAD) (thrice-daily) and Qatar Airways (QTA) (daily), will no doubt be fighting for global transit and transfer passengers. James Hogan, Etihad Airways (EHD)’s President & (CEO), said: “Demand for travel into and out of Greater China has never been stronger. The introduction of a daily frequency to Hong Kong, along with our popular services to Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai, will ensure that business and leisure travelers benefit from convenient timings and connections to suit their needs.”

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) ‘Perfect Flight’ Saves Time, Fuel & Emissions" by (ATW) Alan Dron, June 12, 2015.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has conducted the first in a series of “Perfect Flight” services designed to cut flight times, fuel burn and emissions. Perfect Flight refers to the combined use of both ground-based and in-flight techniques (such as taxiing on a single engine, use of sustainable fuels, unimpeded climb and descent profiles and optimized air traffic routings) to reduce block times.

A 2012 Perfect Flight by Air Canada (ACN) between Toronto and Mexico City cut total emissions by around -40% compared to a normal service.

(EHD) used a Boeing 787-9 for its service between its home base and Washington DC. At more than >11,000 km, this is one of the longest flights on the (EHD) network.

Particular techniques used on the flight, included reduced use of the auxiliary power unit (APU) and maximizing course and altitude opportunities to take advantage of prevailing meteorological and air traffic control (ATC) conditions.

The airplane reached its gate at Washington DC after a flight of 13 hours 32 minutes, eight minutes earlier than normal, having saved 4,100 liters of fuel and around 10,700 kg of carbon emissions.

News Item A-3: Air Seychelles (ASY) said it has completed the transfer of its first Airbus Industrie (EDS) jet airplane to the Seychellois civil aircraft register with A320-200 (1944, A6-EIA)) now (S7-AMI). The move marks the first such registration since Etihad Airways (EHD) acquired a 40% stake in (ASY) in 2012. The acquisition subsequently lead to the retirement of Air Seychelles (ASY)'s last remaining locally-registered 767-300 jets.

“This change will provide (ASY) with more opportunities for growth, for example, by opening up air access to destinations which require a Seychelles-registered airplane for charter and scheduled operations," Manoj Papa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of (ASY), said. “We look forward to transferring additional airplanes to the Seychelles register over the coming years, as we continue to grow and expand the airline, driving more tourism and growth in the Seychelles economy.”

Air Seychelles (ASY) wet-leases its wide bodies from (EHD) with its two A330-200s still registered in the (UAE) as (751, A6-EYY) and (807, A6-EYZ).

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) appointed Yarub Mohamed Obaidalla as its new General Manager for Oman. Yarub, an Emirati national, will lead the further development of (EHD)’s commercial strategy in Oman based in Muscat. He will also be responsible for further growing (EHD)’s relationships with its travel trade and corporate customers.

News Item A-5: "Abu Dhabi Partners Launch Sustainable Fuel Roadmap
by (ATW) Alan Dron, June 24, 2015.

An Abu Dhabi partnership (comprising Etihad Airways (EHD), Boeing (TBC), French oil company Total, Abu Dhabi oil refiner Takreer, and the emirate’s Masdar Institute of Science & Technology) has launched a joint industry road map to sustainably produce aviation bio-fuels in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The report, “BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability,” outlines industry actions to create a commercially viable domestic aviation bio-fuel industry.

The road map follows a year-long dialogue between the partners, together with (UAE) and global stakeholders. It sets out Abu Dhabi’s potential to produce aviation bio-fuel locally, in a sustainable way, taking account of all elements of the supply chain from feedstock supplies to bio-refining and distribution.

“The industry’s license to grow can only be granted if we find and implement ways to lower the carbon footprint of commercial aviation,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan noted.

Establishing a sustainable bio-fuel supply chain in the (UAE) was the next logical step in Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy commitments, he added.

The road map explores how a supply chain can be established in the (UAE) through the exploration of sustainable feed stocks, new infrastructure requirements and necessary policy frameworks. It indicates that Abu Dhabi holds significant potential to supply domestic feedstocks for use in aviation biofuel.

“The development of a bio-fuel supply chain complements our future plans to meet the rapidly growing demand for jet fuel, at both a local and regional level, and is in line with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company sustainability policy,” added Takreer (CEO), Jasem Ali Al Sayegh.

The action plan identifies opportunities, challenges and concerns in the commercial scale-up of domestic bio-fuel production and will require the commitment of all stakeholders in addressing these.

July 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) has launched a new daily service between Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh with Airbus A330-200s. (EHD) has also begun a daily, Abu Dhabi - Hong Kong service with A330s.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have signed a code share agreement. (EHD) will place its EY code on (PIA) flights between Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Abu Dhabi. (PIA)’s PK code will be placed on (EHD)’s flights between Abu Dhabi and Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. The code share begins July 27.

News Item A-3: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Experiences Record Guest Numbers During Eid-Al-Fitr" by, July 26, 2015.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has experienced one of the busiest travel periods in the history of the airline with 291,518 guests flying across its global network during Eid-Al-Fitr, an increase of +12% on the 260,641 guests flown in the same five day period in 2014.

The load factor out of Abu Dhabi during this period rose from 82.1% LF in 2014 to 82.3% in 2015, with a network-wide seat factor of 78.3%. (EHD) operated +83 more flights out of the hub than during Eid-Al-Fitr in 2014.

In anticipation of the demands that the peak summer period brings, (EHD) and its Abu Dhabi airport partners prepared and implemented a number of key initiatives at the hub to manage the busy flight schedule. These initiatives included amending the flight schedule to improve connectivity, the provision of complimentary coach and bus services, additional baggage allowances and Etihad Guest miles for early and off-peak check-in, as well as the deployment of +100 extra ground staff.

Captain Richard Hill, (EHD)'s Chief Operations Officer (COO), said: "We're pleased to have once again carried record numbers of guests and baggage across the (EHD) network during Eid-Al-Fitr, one of the busiest and most challenging periods in the year. Managing such significant traffic volumes in such a short period was the result of major advance planning and involved hundreds of (EHD)'s staff working around the clock to support the operation in Abu Dhabi and around the world."

>100 additional (EHD) staff members were temporarily recruited from across the organization to assist guests at check-in and at boarding gates, and cabin crew (CA) offered Iftar and Eid-Al-Fitr refreshments to those at check-in, security, and immigration.

Among the special initiatives aimed at improving the guest experience was an off-peak check-in at Abu Dhabi airport, with more than >3,100 guests taking advantage of the service which operated every day between 1:00 am and 6:00 am.

Guests checking-in during these off-peak periods received an (EHD) Guest voucher worth 2,500 miles, as well as 5 kg additional baggage, and a free one hour SkyPark parking pass to use during the process.

Many guests also accessed the Abu Dhabi City Terminal and the Al Ain facility to check in, receiving an additional 5 kg of checked baggage in the process. Guests checking-in at the Etihad Travel Mall in Dubai also received an additional baggage allowance. Many guests also used the complimentary coach and bus services from the three locations going to Abu Dhabi airport.

In advance of the summer season, the gate setups in Terminal 1 and 3 were redesigned to improve the boarding process. Additional seating was also installed at the gate to provide a more comfortable layout for guests.

To assist guests of (EHD) and its strategic partner, Jet Airways (JPL), traveling to India, a new jointly branded India check-in area was introduced a few months ago into Terminal 1 allowing for 24/7 check-in.

A permanent family check-in area has also been created in Terminal 3 and is available for guests of (EHD), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Air Serbia (JAT) and Air Seychelles (ASY), who are traveling with babies and infants.

News Item A-4: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Partner Airlines Select Starcom as New Global Media Agency" by, July 12, 2015.

Etihad Airways Partner (EAP) airlines Etihad Airways (EHD), Alitalia (ALI), airberlin (BER) and Jet Airways (JPL) have announced that Starcom, part of Starcom MediaVest Group, has won the contract to become the airline group's new global media agency, following a joint tender sent to several leading agency networks.

Starcom was selected by (EAP) to deliver scaled benefits by aligning media spending power across key markets and to provide added value and centralized strategic advice and planning to meet the unique commercial needs of the airline grouping.

Shane O'Hare, Etihad Airways (EHD)'s Senior VP Marketing, said: "Starcom demonstrated that they fully understand the emerging media scene which has digital media at its core. Their highly experienced team, resources, planning tools and buying clout in all the key (EAP) markets gave them a clear edge in the tender."

"The depth of the relationships within the (EAP) allows us to go even further with our joint media strategy alignment, and will allow Starcom to maximize returns on our collective investment and to ensure that each unique brand experience is brought to life with optimum exposure on a global scale."

The appointment of Starcom will allow the (EAP) to benefit from a superior knowledge and skill base within one agency to service all partners with market and industry insights and to provide access to leading edge global thinking and proprietary technology with consistency across all partners.

Starcom will service the (EAP) airlines in key hubs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, Italy, and India, with central coordination from their (EMEA) head office in London.

Matt Blackborn, President, Investment & Diversification at Starcom MediaVest Group, said: "We are the foremost innovators in the precision media space and very much welcome this exciting challenge of working with the Etihad Airways Partner airlines across all their communications platforms."

"This is a unique client brief and relationship as it brings together multiple brands from the same industry and is ground-breaking in the agency world."

"We look forward to servicing Etihad Airways Partners through a unified approach that integrates connections, content, data and technology."

Andre Rahn, Senior VP Marketing at airberlin (BER), said: "(BER) is looking forward to reaching a new level in our partnership and managing the future of media buying within the group. With Starcom's worldwide digital experience and our group's airline experience, we plan to be a step ahead in reaching potential customers with the right content at the right point."

Ariodante Valeri, Alitalia's (Chief Commercial Officer), said: "This new partnership kicks off at a very exciting time for Alitalia (ALI). We have just launched the new livery of Alitalia (ALI) airplanes, the new design of the cabins and new premium services for our guests. (ALI) is rapidly increasing its global reach with new long-haul services between Italy and China, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), areas of the world which are rapidly growing. In addition, the agreement with Starcom will bring significant synergies for the (EAP), and will allow us to have better access to traditional and digital media in all of our key markets."

Gaurang Shetty, Senior VP Commercial at Jet Airways (JPL) said: "Starcom showed their ability to add value to our media investments and demonstrated their thorough understanding of the evolving media scenario. Starcom's solution was backed with data, insights and relevance to the brand's core values. We look forward to partnering with Starcom to develop synergies along with other Eithad Airways Partner airlines."

News Item A-5: "Etihad (EHD) Says US$32,000 Flying Butler Ticket Is a Hit with Travelers" By Michael Sasso, "Bloomberg News" July 28, 2015.

Even at US$32,000, people are lining up to book Etihad Airways (EHD)'s three-room suite between Abu Dhabi and New York.

The "Residence," as (EHD) calls its over-the-top luxury offering, will be available on New York - Abu Dhabi flights in December, when (EHD) puts an Airbus A380 superjumbo on the route instead of a Boeing 777. The living room, private bathroom and two-person bedroom are separated from other passengers in the nose of the doubledecker jet's upper level.

A private butler, who comes standard with a Residence fare, took visitors on a replica of the suite at the Global Business Travel Association convention in Orlando, Florida, and noted that the shower is big enough for two people at a time. "We have experienced an overwhelmingly positive response to the Residence within the USA - - beyond our expectations, in fact," (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said. "We are seeing healthy forward bookings."

Etihad (EHD) spent six years developing the Residence and has deployed it on A380s on overseas routes, such as Abu Dhabi to London. New York will see the ultra-luxe offering starting on December 1. (EHD) sold its first New York Residence ticket within hours of announcing the switch to A380s in March. For the forseeable future, the suite will remain very exclusive airborne real estate.

The Residence is offered only on (EHD)'s A380s, and (EHD) has only ordered 10 of those from Airbus (EDS). There are no plans to offer the service in the USA outside of New York, Hogan said.

(EHD)'s Persian Gulf rivals are upping their luxury games as well. Emirates (EAD), the region's largest carrier, is developing a more-exclusive first-class offering featuring a bedroom concept. Qatar Airways (QTA) has its own double-bed cabin in the works.

The competitors' efforts won't require (EHD) to make any changes in the Residence, Hogan said. "There's nothing like it."

Selling the one Residence booking available on Abu Dhabi - New York flights would be a revenue haul equivalent of about 26 of (EHD)'s "economy saver" seats on that trip, based on prices from (EHD)'s website for December. The cheapest of those tickets lists for US$1,225.

787-9 (39648, A6-BLC), delivery.

August 2015: News Item A-1: Jet Airways (JPL) posted net profit of +$34.7 million in the first quarter of its 2016 financial year, reversed from net loss of -$39.5 million in the year-ago period. (JPL) said the continued improvement showed its three-year turnaround program with equity partner, Etihad Airways (EHD) was gaining momentum.

Revenue for the period was up +11% to $867 million. Passenger numbers rose +21.3% year-over-year to 6.29 million. Load factor was up +2.2 points at 82.4% LF.

News Item A-2: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Investment in Jet Airways (JPL) has Generated Benefits for Both Carriers" by (ATW) Anne Paylor, August 18, 2015.

Etihad Airways (EHD)’s strategic investment in India’s Jet Airways (JPL) is delivering “strong results for both airlines,” the two carriers said. Since (EHD) took a 24% stake in (JPL) in November 2013, improvements have been achieved in the areas of network growth, revenue enhancement, and operational plus cost rationalization.

The two airlines said they now offer more flights to and from India than any other airline, boasting a 21% share of the country’s international air travel market, and increasing from nine to 15 the number of direct routes between India and Abu Dhabi.

(JPL)’s Chairman, Naresh Goyal said: “Our strategic collaboration with (EHD) includes network integration, joint sales effort, sharing of resources, collaborated procurement, and knowledge transfer. All of these have enabled us to leverage cost advantages and economies of scale to the eventual benefit of our guests, as well as our employees. The benefits of our alliance with (EHD) will continue to emerge, highlighting the significance of this strategic relationship. We will continue to work toward building a stronger base for the future by taking decisions that are in the long term interest of all our shareholders.”

A code share partnership between the two airlines means the (JPL)'s 9W code is now included on (EHD) flights to 33 destinations, with (EHD)’s EY code included on 60 predominantly domestic (JPL) routes. In the first six months of 2015, (EHD) transferred more than >235,000 guests onto (JPL)’s network into India, with (JPL) transferring 182,000 guests onto the (EHD) network.

The airlines have also aligned their schedules between Abu Dhabi and India to improve flight connectivity between their networks.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: “Before our equity deal with (JPL), we had 2% of the international traffic out of India. Today, with Jet Airways (JPL), we have 21% of the market, and combined, we are the dominant carriers out of India. (JPL) is now our number one equity partner for revenue and passenger contribution on (EHD). India is now Abu Dhabi’s number one source market for international visitors.”

He said that as an active investor and a strategic partner, (EHD) had “provided fresh capital and financial stability for (JPL), assisted global network growth, increased flight connectivity, and delivered efficiencies through activities including joint procurement and resource sharing.” He acknowledged there are “still many challenges to tackle, but also exciting opportunities ahead. Our partnership strategy has provided value to (JPL) in excess of >$2.5 billion, and is delivering lower operating costs and greater efficiency for our two airlines, and contributing strongly to the Indian economy.”

(JPL) saw a sharp rise in (EHD) code share traffic, which rose +51% to 487,921 passengers.

Average airplane utilization grew to 12.7 hours compared to 11.4 hours in (Q1) (FY) 2015, which (JPL) said was among the highest utilization for Boeing 737s in the world. “Our performance in the first quarter of this financial year demonstrates once again that the measures we are taking to bring the business back to profitability are having the desired result,” Jet Airways (JPL) Chairman, Naresh Goyal said. “All the major key performance indicators have shown progress, as we continue to focus on customer satisfaction, network enhancement and improvement through efficiency.”

Other factors that contributed to the turnaround were reaping the synergies with partner carriers; implementing a consistent, full-service, single-brand strategy across its domestic operation; and focusing on premium traffic. “Despite the increasingly competitive domestic landscape driven by aggressive new market entrants, our market share in India went up by +1.1% to 21.9%,” (CEO) Cramer Ball said. “This means that one in every five domestic passengers flew on Jet Airways (JPL).”

(JPL) also recorded +12.4% growth in international passenger traffic during the first quarter. There was a +51% growth in overall code share traffic during the quarter, while code share traffic by strategic partner Etihad Airways (EHD) and its partner airlines grew +181%.

Ball cautioned: “The competitive and structural challenges in the Indian aviation market continue to put pressure on our yields and costs. In addressing these, we continue to focus on leveraging the commercial and operational synergies through our partnership with (EHD).”

(JPL)’s equity relationship with Etihad Airways (EHD) and its partner airlines also enabled it to make significant savings and synergies through areas such as through joint maintenance and ground handling facilities, cabin crew training and common procurement of aircraft, fuel and insurance.

Since (EHD)’s 24% investment in Jet Airways (JPL) was finalized in November 2013, the two carriers have increased the number of direct routes between India and Abu Dhabi from nine to 15, introduced wide body aircraft on key routes, and increased to multiple daily flights in some markets.

News Item A-3: Etihad Airways (EHD) is offering pilots (FC) seconded from its partner airlines the opportunity to transfer to permanent contracts. The pilot (FC) secondment program is part of (EHD)´s strategy for international expansion.

The secondment program began in April 2013, when the first seven airberlin (BER) Boeing 737-rated first officers (FC) arrived in Abu Dhabi to begin type-conversion training on Etihad (EHD)´s Boeing 777s.

To date, almost 200 partner airline pilots (FC) have become seconded to (EHD), including 52 pilots (FC) from airberlin, 41 from Alitalia (ALI), 63 from India’s Jet Airways (JPL), 25 from City Liner (Alitalia subsidiary), four from Darwin Airline, and six from Austria-based airberlin (BER) subsidiary, Niki (NKI). Twenty-one former airberlin (BER) pilots (FC) have transferred to permanent roles with (EHD), flying Airbus A380s and twenty-one former airberlin (BER) pilots (FC) have transferred to permanent roles with Etihad (EHD), flying Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s.

(EHD) has a strategy of taking equity stakes in its partner airlines and has formed its own alliance among most of them, Etihad Airways Partners, with loyalty perks similar to those of the major global alliances.

With (EHD)’s fleet expansion, pilots (FC) who can benefit from an accelerated career path through secondment. The average time-to-command at (EHD) is about three years, compared with 10 to 15 years at most legacy carriers.

“Time after time, we prove that our partnership strategy is truly a winning business model. Together with our partners, we are sharing resources, incorporating our fleet programs, aligning our staff expertise, and developing rewarding careers,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

As part of the pilot (FC) secondment program, (EHD) sends its own pilots (FC) on placements with partner airlines to expose them to new experiences and broaden their career opportunities. Currently, (EHD) has four of its pilots (FC) on secondment to Air Serbia (JAT), two to Air Seychelles (ASY), one to Jet Airways (JPL), one to Etihad Regional and one to Alitalia (ALI).

News Item A-4: Abu Dhabi International Airport received two million passengers in July, marking a new first for the airport, authorities said. The two millionth passenger arrived from Cairo on an Etihad Airways (EHD) flight on July 31.

Abu Dhabi, like its peers Dubai and Doha, has been building on its location to boost passenger traffic through its airport.

In addition, Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad (EHD) has also followed a policy of buying equity stakes in a number of carriers in key markets to further increase its hub traffic. (EHD) has stakes in India's Jet Airways (JPL), Italy's Alitalia (ALI), airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Aer Lingus (ARL), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Swiss-based, Darwin Airline.

Such efforts have led to a steady growth in passenger traffic at the Abu Dhabi airport, official figures show.

Passenger traffic through Abu Dhabi airport grew +17.2% in the first six months of this year. Visitor numbers rose to 11.11 million from 9.48 million in (H1) 2014 while airplane movements increased by +15% to reach 84,938. Cargo volumes rose +9.6% to 414,203 tonnes.

"More and more travelers are choosing Abu Dhabi as a final destination or transit point and this is supported by the increased flight connectivity available at the capital's airport," said Abu Dhabi Airports (CEO), Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei.

"We are investing considerable effort and resource in ensuring that the passenger experience at Abu Dhabi International Airport is always of the highest quality by increasing capacity and offering a broader range of services."

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD) and data software company, (PROS) signed a strategic agreement that will see (EHD) migrate its (PROS) Origin & Destination (O&D) revenue management solution to the cloud, to support its rapidly expanding business operations.

Chiel Worldwide has been selected by Etihad Airways (EHD) for its Cheil Network to handle its global digital and social marketing activities. The agency will also support (EHD) with performance-based marketing, analytics, and reporting.

September 2015: News Item A-1: Emirates (EAD) launched its 10th USA destination with the start of daily non-stop passenger service between Dubai (DXB) and Orlando (MCO) on September 1. A (VIP) delegation and a contingent of international media were on board the inaugural flight, which carried passengers from 29 different countries to Orlando. “Our new daily service will enable (EAD) to grow alongside Orlando, one of the world’s premier leisure destinations and a dynamic business center,” said (HRH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, (EAD) Chairman & (CEO). “The launch of this non-stop route will bring (EAD)’s unique product and award-winning service to passengers flying from Central Florida to our home in Dubai and beyond to more than >140 global destinations. Since 2004, (EAD) has carried more than >11 million passengers on its USA flights.” On the special occasion of its Orlando launch, (EAD) dispatched its flagship A380 to celebrate the milestone and meet demand for the first flight, however, regular scheduled service on the route will be offered on its 266-seat, 777-200LR airplane.

On the same day, (EAD) extended its reach into Iran by linking Dubai with Mashhad (MHD), the country’s second largest city, adding a second passenger gateway into the country after Tehran. (EAD) will fly 5x-weekly flights, operated by a combination of three- and two-class configured A330-200s. (EAD) commenced services to Iran in 1990 with twice-weekly flights to Tehran. It now operates 4x-daily flights to the capital city. Since then, (EAD) has carried 7 million passengers in and out of Iran.

While the route to the USA faces no direct competition, its in-house (LCC) flydubai (FDB) already operates to Mashhad on a daily basis.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has expanded its code share agreement with Belavia Belarusian Airlines (BLV). Etihad (EHD) has placed its (EY) code on Belavia (BLV)’s daily, Abu Dhabi - Kiev service via Minsk.

News Item A-2: The Etihad group of partners has raised $500 million on the international markets through a new funding vehicle, "EA Partners (IBV)." The partners include Etihad Airways (EHD), Etihad Airport Services, airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Alitalia (ALI), and Jet Airways (JPL).

The funds will be used largely for capital expenditure, fleet investment and refinancing as necessary. Etihad Airways (EHD), Etihad Airport Services, airberlin (BER) and Alitalia (ALI) will receive 20% each, with 16% going to Jet Airways (JPL); and the remainder to Air Serbia (JAT) and Air Seychelles (ASY).

The Etihad partners staged a series of roadshow meetings in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and London to highlight for financial institutions the growing network coordination, revenue development initiatives, and joint procurement and business synergy projects across the airlines.

Etihad (EHD) resident & (CEO), James Hogan said: “A key element of our equity partner strategy is creating a total which is greater than the sum of its parts, a grouping which can work together to improve revenues, reduce costs and uncover exciting new business synergies. We have already been able to identify significant opportunities together, whether that be in shared Information Technology (IT) platforms, joint fleet procurement or shared training costs. Commercial fund-raising is no different. Our proposed transaction is simply the next logical step in our growing partnership and underpins its strategic importance.”

The transaction marks the first time that Etihad Airways (EHD) and its equity partners have raised funds together, although Etihad Airways (EHD) alone has already raised in excess of >$11 billion from more than >80 financial institutions to help fund its expansion strategy.

Goldman Sachs International, (ADS) Securities and Anoa Capital are the joint lead book-running managers for the bond issue.

News Item A-3: "Etihad Raises Additional +$200 Million for Group Partners" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, September 18, 2015.

Etihad Airways (EHD) and its equity partner airlines have raised an additional +$200 million following a surge in demand from international financial institutions, bringing the total funds raised to $700 million.

Earlier this week, the Etihad group of partners raised $500 million on the international markets through a new funding vehicle, (EA) Partners (IBV). The partners include Etihad Airways (EHD), Etihad Airport Services, airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Alitalia (ALI), and Jet Airways (JPL).

The funds, which will be split across the seven businesses, will be used for a mixture of capital expenditures and investment in fleet, as well as for refinancing, depending on each airline’s individual needs. Etihad Airways (EHD), Etihad Airport Services, airberlin (BER) and Alitalia (ALI) will receive 20%, with 16% to Jet Airways (JPL); and the remainder to Air Serbia (JAT) and Air Seychelles (ASY).

“The initial success of this transaction was a clear endorsement of the shared vision and strategies of these businesses. The additional demand we have seen over the past 24 hours has been enough for us to re-open the transaction,” Etihad (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) appointed three United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals to executive positions. Hareb Al Muhairy becomes Senior VP Corporate & International affairs; Mohammed Al Bulooki joins (EHD) from Abu Dhabi Airports Company to become VP (UAE) Commercial; and Haitham Al Subaihi becomes VP (UAE) Sales.

(EHD) hired Lindsay White to the new position of VP Australia & Asia Pacific. White is formerly (EHD) VP Asia Pacific South & Australasia. He has also held senior management positions at British Airways (BAB) and Gulf Air (GUL) as General Manager Malaysia & Brunei.

(EHD) has appointed Sajida Ismail as VP Service & Hospitality to lead service design and development of the hospitality culture across all areas of the business. She moves to the new role from her previous position as (EHD)’s Head of Product & Service Standards.

News Item A-5: Technology specialist (WIN) is expanding its e-booking system to connect independent forwarders to 16 airlines. (WIN) already connects to over 90 airlines for electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB). The carriers available for e-bookings include British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Etihad Airways (EHD), (SAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Jet Airways (JPL), Swiss (CSR), American Airlines (AAL), Air France (AFA), Finnair (FIN), Korean Air (KAL), (KLM), Lufthansa (DLH), United Airlines (UAL), Emirates (EAD), and Gulf Air (GUL). The all-in-one tool includes the ability for customers to look up flight schedules, create and manage bookings in real-time, transmit (e-AWB) data, and receive full (e-AWB) tracking automatically.

News Item A-6: See photo - "EHD-2015-09 - TOP 10 2015.jpg."

A321-231 (6760, A6-AEH), ex-(D-AYAQ) delivery.

October 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) plans to use a new Airbus A380 to replace the Boeing 777-300ER on its 2x-daily, Abu Dhabi - Melbourne service from June 2016.

(EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said the service will boost capacity by +2,370 seats from 9,120 seats a week.

“Demand for our second daily service is already exceeding our expectations. Deploying the 496-seat A380 [to Melbourne] will enable us to accelerate our growth . . . particularly in business (C) class,” he said.

The move will also allow passengers to fly the A380 through from onward destinations such as London and the recently announced New York (JFK) A380 service, due to start in December 2015.

(EHD) said it will offer a four-class service on the aircraft, including two in the (VIP) Residence studio, nine first (F) class, 70 business (C) studio, and 417 economy (Y) seats.

“Melbourne is an important point on our global network, and our Abu Dhabi - Melbourne services continue to generate very high seat load factors on a year-round basis,” Hogan said.

(EHD) took delivery of its first Airbus A380 in December 2014, and flew its first Australian destination to Sydney in June 2015. It is scheduled to take four more of the aircraft by the end of 2015, with five more over the coming two years.

(EHD) said it will expand use of the A380 on routes where it can offer additional seats on proven routes; ones that also evidence a demand for high capacity; and for first (F) and business (C) class seats.

News Item A-2: German aviation authorities are again questioning the continuation of code share routes for the upcoming winter schedule beginning October 25 between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its strategic equity partner, airberlin (BER).

News Item A-3: A German court has granted Etihad Airways (EHD) temporary permission to continue operating all code share flights with airberlin (BER) to destinations in Europe, the USA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

(EHD), which welcomed the ruling, had applied for the injunction after waiting since April for approval on the code share flights. (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in German carrier airberlin (BER), which is one of (EHD)'s partner carriers.

The injunction, which is valid until November 8, provides an opportunity for the parties to resolve outstanding differences through ongoing consultation between the governments of the (UAE) and the Federal Republic of Germany, (EHD) said. Both carriers will continue to honor all flights and passenger travel arrangements will remain entirely unaffected.

(EHD) said it was forced to take legal action because code share services still were not approved on airberlin (BER) services planned for the (IATA) winter 2015 - 2016 schedule, which begins October 25 and runs through March 30, 2016.

Etihad (EHD) said it also wanted to “protect (BER)’s 8,000 employees and provide passengers who have booked more than >82,000 journeys with clarity and confidence.”

Authorities have been questioning the code share routes since April.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: “The failure by the German government to approve the code shares in time, would severely, and possibly terminally, damage airberlin (BER), Germany’s second-largest airline, of which (EHD) owns 29.2%. The code share routes in question, including flights to our hub in Abu Dhabi, were among 65 previously approved by Germany’s Civil Aviation Authority, the (LBA), and a key reason that we invested in (BER).

“Since 2012, our code share partnership has enabled more than 2 million passengers to connect between the networks of both airlines, and contributed 252 million euros to (BER)’s earnings. Etihad Airways (EHD) has delivered 1,365,487 passengers to airberlin (BER), while (BER) connected 645,157 passengers onto flights operated by (EHD),” Hogan said.

News Item A-4: "Etihad - airberlin Code Share Extended Until January 15, 2016" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, October 27, 2015.

A German court that granted Etihad Airways (EHD) temporary permission to continue operating all code share flights with airberlin (BER) through November 8, has extended the approval until January 15, 2016. The German Ministry of Transport said the final temporary injunction should give both carriers time to find a solution to replace the code share agreement and avoid problems for passengers.

“We are in ongoing negotiations, and so far we can only say that this code share agreement is absolutely important for the economic performance of airberlin (BER).” The spokesperson added the carriers applied for 65 code share routes and “more than half of them are code share routes that are not covered by the Air Transport Agreement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Germany, meaning these routes are not approvable. This is a situation that also worries our employees,” the spokesperson added.

Etihad (EHD) applied for, and won, the injunction after waiting since April for approval on the code share flights. (EHD) owns a 29.2% stake in German carrier airberlin (BER), which is one of (EHD)’s "partner" carriers.

(EHD) said it was forced to take legal action because code share services still were not approved on airberlin (BER) services, planned for the (IATA) winter 2015 to 2016 schedule, which began October 25 and runs through March 30, 2016.

Etihad (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: "Since 2012, our code share partnership has enabled more than >2 million passengers to connect between the networks of both airlines, and contributed 252 million euros to airberlin (BER)’s earnings. (EHD) has delivered 1,365,487 passengers to (BER), while (BER) connected 645,157 passengers onto flights operated by (EHD).”

November 2015: News Item A-1: "Australia may reauthorize Virgin Australia - Etihad Airways Tie-up" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, November 2, 2015.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking feedback on its tentative decision to re-authorize Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Etihad Airways (EHD)’s commercial cooperation.

In its “draft determination,” released on October 30, the (ACCC) proposed the partners should be allowed to continue joint pricing and scheduling between Australia and the Middle East for a further five years.

Interested parties have until November 16 to submit comments to the regulator, which will then make a final decision. The (ACCC) last authorized the partnership on February 3, 2011, and this latest clearance is needed for it to continue beyond February 25, 2016.

Etihad Airways (EHD) welcomed the provisional ruling, which would allow it to continue code sharing with Virgin Australia (VOZ) on Australia - Abu Dhabi, a route the (ACCC) said would not be viable for (VOZ) without the partnership and its onward connections.

The two airlines code share to 39 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan (and to 52 destinations in Australia and Asia). “Our intention over the next five years is to expand our global reach and to enhance the guest experience for our shared customers,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

(EHD) holds a 24.2% equity stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ) Holdings.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) begins Abu Dhabi - Mumbai Airbus A380 service on May 1. The service will be operated daily and will use the 9W code of (EHD)'s partner airline, Jet Airways (JPL).

(EHD)’s A380s seat 496 passengers with 9F First Apartments, 70C Business Studios and 415Y Economy Smart Seats, along with its three-room suite, "The Residence by Etihad." The A380 replaces the Boeing 777-300ER on this service with an increase in capacity of 50%.

The Mumbai route joins other new cities for (EHD)’s A380 with London, New York, Sydney, and, from June 2016, Melbourne.

(EHD) has a 24% stake in Jet Airways (JPL) and the two carriers boast a 21% share of India’s international travel market.

News Item A-3: "Mid-East Partners Consider European Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Base" by (ATW) Alan Dron, November 10, 2015.

Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, Mubadala, and Etihad Airways (EHD) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore further areas of cooperation, including a possible European (MRO) facility.

The agreement, signed at the Dubai Air Show by Mubadala (CEO) Aerospace & Engineering Services, Homaid Al Shemmari and Etihad Airways (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan, covers several new contracts valued at up to $1 billion over the coming decade.

Under the (MOU), (EHD) will appoint Mubadala subsidiary, SR Technics (SWS) as its preferred service provider on commercially competitive terms.

Mubadala and (EHD) are also considering establishing a narrow body airliner (MRO) facility in Eastern Europe. Discussions are understood to be in progress with interested parties. “We are delighted to sign this mutually beneficial strategic agreement that will deepen our partnership with (EHD) and continue our mission to support Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi companies, to become global aerospace leaders,” Al Shemmari said.

“The strong partnership between Etihad Airways (EHD) and Mubadala is a key strategic driver in the development of Abu Dhabi as a global aviation hub,” added Hogan. “Building on the success of our collaboration to date will give us the scale to expand the range of services we jointly offer, and help keep our respective organizations at the forefront of the global aviation and aerospace industries.”

News Item A-4: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Seeks to Reduce Fog Disruption at Abu Dhabi" by (ATW) Alan Dron, November 23, 2015.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has signed a research agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute of Science & Technology to develop a fog prediction and monitoring system at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai International Airport can suffer from dense coastal fog, especially in late autumn and early spring. With the volumes of traffic passing through both hubs, even a brief shutdown can result in many thousands of passengers being delayed or diverted.

The new fog prediction and monitoring system aims to provide (EHD)’s operations staff with accurate fog formation and dispersion forecasts around Abu Dhabi that will incorporate satellites to detect and track fog in the area. “Following on from the very challenging fog season of winter 2014/2015, we made a firm commitment to take our contingency planning to another level that supported the growth of our airline and the airport,” (EHD) Senior VP Network Operations, Chris Youlten said.

“We pride ourselves of being one step ahead of the game, but we needed assistance in developing a more scientific approach to our readiness for fog. Meteorological forecasting allows for a proactive approach, but even when we are working to a time frame of fog, we can’t see it coming until it is in our midst. Everyone will benefit from this innovative project, including our guests, our principal partner, Abu Dhabi Airports, and the whole airport community.”

The Masdar Institute has recently launched an environmental regional observatory to monitor coastal processes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and wider Gulf region, whose work includes providing five-day weather forecasts that are updated hourly.

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD) has exercised two options for Boeing 777F freighters, (EHD) announced at the Dubai Air Show.

The decision to exercise the options, which were part of Etihad Airways’ $67 billion order for 199 airplanes at the 2013 Dubai show, was unveiled on the opening day of this year’s event.

The additional airplanes, valued at $637 million at list prices, are due for delivery next year. They will be part of Etihad Cargo, which currently operates three Boeing 777Fs, three Boeing 747s and four Airbus A330s.

Etihad Cargo serves 11 freighter-only destinations worldwide from its Abu Dhabi hub and also has underfloor cargo capacity on Etihad (EHD)’s fleet of 109 passenger airplanes.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said the decision to exercise the two options demonstrated (EHD)’s confidence and commitment to both Boeing (TBC) and the global freight market.

News Item A-6: Etihad Airways (EHD) began Airbus A380 Abu Dhabi - New York (JFK) service on November 24, its first USA A380 destination. (EHD) has 2x-daily service on the route, one flown with the A380 and the other operated with a Boeing 777-300ER.

The (EHD) A380 offers different service level options, including "The Residence by Etihad," which is located on the forward upper deck. The three-room suite features a living room with a 32-inch (LCD) monitor, bedroom with a double bed, separate en-suite shower room and a dedicated butler. The revolutionary cabin also comes with a private chef to prepare custom orders. The Residence on Abu Dhabi - New York is $32,000 one way for single or double occupancy.

(EHD) also offers nine First Apartments in first (F) class offering private areas with reclining leather lounge chair and ottoman, which opens up to become a separate 80.5-inch long flat bed. Each Apartment features a 24-inch flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, personal vanity unit and wardrobe. A fully equipped shower room is available for the exclusive use of first (F) class guests.

Also, 70 business (C) studios, in a 1-2-1 configuration, are located on the upper deck of the A380 with a flat bed up to 80.5 inches long.

The main deck seats 415Y in economy.

In addition to (JFK), Etihad (EHD)'s fleet of A380s serve London Heathrow and Sydney with service to Mumbai (May 1) and Melbourne (June 1). (EHD)’s A380 fleet will grow to a total of 10 aircraft.

December 2015: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) started its ninth direct service into Africa on December 1 with the commencement of daily flights to Dar es Salaam (DAR) from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub. The 3,858 km route will be flown by the (MEB3) carrier’s 140-seat A320 fleet and will encounter no direct competition. (EHD)’s other routes into the continent include Johannesburg, Entebbe, Mahé, Nairobi, Lagos, Casablansa, Cairo, and Khartoum.

News Item A-2: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Named 2016 (ATW) "Airline of the Year" December 3, 2015

Etihad Airways (EHYD) has been selected as the "2016 Air Transport World Airline of the Year," it was announced at a reception in New York on December 3.

(ATW) editors selected the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from a field of more than >100 global competitors.

The 2016 Airline of the Year award was announced during a reception hosted in New York by (EHD) and its President & (CEO), James Hogan. The award will be presented as the top honor at the 42nd annual (ATW) Airline Industry Achievement Awards, to be held at a gala dinner on the eve of the Singapore Air Show on February 15, 2016.

The (ATW) Airline Industry Achievement Awards recognize excellence across a broad range of airline operations and are widely considered as the most coveted in the aviation industry. To win (ATW)’s Airline of the Year award, an airline must demonstrate exceptional achievements and capabilities across operations, financial performance, customer service, safety, and labor relations. Its executive leadership must also clearly show innovation and strategic thinking that sets the company apart.

(EHD) was selected by (ATW)’s editorial board for fast but thoughtful growth, consistently delivering against its targets and always thinking ahead. The airline was also applauded for its unique partnership strategy that is paying dividends; a willingness to be bold in equity tie-ups; its unique Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 cabin products that include "The Residence" on board apartment; and its strategy of developing ground-breaking strategic contracts with suppliers.

(ATW) also noted Etihad Airways (EHD)’s consistently diplomatic, dignified and assured response to the industry controversy on the Gulf carriers, demonstrating industry leadership beyond the company mandate. “In everything it does, (EHD) shows there is a different way and a way to differentiate. I sincerely congratulate James and his team on their most deserving accolade,” (ATW) Editor-in-Chief, Karen Walker said.

“(EHD) is not about being the biggest (it is about being the best). It has been a long road to success but we have shown it is possible to change the aviation landscape. I thank (ATW) for this award, the most highly-regarded in our industry,” (EHD)’s Hogan said.

Previous recent recipients of the the (ATW) Airline of the Year award include Southwest Airlines (SWA) (2015); Delta Air Lines (DAL) (2014); (ANA) (2013); Air New Zealand (ANZ) (2012); and Emirates (EAD) (2011).

News Item A-3: "Australia Reauthorizes Virgin Australia (VOZ) - Etihad Airways (EHD) Alliance" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, December 7, 2015.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reauthorized the commercial cooperation between Etihad Airways (EHD) and Virgin Australia (VOZ) for a further five years.

This final clearance builds on a tentative approval, which the (ACCC) released for consultation on October 30. It grants the two airlines antitrust authority, covering joint pricing and scheduling between Australia, the Middle East and beyond, although it does not extend to revenue sharing.

In its ruling, the (ACCC) said the partnership is in the public benefit, as it promotes competition and better products on the routes. “The (ACCC) accepts that (VOZ) would not operate services to Abu Dhabi if this partnership with (EHD) did not exist. (VOZ) could not offer a viable service on the route without offering the connections available on (EHD)’s network within the alliance,” (ACCC) Chairman, Rod Sims said.

The (ACCC) last authorized the partnership on February 3, 2011, and the clearance was needed for it to continue beyond February 25, 2016. This latest approval runs until December 30, 2020.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 25.1% equity stake in Virgin Australia Holdings, which it has gradually built up over the past few years.
“Over the next five years, our focus will be on new areas of commercial cooperation with Virgin Australia (VOZ) and opportunities for increased public benefit,” Etihad Airways (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

(EHD) and (VOZ) offer code share services to 38 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan (and to 52 destinations in Australia and Asia). They also cooperate extensively on sales & marketing, purchasing & procurement, flight & cabin crew secondments, and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

News Item A-4: SkyTeam (STM) alliance partners Delta Air Lines (DAL) and (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines are launching a new code share program with Jet Airways (JPL), the Indian airline that is 24% owned by Gulf carrier Etihad Airways (EHD).

News Item A-5: "German Court Rules Against Some Etihad (EHD) - Airberlin (BER) Code Shares" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, December 30, 2015.

A German court has ruled that Etihad Airways (EHD) must cease its code share on 29 routes operated by partner airline, airberlin (BER), Germany’s second-largest carrier.

The decision, which takes effect January 16 through the end of the current (IATA) winter schedule ending March 30, 2016, was denounced by (EHD), which said it would file an appeal next week.

(EHD), which owns a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER), is still permitted to put its code on 50 other (BER) routes. But the court’s December 30 announcement means that a temporary injunction granted in November, permitting the two airlines to continue all their code share flights through January 15, 2016, ceases the next day.

According to the court ruling, code share requirements for the affected routes have not been fulfilled because they are not part of the air traffic rights agreement between Germany and the (UAE).
“Etihad Airways (EHD) is deeply disappointed by the German court’s decision handed down today,” (EHD) said. “The social and economic damage to Germany by this decision is significant. The withdrawal of approval for code share services on 29 routes materially reduces competition and consumer choice within and beyond Germany and causes inconvenience to passengers.”

(EHD) said it would continue to honor all booked itineraries.

Airberlin (BER) also emphasized that all previously booked code share flights would operate as planned. “We continue to stand for competition in Germany and a better product offering for our customers,” (BER) said.

(BER) flies to 138 destinations and carried more than >31.7 million passengers in 2014. It is also a Oneworld (ONW) global alliance member.

News Item A-6: Etihad Airways (EHD) has appointed Remco Althuis as VP Europe. (EHD) also appointed three (UAE) nationals to key executive roles: Salah Alfarajalla as Senior VP Security & National Pilot Development; Ghudayer Al Dhaheri as VP Corporate Security, and Sultan Mohamed Al Mahmoud as VP Corporate Strategy.

News Item A-7: Etihad Airways (EHD) will introduce five additional Boeing 787-9 routes to Düsseldorf, Perth, Shanghai Pudong, Istanbul Ataturk, and Johannesburg from May 2016.

The five new 299-seat 787-9s will be delivered over a seven-month period, beginning May 2016, and will be deployed as replacements for existing airplanes on daily scheduled services.

(EHD) operates five 787-9s serving Brisbane, Washington, Singapore, and Zurich from Abu Dhabi. (EAD) has a further 66 787s scheduled to be delivered over the next few years.

“Since introducing our first 787 into commercial service in February, we have enjoyed excellent feedback from guests of our ground-breaking cabin interiors that have set a benchmark for high service levels in the region and across the world,” President & (CEO), James Hogan said.

(EHD)’s newest 787-9 features 28C business studios and 271Y economy smart seats. In 2014, (EHD) carried 14.8 million passengers. (EHD) has a fleet of 120 Airbus and Boeing airplanes, and approximately 200 airplanes on firm order, including 66 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and five Airbus A380s.

News Item A-8: "Etihad Airways Partners with Cognizant to Reimagine Digital Guest Experience Across the Group, December 14, 2015.

Etihad Airways (EHD), the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and "Cognizant," a leading provider of information technology (IT), consulting, and business process outsourcing services, today announced a strategic agreement to drive digital transformation across (EHD) and its equity partners.

January 2016: News Item A-1: "Etihad Airways (EHD) Appeals German Court Ruling Against airberlin (BER) Code Shares" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, January 4, 2016.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has appealed a German court’s decision revoking the approval of 29 of its code share flights with airberlin (BER). The notice of appeal was filed January 4 in the higher administrative court in Germany’s Lüneburg.

(EHD) said the German Ministry of Transport raised concerns on 29 of the code shares last summer, based on lobbying by Lufthansa (DLH). As a result, in November it approved the 29 code shares only through January 15, 2016.

Last week, the Administrative Court of Braunschweig ruled the German Ministry of Transport was entitled to reject the 29 Etihad (EHD) - airberlin (BER) code shares. The decision is effective from January 16 through the end of the current (IATA) winter schedule ending March 30, 2016.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said: “With airberlin (BER), we are working to ensure that no traveler suffers as a result of this dispute, and all bookings will be honored. We will fight all the way to protect our investment, to protect our partnership with (BER), and to protect competitive choice in German air travel.” He said (EHD)'s commitment to (BER) was in stark contrast to the lack of support demonstrated by the German Ministry of Transport for a “proud German airline.”

In 2011, Etihad Airways (EHD) took a 29.2% stake in airberlin (BER), following encouragement from German regional and national Government representatives. The airlines had approval for code share services on a total of 63 air routes. The remaining code shares remain unaffected.

(EHD) said code share services to international destinations that have operated for years without any concerns were being raised as pro-competitive. “That was entirely correct, given that they meet the terms of the air services agreement between Germany and the (UAE) (a fact confirmed not just by our own legal team and expert advisors, but by a former Director General of Civil Aviation for Germany,” Hogan said.

Airberlin (BER) (CEO), Stefan Pichler said in a separate statement: “We are appealing against this decision, because it does not serve the best interests of the traveling public. Indeed, the main beneficiary of the decision is Lufthansa (DLH). (BER) is (DLH)’s sole competitor in the German domestic market. We keep the competition honest, strong and effective, as otherwise (DLH) would have a monopoly which would be disastrous for German consumers.”

Hogan said that after four years of investing in Germany, supporting (BER) jobs and creating own new employment in Germany, “We find the rules have changed. As a global business, we focus our investments in markets which will deliver long-term returns. We were encouraged to invest in (BER).”

However, Hogan added that since that initial investment, the carriers have faced a series of significant challenges, including the introduction of airport taxes, which have directly eroded (BER)’s profitability.

“In other markets, such as Australia, India, Italy, Serbia, and the Seychelles, our investments have been welcomed and supported. Yet in Germany, our commitment continues to be undermined by the lobbying efforts and protectionist tactics of (DLH),” Hogan said.

“Unless the German government can show its commitment to support all German companies and German jobs, its reputation as a safe country in which to invest is at stake. Investors need every reassurance that the integrity of their investments in Germany will be respected and protected,” Hogan said.

He added that (EHD) is but one investor in one industry. “But our experience will serve as a warning to others, when it comes to making international investment decisions: Make no mistake. Protectionism will undoubtedly harm the investment landscape in Germany.”

News Item A-2: "German Court Permits Most Etihad (EHD)/airberlin (BER) Code Share Flights" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, January 15, 2016.

Airberlin (BER) has won a court appeal over code sharing rights with Etihad Airways (EHD), reversing an earlier judgment and allowing the two carriers to continue operating 26 out of 31 code share flights for the full winter schedule.

Together with the other 50 approved (EHD)-(BER) code shares, 76 of the 81 are now approved. The other five code shares are on German domestic routes.

The Higher Administrative Court said it is ordering the German Aviation Authority to approve and allow the disputed code share routes. The court’s interpretation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Germany air services agreement also means (EHD) will be able to continue with all those code shares until the end of the current (IATA) winter schedule ending March 26, 2016.

(EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said, “This ruling is a victory for consumers and competition in Germany. We remain strongly committed to our strategic partner, (BER), and will redouble our efforts to provide a strong competitive alternative to the dominant German carrier, Lufthansa (DLH).”

He also said, “We would like to encourage German consumers to support airberlin (BER) and its 8,000 staff, who have been seriously damaged by this sustained attack on their business.”

(BER) (CEO), Stefan Pichler said the decision confirms its current approach. “Based on this decisive ruling, (BER) and (EHD) can face the future optimistically and will continue to grow their partnership in a sustainable manner.”

News Item A-3: "Etihad (EHD) Extends Code Share with Swiss Partner" by (ATW) Alan Dron, January 14, 2016.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) has approved plans by Swiss carrier Darwin Airline to extend its code share arrangement with Etihad Airways (EHD) until the end of April 2022.

Lugano-based Darwin, which operates as Etihad Regional and Abu Dhabi-based, Etihad (EHD) has a 33.3% stake, has a network of routes between secondary and tertiary points in Western Europe and funnels traffic into (EHD)’s network at Geneva and Zurich.

As part of the agreement, (EHD) Regional places its F7 flight code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s daily flights from Zurich and Geneva to Abu Dhabi. (EHD), in turn, places its EY code on Etihad Regional- operated flights between Geneva and Lugano, Zurich, and Venice.

The Zurich and Geneva services also provide onward connections to points across Europe on the networks of (EHD)’s European equity partners Alitalia (ALI), Air Serbia (JAT), airberlin (BER) and airberlin (BER) subsidiary, Niki (NKI).

Etihad (EHD) Regional (CEO), Maurizio Merlo called the approval a “significant development” that is “great for our business continuity as we continue to offer greater access from Switzerland to the Middle East and beyond. At the same time, it guarantees extended opportunities to boost local tourism in Ticino, Switzerland, through the Abu Dhabi - Lugano flight, via Geneva.”

(FOCA) initially took considerable time to approve Etihad (EHD)’s stake in Darwin, expressing concern that, despite its minority stake, (EHD) would effectively control the Swiss regional.

News Item A-4: Abu Dhabi Airports has partnered with global Information Technology (IT) provider, (SITA) to introduce its latest technologies across Abu Dhabi International Airport’s (AUH’s) three terminals. The technology transformation is part of Abu Dhabi Airports’ preparations for (AUH) reaching a capacity of 45 million passengers by 2017.

February 2016: News Item A-1: See attached: "EHD-2016-02 - "Air Transport World (ATW) Airline of the Year"-A/B/C/D/E/F.jpg.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) began 2x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Rabat Airbus A340-500 service.

News Item A-3: "Etihad Airways (EHD) to Open Stunning New First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi" by China Aviation Daily, February 1, 2016.

In May of this year, Etihad Airways (EHD) will open a spectacular new First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport's Terminal 3, for the exclusive use of its First (F) Class guests, Etihad Guest Platinum and Etihad Airways Partners Platinum guests, and those staying in The Residence onboard its Airbus A380 fleet.

The investment and development of the world-leading facility highlights (EHD)'s commitment to its valued top-tier guests.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: "The new First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi will be the jewel in the crown of our ever-growing global lounge portfolio, a showcase of intelligent design and innovation; and the world's best premium airport experience. We are confident that it will deliver a product and service which is as highly acclaimed as it is inflight and look forward to unveiling its many unique features with great pride."

The state-of-the-art space combines modern Arabian design elements and the understated elegance and luxury synonymous with the Etihad Airways (EHD) brand, demonstrating (EHD) legendary hospitality and constant drive for perfection in its multi-award-winning First Class experience, both on the ground and in the air.

News Item A-4: "Etihad Airways Engineering Plans To Double Growth"
by Lee Ann Shay, Aviation Daily, February 4, 2016.

Etihad Airways Engineering expects double-digit growth over the next few years as it expands its services portfolio, said Jeff Wilkinson, Senior VP Technical. “We will be actively growing our capability and services on new platforms like the A380, A350, and 787,” he said on the sidelines of Aviation Week’s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Middle East conference and exhibition here. “We are well-equipped to offer specific (MRO) and Engineering solutions, as well as be the one-stop shop,” with services ranging from airframe maintenance, modification painting, connectivity solutions, and technical training.

“Recently, we became the first Middle Eastern (MRO) to receive [(EASA) Part 21 Subpart J] major approval by (EASA) for major cabin changes and modifications,” he added. “This opens up significant growth opportunities for us.”

Etihad Airways (EHD) accounts for about 40% of the aftermarket organization’s work, with the rest of its capability serving (EHD)’s equity partners and third-party customers.

About 50% of the (MRO)’s business comes from the Middle East, about 30% comes from in and around Europe, and 20% is from other regions, Wilkinson, said. The (MRO) is “working on greater reach, not just regionally but globally” he added. For example, (EHD) Engineering completed (Latam) Airlines Group ((TAM) (TPR) and (LAN) Airlines’s) first Boeing 787 "C" check in October, and has done +2 more since.

Wilkinson said the political unrest in the Middle East has not diminished or altered the work it performs for (EHD) and its other customers. “We are fortunate to have a safe and stable political environment in the (UAE), and it is business as usual for us,” he said.

Etihad Airways (EHD) purchased Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) from Mubadala in 2014, and renamed it Etihad Airways Engineering. Etihad (EHD) was a major customer of (ADAT).

March 2016: News Item A-1: Airberlin (BER) has received approval to continue code share flights with Etihad Airways in the (IATA) summer 2016 schedule, beginning March 27.

An airberlin (BER) spokesperson said that German Aviation Authority (LBA) agreed to the same number of flights (26 out of 31) as the winter schedule, which was permitted in January.

Together with the other 50 approved Etihad (EHD) - airberlin (BER) code shares, 76 of the 81 are now approved. The other five code shares are on German domestic routes.

Earlier this year, the Higher Administrative Court reversed an earlier judgment and ordered the German Aviation Authority to allow the disputed code share routes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Germany air services agreement for the winter schedule.

Airberlin (BER) previously said the expansion of the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways (EHD) remains a central element of its network strategy and both carriers continue to drive it forward.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) is seeing an increase in demand for flights into Istanbul and this market demand has created an opportunity to deploy additional capacity into Sabiha Gokcen. Airlines do not generally like to split operations in a city due to the need to offer support resources in each location. However, capacity constraints at Ataturk Airport and the location of Sabiha Gokcen mean this is an easier decision to take.

(EHD) will increase its services from its Abu Dhabi International Airport hub to Istanbul with the launch of four additional weekly flights into the Turkish city. (EHD), like its Gulf hub rivals, is introducing a split operation to Istanbul, adding flights to Sabiha Gokcen Airport and complementing its existing daily flights into Ataturk Airport, the city’s main international gateway.

The new flight will commence from July 1, 2016 and will be operated using an A320 configured with 16C seats in Business Class and 120Y in Economy. (EHD) currently uses a wide bodied A330-200 on its existing daily flight to Istanbul but will switch this to its new modern generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner, configured with 235-seats: 8F in First Class, 28C in Business Class and 199Y in Economy.

(EHD) is seeing an increase in demand for flights into Istanbul and this market demand has created an opportunity to deploy additional capacity into Sabiha Gokcen. Airlines do not generally like to split operations in a city, due to the need to offer support resources in each location. However, capacity constraints at Ataturk Airport and the location of Sabiha Gokcen mean this is an easier decision to take.

Located on the rapidly-developing Asian side of Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen has its own point-to-point demand into international markets and has seen growing connectivity due to the arrival of local low-cost carrier (LCC) Pegasus Airlines (PGS) into the (LCC) arena and recent expansion from Turkish Airlines (THY) due to capacity constraints at its main Ataturk Airport hub.

The airport is an increasingly popular gateway for visitors to Istanbul and the southern section of the region. It is also well connected to other domestic cities on the Asian side of the city, including Yalova and Bursa.

“Istanbul is a critically important market within our global network and we plan to serve both city airports to support our wider expansion plans. We have seen an increasing number of guests traveling between both the (UAE) and Turkey, and we want this trend to continue and grow during 2016,” said James Hogan, President & (CEO), (EHD).

The new service has been designed to complement (EHD)’s existing offering and the scheduling of the 4x-weekly service will not only attract local travelers between Abu Dhabi and Istanbul, but also support transfer demand into markets in the (GCC), Indian Sub-Continent, Northern Asia, Southern Asia, and Australia.

Located where Asia and Europe meet, Istanbul is developing as one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations, thanks to its major attractions, cultural heritage and history. (EHD) originally launched services to the largest city in Turkey in June 2009 and both Emirates Airline (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have recently grown their own presence in this backyard of rival hub operator (THY) in recent years.

(EAD) launched daily flights into Sabiha Gokcen in December last year, adding to its 11x-weekly operation into Ataturk, offering the only scheduled widebodied link into the airport. It said it was attracted to the split operation in Istanbul as it offered customers “a fresher travel experience, with shorter processing times,” but also “easier access” to the city’s new financial center, as well as to popular outlet malls and thermal spas in the vicinity.

(QTA) was the first major international carrier to serve both Istanbul airports when it debuted flights into Sabiha Gokcen in May 2014, over >10 years since its first started flying to Ataturk. The new link was initially operated on a 4x-weekly basis, but grew to a daily schedule in October 2014 and a second daily flight was added in March last year.

Passenger demand to Istanbul has increased rapidly within the last few years. Ataturk is a major hub for national carrier (THY), whose rapid growth has now overwhelmed the airport. In 2014, it was the fourth busiest airport in Europe, recording 56.9 million passengers for the calendar year.

Sabiha Gokcen served more than >28 million passengers in the 2015 calendar year, an increase of more than >4.5 million passengers compared to 2014. February 2016 saw passenger figures rise by +22%, serving more than >4 million people in the shortest month of the year. In the space of six years, passenger numbers have increased by a phenomenal +76.5%.

Sabiha Gokcen will receive a second runway, covering 3,500 m and costing €1.3 billion, which will be the first runway in Turkey where an Airbus A380 can land. This investment will enable the airport to boost capacity to 64 air traffic movements per hour, explained (CEO), Gokhan Bugday.

As overcrowding becomes more of an issue, a new Istanbul airport is being constructed to deal with the problem. It is expected to become one of the biggest in the world, with aspirations to be the biggest air transfer hub in the continent. When completed, it will be able to cope with a capacity of 150 million passengers annually.

The first stage of construction is to be completed by February 2018. Phase one will be able to handle 90 million passengers annually, covering 11 million square feet, making it the world’s single largest airline terminal under one roof. The fourth and final phase of the new airport is due to be completed by 2028. It will be situated around 22 miles outside of the city, but will be easily reached through rail, metro and bus connections.

April 2016: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) reported a 2015 net profit of +$103 million, up +41.1% from (EHD)’s +$73 million net result for 2014.

(EHD)’s total revenue for the year was $9.02 billion, up +19.5% year-over-year (YOY) from $7.55 total revenue in 2014. (EHD)’s (EBITDAR) for the year was $1.4 billion, up +27.3% (YOY), representing 15.5% of (EHD)’s total 2015 revenues.

Etihad Airways (EHD) is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier’s fifth consecutive profitable annual showing and “our best annual financial performance to date,” (EHD) President & (CEO), James Hogan said. “Our mandate is to build a sustainably profitable airline. We are delivering against that goal.”

Increased passenger and cargo volume boosted (EHD)’s revenue performance during the year, as (EHD) expanded its equity partner network and code share agreements in 2015, generating $1.38 billion in revenue from its partners alone, a +22% (YOY) rise over $1.13 billion in partner revenue during 2014.

“For an investment smaller than the cost of three new aircraft, we have been able to build our global network, attract five million new customers and $1.4 billion of revenues, and share massive cost synergies,” Hogan said. “From a strategic level, we are looking for [our] equity partners to bring network connectivity, generate additional revenues and create economies of scale, [and] all our partners are delivering on this level.”

(EHD) brought Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) into its code share network in 2015, joining existing code share partners Air Serbia (JAT), American Airlines (AAL), Saudi Arabia low-cost carrier (LCC) flynas (NAZ), Mumbai-based Jet Airways (JPL), Korean Air (KAL), Austrian (LCC) NIKI (NKI), and Russia’s (S7) Airlines (SBR).

Etihad (EHD)’s "equity partner" network is comprised of airberlin (BER), Air Seychelles ASY), Jet Airways (JPL), Air Serbia (JAT), Alitalia (ALI), Etihad Regional (operated by Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airlines) and Virgin Australia (VOZ). In 2015, (EHD) increased its stake in Virgin Australia (VOZ) to 25.1%.

“(EHD)’s partnership strategy, based on almost 50 code share agreements and its strategic minority investments in selected airlines, remained a key driver of its growth in 2015,” (EHD) said. (EHD)’s business streams also include cargo, Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO), catering and ground handling.

(EHD)'s total passenger tally in 2015 was 17.6 million, a +18.9% (YOY) rise; traffic increased +21.7% (YOY) to 83.2 billion (RPK)s; capacity grew +21% (YOY) to 104.8 billion (ASK)s. (EHD)’s full-year passenger load factor was 79.4% LF, up +0.2 point (YOY). (EHD)’s freight and mail volume grew +3.9% (YOY) to 591,000 tonnes; (EHD) did not release cargo revenue figures for the year.

(EHD)’s fleet increased by +11 in 2015, for a total of 121 aircraft as of December 31, 2015, including four Airbus A380-800s and four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) begins 4x-weekly, Abu Dhabi - Istanbul (SAW) Airbus A320-200 service on July 1.

News Item A-3: Etihad Airways (EHD) has established a code share arrangement with Colombia’s Avianca (AVI).

The new agreement will give (EHD) an additional link to South America, the one continent where the “Big Three” Gulf carriers still have relatively little penetration. Avianca (AVI) has an extensive network in the Americas and Europe.

Under the agreement, (EHD) will place its (EY) code on Avianca (AVI) - operated flights from Bogota to London Heathrow and Madrid Barajas, while (AVI) will place its (AV) code on (EHD) flights between Abu Dhabi to the same two European capitals.

From May 2016, members of the respective airlines’ loyalty programs, "Etihad Guest" and "Avianca’s LifeMiles," will be able to earn miles on the other’s code share services. The two carriers are looking at later expanding the loyalty programs’ benefits to include other destinations on each other’s networks.

“The continued development and expansion of our partnership with the Avianca Group will give Etihad Airways (EHD) unprecedented reach, facilitating its penetration in markets with greater commercial and tourism dynamics in Latin America, while promoting cultural and business relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Colombia,” (EHD) Group Chief Strategy & Planning Officer & Head Etihad Crystal Cargo division, Kevin Knight said.

“At (AVI), we are very pleased with this code share agreement, which will provide travelers in Latin America with more options to easily reach strategic destinations in the Middle East,” (AVI) President, Hernán Rincón added.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) appointed Fatma Al Mehairi as General Manager for Canada, making her the first female Emirati to be named General Manager of a region at the airline. Fatma joined (EHD) in 2010 as part of (EHD)'S graduate management program.

News Item A-5: Etihad Airways (EHD) recorded 99.8% reliability in its first year of operating the Airbus A380-800, the best performance level of any airline to have introduced the aircraft, (EHD) said April 11 after receiving the Airbus Operational Reliability Performance award.

The 0.2% of reliability problems in the January - December 2015 period did not include any cancellations, (EHD) added.

(EHD) Senior VP Technical, Jeff Wilkinson said (EHD)’s performance came down to “the sheer hard work and commitment of our Engineering teams.”

He noted the airline also had one of the highest rates of daily utilization of the A380, with a typical turnaround time of only two hours, which underlined its achievement.

Wilkinson said preparations for the A380’s service entry started more than a year before the initial delivery in December 2014, with a cross-functional entry into service (EIS) team that included representatives from Technical Operations, Logistics, Flight Operations and other divisions of the airline.

This team was responsible for rewriting procedures, training pilots (FC), cabin crew (CA), and engineers (MT), provisioning parts and tools, and implementing new technologies to support the new aircraft.

Etihad (EHD)’s first A380 made its debut on the Abu Dhabi - London Heathrow route in December 2014. There are now six A380s in the Etihad (EHD) fleet, with four more scheduled for delivery.

May 2016: Etihad Airways (EHD) launched a daily Airbus A380 schedule to Mumbai from its Abu Dhabi home base on May 1, and is set to launch service to Melbourne, Australia, on June 1. It is (EHD)’s fourth A380 destination following London, Sydney, and New York.

The A380 service to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai uses a 496-seat, four-class layout. The A380 can accommodate up to two guests in The Residence suite, 9F in first class, 70C in business class, and 415Y in economy.

Etihad (EHD) (CEO), James Hogan said the new route signals a commitment to “one of the world’s fastest growing economies.” He added the Mumbai schedule would tap into feeder markets to and from Europe, North America and the Middle East, as well as for direct travelers, and would make (EHD) the largest contributing airline to passenger traffic to and from India.

“Our dedicated services and those of partner, Jet Airways (JPL) combined, [now] give us 20% [international feeder] market share,” he said.

The new schedule allows passengers to travel from Mumbai to New York (JFK) with minimal processing time by using USA customs-approved clearance border agents in Abu Dhabi.

The upcoming A380 Melbourne - Abu Dhabi route will use the same 496-seat four-class layout, and will add 11,500 seats a week (a +26% increase). It will replace one of (EHD)’s 2x-daily, Boeing 777-300ER services and add to (EHD)’s existing daily A380 service to Sydney, Australia.

June 2016: News Item A-1: United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag carrier, Etihad Airways (EHD) has signed a code share agreement with Avianca Brasil (ONE) in (EHD)’s latest move to increase its penetration in the South American market.

Under the agreement, (EHD) will put its EY code on domestic flights operated by Avianca Brasil (ONE), while the Brazilian airline will put its O6 designator on Etihad (EHD)'s flights between Abu Dhabi and São Paulo.

(EHD) passengers flying between São Paulo and Abu Dhabi and beyond will benefit from connections to and from eight other Brazilian destinations on Avianca Brasil (ONE), including Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, and Maceió.

“(ONE) is an important strategic partner for Etihad Airways (EHD) in South America,” (EHD) Senior VP Americas, Martin Drew said. “In addition to the code share agreement recently signed with Avianca Colombia (REI), we are further strengthening our presence in Brazil by offering our guests more convenience and connections with a single combined ticket.”

“Through its main hub in Abu Dhabi, (EHD) will offer our customers options of connection flights, especially to destinations in Africa, Asia and Oceania, where Avianca Brasil (ONE) doesn’t operate directly,” (ONE) President, Frederico Pedreira added.

São Paulo became (EHD)’s first destination in South America in June 2013.

Avianca Brasil (ONE) serves 22 cities in its home country with >200 daily flights.

News Item A-2: "Air Serbia Launches Historic Belgrade to New York Service" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, June 22, 2016.

Air Serbia (JAT) begins Belgrade to New York (JFK) service on June 23, providing the 1st direct flights between Serbia and the USA in 24 years.

(JAT), the Serbian carrier is using a 2-class Airbus A330-200 leased from Jet Airways (JPL) of India, on the 5x-weekly service. (JAT) and (JPL) are part of (EHD)’s group of equity partner airlines.

The service was made possible after a series of events: the (FAA) restored (JAT)’s category one status in 2014; a bilateral air service agreement was reached between Serbia and the USA; and Air Serbia (JAT) (formerly (Jat) Airways) was rebranded, re-fleeted and restructured after Abu Dhabi-based, Etihad (EHD) took a 49% stake in (JAT).

With its 90-year history through "Jat," Air Serbia (JAT) is the world’s second oldest airline and had a long legacy of success. But the civil wars through the 1990s devastated travel demand and saw sanctions placed on the country, that restricted flying.

Dane Kondic, the Australian-Serb (CEO) of Air Serbia (JAT), stated what it means to reinstate direct USA service. “With the breakup of the country and the decaying of its aviation, Serbia slipped from Category one to Category two, so that had to be addressed before we could even contemplate service and it was all hand to glove,” he said. “24 long years with no direct service is essentially a generation. But Etihad (EHD) was the white horse; if not for them, there would have been no talks whatsoever of this happening; (EHD) was the enabler.

The 1st pillar of Air Serbia (JAT)’s USA network strategy was to code share with airberlin (BER), Germany’s 2nd-largest carrier and another Etihad (EHD) partner airline, on 7 USA routes: — (JFK), Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Fort Meyers, Florida.

The 2nd pillar was the June 23 launch of (JAT)’s own 5x-weekly service to (JFK). (JAT) also has relationships (not code shares) with American Airlines (AAL) and New York-based, JetBlue Airways (JBL) that provide preferential rates within the USA and other services. “Launching flights to New York was the logical start because of its large catchment area,” Kondit said. “It’s a new brand, not just a new service. Americans don’t know much about Serbia beyond the war, so we know it will take time, and the easiest way to go initially, is with the low-hanging fruit (ethnic Serbians in that catchment area). So that’s the first place you go hunting. But in the long term, we are looking to re-establish Serbia and Belgrade as a destination. It’s also a gateway to the Adriatic and many Americans are going there. We are also hearing from business people, and their 1st question is ‘how the hell do we get there?,’ so there will be a halo effect, as we make it easier for them to get there. The money will follow and, on the cargo side, there will also be opportunities for exporters.”

Kondit also noted the strong student ties between the 2 countries, providing the basis for a young, future market.

Air Serbia (JAT) is fully utilizing "Etihad (EHD) partner" assets, leasing the A330 from Jet (JPL) and training its pilots (FC) at Alitalia (ALI) simulator facilities and cabin crew (CA) at Etihad (EHD) academies. “It’s the best example of embodying the story of the partnership,” Kondic said. “This is not just marketing talk, it’s synergy in action.”

Operating a single aircraft on the route is a risk, Kondic acknowledges, but the Etihad (EHD) partnership also helps to mitigate that risk. There are resources that can be brought into play from Alitalia (ALI), airberlin (BER), and Etihad (EHD) if needed, as well as from European code share airlines like Polish (LOT).

The A330 has been fitted with 18 seats in business (C) class in a herringbone, 1-1-1 configuration, and 236 seats in economy in a 2-4-2 configuration. Borrowing an Etihad (EHD) concept, there will be an on board "au pair" to assist families with young children.

Air Serbia (JAT), which is still 50% owned by the Serbian government, reported a 2015 net profit of +€3.9 million/+$4.4 million, up +44% compared to a +€2.7 million net profit in 2014, and is being held up as a poster child for public-private partnerships. “We came back from the brink, and we are very confident in the future,” Kondic said.

July 2016: "(HNA) Takes Majority Stake in SR Technics."

China’s (HNA) Aviation has agreed to buy a majority stake in SR Technics (SWS) from sole shareholder, Mubadala.

The deal was announced on July 15 and will see (HNA) take an 80% stake in the Swiss Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) organization, which will remain a standalone operation.

Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s investment and development company, which has held its majority stake in SR Technics (SWS) for >6 years, will retain a 20% share of (SWS).

Chen Wenli, Vice Chairman of the (HNA) Group, said: “(HNA) fully supports the existing long-term strategy and executive management team, and will be a reliable partner to support SR Technics (SWS)’ focus on continuing to deliver value to its existing customers, and expanding its global (MRO) business.”

While Chinese companies buying up overseas firms has become a common occurrence in the past 10 years, (HNA) has had its eyes on Switzerland lately, with the company also set to snap up Swiss flight services specialist, Gategroup for $1.5 billion in addition to SR Technics (SWS).

Further (HNA) acquisitions in the aviation sector could be on the cards, with Group Chairman Chen Feng telling the "Financial Times" earlier in July that he is looking to do more takeovers despite China’s economy stalling in the past year.

While the purpose of (HNA)’s acquisition is obvious, 1 has to ponder why Abu Dhabi government-backed Mubadala is selling its majority share in SR Technics (SWS). (SWS) has performed strongly in recent years and possesses a strong airline customer base. This was further buoyed by last year's $150 million contract to provide component support for Etihad (EHD)’s fleet of 787 airplanes.

According to "Bloomberg," Mubadala’s decision to relinquish its majority stake and become a minority shareholder could lie in the global oil price slump, which reportedly led to the state investment group starting proceedings to offload its Swiss asset in February.

But considering that Mubadala unveiled a partnership with Rolls-Royce (RRC) to establish an approved maintenance center in Abu Dhabi for the (Trent XWB) engine maintenance as part of an existing, long-term aerospace strategy for the (UAE) state, its (MRO) activities are clearly far from done.

August 2016: Etihad Airways (EHD) will increase Airbus A380 New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi service on June 1, 2017. This is the 2nd daily A380 service on the route, replacing a Boeing 777-300ER.

September 2016: Virgin Australia (VOZ) plans to add 2 international routes to its network in 2015, using aircraft freed
up from domestic changes, as well as the switching of some long-haul services to its partner Etihad Airways (EHD).

In a series of changes announced September 20, (VOZ) said it will
reintroduce service between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and launch new flights between Perth and Abu Dhabi. (VOZ) will withdraw from the Sydney to Abu Dhabi route on February 4; (EHD) will increase its own flights on this route to compensate.

(VOZ) plans to introduce the 5x-weekly Melbourne to Los Angeles flights on April 4. (VOZ) will use Boeing 777-300ERs on this flight.
(VOZ) operates 5 of these 777s, and recently completed a cabin upgrade on them. It has previously served this route with 3x-weekly flights, but suspended them in October 2014. At that time, (VOZ) said it wanted to switch capacity to its Brisbane to Los Angeles route. The cut also coincided with United Airlines (UAL)’s entry
onto this route.

The additional 777 capacity for the Melbourne to Los Angeles service will come from the suspension of (VOZ)’s 3x-weekly Sydney to Abu Dhabi flights, and from cutting one of its 7x-weekly Brisbane to Los Angeles flights.

In addition to the Brisbane and planned Melbourne services, (VOZ) operates a daily flight to Los Angeles from Sydney. It partners with Delta Air Lines (DAL)in the transpacific market.

New Flights: (VOZ) will launch its new Perth to Abu Dhabi flight on June 9. The 3x-weekly services will use Airbus A330-200s. This will be the 1st long-haul deployment of (VOZ)’s A330s, which it mainly
uses on domestic transcontinental flights from the major eastern
cities to Perth, and for some peak-period flights to Fiji.

(VOZ) will free up A330 capacity for the Abu Dhabi flight by switching the equivalent of 3 to 4 weekly return transcontinental flights to 737-800s. This is in line with a decrease in transcontinental demand.

(EHD) will expand its service on the Abu Dhabi to Sydney route to replace the suspended (VOZ) service. This will give (EHD) 2x-daily flights on the route, compared to the current 11x-weekly. (EHD) uses Airbus A380s and 777-300ERs on these flights. (EHD) will retain its daily Abu Dhabi to Perth 787-9 flights after (VOZ) enters the route, giving the carriers a combined 10 flights per week.

(EHD) also offers daily 787 flights to Brisbane, and 2x-daily flights to Melbourne using A380s and 777s. Combined with (VOZ)’s Perth service, (EHD) will offer 45 flights per week to Australia after the changes.

Adrian Schofield,

October 2016: News Item A-1: "Etihad, TUI Group Plan New Leisure Airline" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, October 5, 2016.

Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday giant (TUI) (HAP)/(HLX) are in discussions to create a European leisure airline group, which is expected to operate 58 airplanes on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.

The partners detailed plans to combine the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group and German carrier TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) into a new airline group, serving destinations from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

The new holding company could be based in Austria, with Etihad (EHD) and (TUI) Group each taking a 24.9% stake. The remaining 50.2% is expected to be held by an Austrian foundation, to ensure Austrian majority ownership and maintain international traffic rights.

The still-to-be-named airline is planning a fleet of 14 Boeing 737s (currently operated by TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) for airberlin (BER) under a wet-lease agreement), 27 TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) 737NGs, as well as 17 Airbus A320 family aircraft from Austrian airberlin (BER) subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI).

(TUI) (HAP)/(HLX), Etihad (EHD) and airberlin (BER) said they intend to finalize an in-principle agreement in due course, subject to regulatory approvals, but it is understood the partnership could be completed within the next 2 weeks. An announcement is expected October 26. It is also understood TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) pilots (FC) will be offered jobs with Etihad Airways (EHD).

“TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) hasn’t grown in recent years. Also, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) has no long-haul airplanes in its fleet, but the focus of the (TUI) (TUG) tourism business is [long-haul] destinations in Asia, for example.” As (EHD) is a long-haul carrier, the cooperation could see (EHD) flying (TUG) holidaymakers to long-haul destinations.

In a letter to employees, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) supervisory board Chairman Henrik Homann said TUI Deutschland (HAP)/(HLX)’s profits and results have been impacted for many years by substantial overcapacity in the airline industry and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX)’s above-market cost structure.

“We own too much flight capacity and we’re producing it at a cost which is significantly higher than market prices. As a result, flight services in Germany for our tourism products are often available from our competitors at considerably lower prices than those offered by TUIfly to TUI Deutschland, with adverse impacts on our profitability and results in that source market,” Homann said.

Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER) is Germany’s 2nd largest airline and is 29.2% owned by Etihad Airways (EHD). (TUI) (TUG)/HAP)/(HLX) used to hold a stake in airberlin (BER), but this was disposed of in 2015.

In 2015, airberlin (BER) carried >30.2 million passengers, but reported a -€446.6 million/-$485.5 million loss, deepened from a -€376.7 million loss the year before. In the 1st half of 2016, airberlin (BER) posted a -€271.5 million loss. On September 28, airberlin (BER) detailed a drastic restructuring plan, which includes the outsourcing of 40 Airbus A320s to German rival Lufthansa (DLH) Group and -1,200 job losses.

TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) is part of (TUI) Group (TUG), which has a portfolio of six European airlines and around 140 airplanes, a distribution network of >1,800 travel agencies and online portals, around 300 hotels and 14 cruise liners.

It is understood the other TUI Group (TUG) airlines are not part of the deal. These comprise UK-based Thomson Airways (ATW)/(GUE) (63 airplanes), Sweden’s TUIfly Nordic (TNS) (8 airplanes), (TUI) Airlines Belgium (21 airplanes), TUI Airlines Netherlands (HOL) (10 airplanes) and France’s Corsair International (COR) (7 airplanes).

News Item A-2: "TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) to Shut Down Flight Operations October 7 after ‘Massive’ Flight Crew (FC) Shortage," by Kurt Hofmann, October 6 2016.

German leisure carrier TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) has decided to completely shut down flight operations Friday, October 7 after many airplane flight crew (FC) called in sick on short notice October 6, a spokesman confirmed. The action follows concerns about a partial merger between the 2 companies.

On October 7, TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) had to cancel 47 out of 110 planned flights and airberlin (BER) canceled 90 flights.

On October 7, (HAP)/(HLX) has canceled 108 flights, comprising 54 flights leaving from Germany and 54 from tourism destinations throughout Europe.

(HAP)/(HLX) again will charter airplanes from other carriers to bring tourists back. The company said it is working to reduce the impact on passengers after many flight crew (FC) members again called in sick on short notice.

(HAP)/(HLX) also said it expects further flight cancellations. (HAP)/(HLX) said because of the wide scope of flight crew (FC) short-notice absences, it is impossible to inform passengers earlier and offer alternative travel arrangements.

News Item A-3: "Etihad, Jet Airways Boost Abu Dhabi to India Network"
by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, October 28, 2016.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) and Indian equity partner Jet Airways (JPL) plans to boost its network between Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India, subject to government approval. The 2 carriers want to add 28 flights a week (including 3 new destinations) that will increase the network to 18 cities.

Both carriers said the additional frequencies will strengthen their partnership in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.
(EHD) currently operates 175 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 Indian cities. Together, (EHD) and (JPL) offer 252 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 15 cities across India. With the newly announced flights, the cooperative services will cover 18 Indian cities with 280 flights each week.

(EHD) plans to launch a 4th daily Abu Dhabi to Kozhikode flight on March 26, 2017. Daily Abu Dhabi to Ahmedabad services will become 2x-daily, starting February 1.

Jet Airways (JPL) plans to launch daily Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) to Abu Dhabi flights from February 1, 2017. Daily Kannur to Abu Dhabi and Chandigarh to Abu Dhabi services will begin in the 2nd half of 2017, subject to the completion of operational readiness at these airports.

Starting January 15, 2017, (JPL) will introduce a 2nd daily service between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. (EHD) already operates 3 flights a day between the 2 capitals.

In 2015, (EHD) and (JPL) together carried 3.3 million passengers between Abu Dhabi and India (a +63% increase over the 2 million passengers flown in 2014. The combined operation enjoys the biggest share of passenger traffic to and from India, one of the world’s biggest economies.

Etihad Aviation Group President & (CEO) James Hogan said: “Our partnership with Jet Airways (JPL) has gone from strength to strength. Sharing resources and reaching decisions together are key to our success. Jet Airways (JPL) is Etihad Airways (EHD)’s leading equity partner in terms of revenue and passenger contribution.”

(EHD) contributed 717,966 passengers to (JPL)’s flights for the 12 months to August 2016, a +57% increase on the same period last year. Conversely, Jet Airways (JPL) contributed 396,288 guests to Etihad (EHD)'s flights over the same period, a +33% increase on the corresponding period last year.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) is teaming with UK air navigation service provider (ANSP) (NATS) to help deliver a series of operational enhancements across its network.

In particular, (EHD) is seeking to improve the way it cooperates with air traffic control (ATC) providers and airport operators on airfield management procedures.

(NATS) is assisting (EHD) by sharing its experience in the management of low-visibility procedures in the UK, showing the flow of airplanes on the airfield, and improving the way the airline manages its processes around airplane handling. With a rapidly growing fleet, (EHD) is seeking to ensure the operational efficiency of its hub operation at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Although the Gulf is not normally thought of as an area in which low-visibility problems can occur, the region is prone to fog and to heavily sand-laden winds at certain times of the year.

(NATS) has based a specialist from its London Heathrow (LHR) team with Etihad (EHD)’s Network Operations team working on a variety of projects, including airfield operations, around the new Midfield Terminal Project at Abu Dhabi International Airport. (LHR) is heavily congested and the airport has for years used every available method to make operations there more efficient.

“We’re working in partnership with (NATS) as part of our continuing efforts to improve the experience for our passengers,” (EHD) Senior VP Network Operations Chris Youlten said. “By improving aspects of our operational efficiency across the global network, we are able to refine the experience for our customers, ensuring our flights consistently operate to schedule and [that] we are recognized as a world leader for on-time performance.”

(NATS) has been working with several aviation partners in the (UAE) since 2006, where its regional headquarters is located. The company is expanding operations in the Middle East, with offices in Oman and Qatar to provide locally based operational and training expertise. (NATS) also has a long-term engineering and operational transition project team working in Kuwait.

“The industry recognizes the need for increased collaboration, and air traffic management (ATM) (which is seen as the glue that connects airport and airline operations) can offer a unique perspective,” (NATS) Middle East Director Ben Kiff said.

(EHD)’s hub at Abu Dhabi is undergoing significant investment to allow continued growth and to push passenger numbers >30 million annual journeys.

News Item A-5: 787-9 (39657, A6-BLJ), delivery.

December 2016: News Item A-1: "Lufthansa, Etihad Finalize Code Share, Wet Lease of 38 Airberlin Aircraft" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, December 16, 2016.

The Lufthansa Group and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group have finalized a code share deal and wet-lease agreement for 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A319/A320 aircraft operating for Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). The code share deal, which is subject to government approval, is set to begin in January 2017.

The 6-year wet-lease agreement, effective February 2017, is also subject to regulatory requirements. Of the 38 former (BER) aircraft, Eurowings (EWG) will operate 33 and Austrian Airlines (AUL) will operate 5.

Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO) Carsten Spohr said, “We are looking forward to partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group. The wet-lease contract with airberlin (BER) fosters the growth of our Eurowings (EWG) Group. The code share agreement of Lufthansa (DLH) and Etihad (EHD) will offer our customers more benefits and complement both airlines’ networks. We will consider extending our cooperation in other areas.”

Eurowings also announced it will establish a new base at Munich Airport, where it will base 4 A320 family aircraft initially. Additional aircraft will be placed in Vienna and Palma de Mallorca.

As a result of the wet-lease agreement, Eurowings said it is able to phase out up to 20 older A320s, reducing overcapacity. Airberlin said it could reduce restructuring costs. On September 28, (BER) released details of its restructuring plan, which hinged on placing up to 40 A320s with the Lufthansa Group and reducing employee positions by up to 1,200.

Under the code share agreement, Lufthansa (DLH) will place its LH code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s 2x-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt and 2x-daily Abu Dhabi to Munich services. (EHD) will, in turn, put its EY code on (DLH)’s flights between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as well as Bogota, Colombia.

Etihad Aviation Group President & (CEO) James Hogan said, “We have long seen Germany as a key strategic market for the Etihad Aviation Group and this new relationship with (DLH) marks the next step in our commitment to the leading European Aviation Group.”

On December 5, oneworld (ONW) member airberlin (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of its Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI) to Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million, to create a new European leisure airline in a joint venture (JV) with German travel company (TUI) Group (TUG).

On December 15, the Lufthansa Group took over 100% of SN Airholding, the parent company of Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), in a deal to fully integrate the Belgian carrier into Lufthansa (DLH)’s Eurowings (EWG) Group in 2018.

Airberlin (BER) reported a 3rd-quarter loss of -€45.6 million, reversed from a +€56.2 million profit in the year-ago period.

News Item A-2: "Lufthansa & Etihad: From Enemies to Partners" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, December 16, 2016.

Lufthansa (DLH) and Etihad (EHD), in the past, have fought over airberlin (BER) code share rights, specifically and more broadly over Gulf carrier growth and subsidy allegations. Today, the 2 became business partners, completing a code share and wet-lease agreement that links together Germany’s Lufthansa Group and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group, ironically with airberlin (BER) aircraft at the center of the deal.

Etihad (EHD), which owns a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), has agreed to wet-lease 38 airberlin (BER) Airbus A320 family aircraft to the Lufthansa Group, which will use them to operate routes for 2 of its airline units, Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). The agreement is particularly important for low cost carrier (LCC) (EWG), which (DLH) is looking to grow more rapidly.

Meanwhile, (DLH) will place its LH code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s 2x-daily flights between the 2 airlines’ respective home hubs of Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt, and on 2x-daily Abu Dhabi to Munich services. (EHD) will put its EY code on (DLH)’s flights from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro and Bogota.

Both elements of the partnering arrangement are subject to regulatory approval, but if accomplished, it will be the latest example of a legacy flagship and a Gulf carrier becoming "dance partners." British Airways (BAB) parent the (IAG) was the icebreaker; (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh and Qatar Airways (QTA) Group (CEO) Akbar Al Baker forged a deal that made (QTA) a stakeholder in the (IAG) (a stake later increased to 20%). Walsh was also instrumental in getting (QTA) into the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance (joining Oneworld (ONW) Alliance Founder member (BAB) and also, oddly enough, airberlin (BER)). Qatar Airways (QTA) is now also taking a 10% stake in the (LATAM) Airlines Group (LAN)/(TPR).

Some accused Qantas (QAN) (CEO) Alan Joyce of doing a deal in 2013 with the devil when he signed a 10-year global partnership with Emirates (EAD), the largest of the “big 3” Gulf carriers. Although no investment stake was involved, the deal permitted extensive coordination and allowed (QAN), the Australian flagship to cut back its own European flights and connect to Emirates (EAD)’s broad European network, even shifting its European connecting hub from Singapore to Dubai. Lucifer has been lucrative; restructuring and partnerships have helped Qantas (QAN) climb from A$2.8 billion/$2.1 billion net loss in its fiscal year through June 2014 to a record profit of A$1 billion for the 2015/2016 fiscal year (the best result in its 95-year history).

Now we have Lufthansa (DLH) and Etihad (EHD) in a "dance," with the Group (CEO)s of each replacing subsidy barbs with hints of a greater future together. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group,” Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO) Carsten Spohr said. “We will consider extending our cooperation in other areas.”

Etihad Aviation Group President & (CEO) James Hogan responded, “This new relationship with Lufthansa (DLH) marks the next step in our commitment to the leading European aviation group.” Perhaps it’s simply a case of 2 smart businessmen realizing they are better off working together than fighting in an industry environment that gets only more challenging. Hogan has often noted that (EHD)’s 2 biggest competitors are those in his backyard. Emirates (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have become stronger competitors through their partnerships with legacy and other carriers. The Lufthansa Group, though performing well, is still in cost restructuring catch-up mode relative to the (IAG); and both airberlin (BER) and Eurowings (EWG) are loss-making. The new partnership could yield returns across each group’s portfolios and make them more resilient to the competition and economic upheavals in their home markets as well as in the all-important transatlantic market. Most significantly, the Lufthansa (DLH) - Etihad (EHD) tie-up perhaps represents the end of any global attempt to constrain the Gulf carriers by regulatory means. From here on, should the USA majors choose to continue that fight, they’ve probably lost Lufthansa (DLH) as a public supporter. And Air France (AFA), still mired in its own restructuring, seems to believe it can tackle Gulf competition by starting a low-cost, long-haul carrier dedicated to that purpose.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, the saying goes. Abu Dhabi - German relations have transformed, perhaps by necessity, from chilly to sunny-warm. Let’s see what can be achieved when you quit fighting and start working on how to better compete with your enemy’s enemy.

News Item A-3: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Tanzanian carrier PrecisionAir (PRT) announced a code share agreement, effective December 21 for flights starting January 11, 2017.

(EHD) will place its EY code on (PRT) flights between: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and regional Tanzanian airports Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Mtwara, and Zanzibar; Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, Kenya; Dar es Salaam and Pemba, Mozambique; and on PrecisionAir (PRT) flights flying between Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and Nairobi to Zanzibar.

In turn, (PRT) will place its PW code on (EHD)’s daily Dar es Salaam to Abu Dhabi route. “This new code share agreement demonstrates Etihad Airways (EHD)’s growing ambitions to strengthen its operations across the East African region,” (EHD) Chief Strategy & Planning Officer Kevin Knight said.

PrecisionAir Service PLC Group Managing Director & (CEO) Saud Rajabu called the agreement “a new dawn for (PRT).”

PrecisionAir (PRT) initiated a fleet modernization program in 2012 and was the 1st commercial customer for the 48-seat ATR 42-600 turboprop. (PRT)’s operating fleet as of March 2016 comprised 11 aircraft, including 5 70–seat ATR 72-500s, 2 48-seat ATR 42-500s, 2 ATR 42-600s, 1 ATR 42-320 and 1 Cessna 208B. An additional ATR 42-600 and +2 additional 78-seat ATR 72-600s remain on order.

News Item A-4: "Etihad Cuts Staff Numbers as Conditions Deteriorate"
by (ATW) Alan Dron, December 19, 2016.

In an indication that steadily tightening global economic conditions are hitting even the most prominent airlines, Etihad Airway (EHD) has announced it intends to reduce staff numbers.

(EHD), which has expanded its interests rapidly in recent years, said that a company restructuring will “result in a measured reduction of headcount in some parts of the business.” A spokesman said (EHD) was “operating in an increasingly competitive landscape, against a backdrop of weakened global economic conditions. It’s a challenging time.”

Throughout 2016, airlines have reported increasing downward pressure on yields due to increasing capacity in the industry. They have also expressed caution due to a range of macroeconomic and geo-political factors, such as the UK’s impending exit from the European Union (EU) ("Brexit") and signs of growing neo-protectionism.

According to the (EHD) spokesman, remaining competitive “involves an ongoing process of organizational reviews and restructuring in different parts of the business, in order to reduce costs and improve productivity and revenue.” He declined to say which parts of the business might experience a drop in staff numbers, or how many people would be involved. Some news-agency reports that had mentioned specific figures were “far off the mark,” he commented, adding that most of the headcount reduction would be accounted for by natural attrition, with some positions not being filled as they fell vacant.

Etihad (EHD) was committed to supporting its staff through the restructuring process “and we aim to maximize redeployment opportunities within the group,” he added.

See video: "The Residence"

January 2017: News Item A-1: James Hogan is stepping down as President & (CEO) of the Etihad Aviation Group and Etihad Airways (EHD) has begun the search for his successor, it was announced on January 24. Hogan and (CFO) James Rigney will leave the company in the 2nd half of 2017 as part of a transition process that was begun last spring. Etihad Aviation Group Board Chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said Hogan had overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional operator.

News Item A-2: "Alitalia Told to Present New Business Plan to Italian Government" by (ATW) Alan Dron, January 10 2017.

Alitalia (ALI) has been asked to present the Italian government with a detailed business plan agreed with creditors, banks and shareholders within the next few weeks as it again faces significant financial losses. A meeting in Rome on January 9 saw senior (ALI) executives (including (CEO) Cramer Ball, Etihad (EHD) Group Chairman James Hogan and representatives of 3 Italian banks who are shareholders or backers of the airline) meet with Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda and Transport Minister Graziano Delrio.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD), which is a 49% shareholder in (ALI) the Italian flag carrier, stepped in to bail out the loss-making (ALI) in 2014. (ALI) is nearing the conclusion of a 3-year turnaround plan that was supposed to return it to profit this year, but is reportedly still losing money heavily.

The new business plan was approved by (ALI)’s board on December 22, with the airline spelling out the seriousness of the situation in a statement that said short-term funding had been agreed upon at a separate shareholders’ meeting.

This was “to allow the airline’s management team to begin negotiations in the next 60 days with key stakeholders (lessors, suppliers, distribution companies and trade unions) to seek their commitments to deep cost reduction measures to secure long-term support from the shareholders and the financial institutions with the aim to secure sustainability for (ALI).”

Ball went so far as to say: “The next 2 months are critical for (ALI). It is vitally important that (ALI)’s workforce and major stakeholders, such as corporate partners, suppliers and unions, embrace and accept the radical changes we need in order to gain the next round of significant funding from our shareholders, which will be crucial for our future.”

An (ALI) spokesman declined January 10 to comment further on the matter. According to the board, “The main focus of future activities will be to change our business model by:

* developing further the long-haul flight network;

* reworking the narrow-body business;

* reducing costs and improving productivity to match competitors;

* re-evaluating joint venture agreements;

* deepening existing airline partnerships and look to add new commercial relationships;

* leveraging recent large investments in technology to compete, and also drive additional revenue;

* reducing manpower numbers to create the ‘right size, right shape’ for the business.

“The ‘right size and right shape’ program will ensure that the organization can operate efficiently in a highly competitive environment, while minimizing redundancies and maximizing productivity. “No final decisions on staff reductions have yet been taken and the management team will now begin consultation with employees and their trade union representatives.”

Ball added: “We are committed to work positively with the unions and reach consensus on a new collective labor agreement. Their backing on the implementation of the next phase of the business plan is vital. We have achieved great progress in the last 2 years but the commercial aviation market is brutally unforgiving so we need to go further with our program of change. We need a business that is the right size, the right shape and with the right productivity and cost base. If we can deliver those, Alitalia (ALI) will succeed.”

News Item A-3: "Alitalia, the Airline that Broke the Camel’s Back?"
by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, January 24, 2016.

Can Alitalia (ALI) ever be a good-news story? It appears not for Etihad Airways (EHD), the Abu Dhabi-based airline that has become the latest in a line of companies to see potential in the Italian flag carrier but for whom "good news" seems an increasingly distant prospect.

The announcement that Etihad Aviation Group President (CEO) James Hogan and (CFO) James Rigney will step down later this year isn’t all about Alitalia (ALI), but Rome has a lot to do with what appears to be a major rethinking of Etihad (EHD)’s future.

The Etihad equity partnership strategy focused on smaller airlines such as Air Seychelles (ASY), Air Serbia (JAT), airberlin (BER), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and India’s Jet Airways (JPL) (now India’s 2nd largest carrier after Indigo (IGO)) that could provide feed to (EHD) and allow it to grow more rapidly and compete against its much larger (UAE) neighbor, Dubai-based Emirates (EAD).

Equity investments in the partner airlines are all minority stakes, although some are substantial: 40% in Air Seychelles (ASY) and 49% in Air Serbia (JAT).

But (ALI) was different for significant reasons. (EHD) took a 49% stake (worth some $470 million) in December 2014 in what was a major flag carrier brand, but one with a long history of loss making, labor disputes, bailouts and bankruptcies. Indeed, just a year before the deal was finalized, (ALI) was teetering once more on the edge of bankruptcy and was bailed out (only to be close to running out of cash again just 6 months later).

The Etihad (EHD) deal, which was a complex transaction worth €1.75 billion/$2.35 billion across its various facets, was yet another rescue of an airline infamous for its "dying swan" acts. There had been “Old Alitalia” and “New Alitalia” but never more than a fleetingly profitable Alitalia (ALI). This time, however, there was a plan. (EHD) would invest in, restructure and turn around (ALI) so that it would be profitable by 2017. And (EHD) and Hogan’s team has invested significant money, effort, resources and passion in that turnaround. This was probably the best chance (ALI) ever had.

But 2017 is here and, financially, (ALI) looks very much like the airline it has always been (a disaster). In early January, senior executives (including (ALI) (CEO) Cramer Ball, Hogan and representatives of 3 Italian banks who are shareholders or backers of the airline) met with Senior Economic Development & Transport Ministers as the Italian government demanded a detailed business plan.

Ball himself described the situation as critical, saying it was “vitally important that (ALI)’s workforce and major stakeholders, such as corporate partners, suppliers and unions, embrace and accept the radical changes we need in order to gain the next round of significant funding from our shareholders, which will be crucial for our future.”

Worse for (EHD), however, was that (ALI)’s troubles were not the only ones in the Gulf airline’s partnership galaxy. (BER) is losing money also, prompting a codeshare and wet-lease deal to be struck with former rival Lufthansa Group.

And, back home in the (UAE), these are also challenging times for the Gulf carriers. Lower oil prices, economic uncertainties and terrorist attacks have all weakened demand for tickets on the Middle East’s “big three” airlines even as they take deliveries of new aircraft. Competition between Etihad (EHD), Emirates (EAD) and Qatar (QTA) is cutthroat. That alone is enough of a challenge for any airline (CEO) (Hogan and his top team are also managing the crises that Alitalia (ALI) and airberlin (BER) have become.

Last year Hogan was given the new title of Group President & (CEO), allowing the installation of Peter Baumgartner as Etihad Airways (EHD) (CEO). That freed Hogan to address the broader partnership airline businesses, while (EHD) gained a dedicated (CEO). Next week, it is widely expected that Hogan and Lufthansa Group (CEO) Carsten Spohr will announce a closer relationship between the 2 companies. These are fixes that help reassure (EHD)’s (UAE) government owners.

But in the end, (EHD)’s owners want more change. “We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape,” Etihad Aviation Group Chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said. “We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy.”

How that “adjustment” will play out will be interesting but it’s my bet there will be much more focus on the home carrier. For (ALI), it’s hard to see how anyone will again risk their back for what has to be the world’s most frustratingly, stubbornly, unfixable airline.

News Item A-4: Airberlin (BER) Austrian subsidiary, FlyNiki (NKI) will cut 13 European destinations from January 30, as well as its daily Vienna - Abu Dhabi route from the end of March, (NKI) spokesperson Milene Platzer said. The move is part of plans to create a new, yet-to-be named leisure airline group based in Vienna.

The new leisure airline, which needs regulatory approval, will be 25% owned by Abu Dhabi-based, the Etihad (EHD) Aviation Group and 24.8% owned by German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG). The remaining 50.2% share is expected to be held by an Austrian foundation to ensure Austrian majority ownership and maintain international traffic rights.

The new carrier will operate aircraft from the (TUI) Group’s TUIfly airline (HAP)/(HLX) and FlyNiki (NKI). It expects to operate 63 aircraft on point-to-point services in European tourist markets. The fleet includes 41 Boeing 737s from TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) as well FlyNiki (NKI) fleet of 22 Airbus (EDS) aircraft, “which will be harmonized to an all A321 fleet,” Platzer said.

The eliminated European routes from Vienna include Stockholm, Hamburg, Hannover, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Nice, Paris, Zurich, Rom, Milan, Alicante, and Malta.

It is understood that some of these routes will be taken over by Lufthansa (DLH) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary Eurowings (EWG), which expand its base in Vienna further by adding +13 new routes in the spring.

On December 5, 2016, Oneworld (ONW) Alliancew member airberlin (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of its Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI) to Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million.

From the start of the summer 2017 schedule, and prior to the closing of the FlyNiki (NKI) sale, airberlin (BER) will transfer slots for certain tourist destinations in Southern Europe (excluding Italy but including the Canary Islands, Spain and Madeira, Portugal), North Africa and Turkey to FlyNiki (NKI).

FlyNiki (NKI) expects to operate 27 leisure destinations in summer 2017, compared to 34 destinations in summer 2016.

* Abu Dhabi-based the Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG) will reportedly name the planned European leisure airline group FlyNiki (NKI), a source involved in the negotiations said. The source said the new (NKI) operations should start by the end of March or April, beginning with the European summer season. The new leisure airline group will be headquartered in Vienna. (NKI) is expected to operate 60 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.

787-9 (39654, A6-BLK), delivery.

February 2017: News Item A-1: "Etihad & Lufthansa Sign Cooperation Agreement" by (ATW) Karen Walker, February 1st, 2017.

Etihad Airways (EHD) and Lufthansa (DLH) signed a multi-faceted commercial partnership agreement February 1st that will see the 2 companies cooperate via code shares and across catering and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services.

The agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi on February 1 by Etihad Aviation Group President & (CEO) James Hogan and Lufthansa Group Chairman & (CEO) Carsten Spohr.

It follows a deal agreed between the 2 late last year in which airberlin (BER), an Etihad Aviation Group partner airline, will wet-lease 38 narrow bodies to the Lufthansa Group, most of which will be operated by Lufthansa (DLH)’s Eurowings (EWG) low-cost carrier (LCC). Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29% stake in (BER).

Today’s agreement reaches far wider across the 2 company’s businesses and Spohr indicated it has the potential to eventually become a full joint venture (JV).

The business environments for both Etihad Airways (EHD) and Lufthansa (DLH), as well as their group airlines, has been challenging with increased (LCC) competition coming on top of strong competition from the consolidated USA majors and rival European airline groups Air France (AFA) - (KLM) and the International Airlines Group (IAG).

The 4-year catering contract will see (DLH)’s (LSG) Sky Chefs unit provide catering services to (EHD) in 16 cities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. It will make (LSG) the largest provider of catering services to (EHD) outside its home base.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Etihad Airways (EHD) and Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) will pursue cooperation in (MRO) services across (EHD) and its airline equity partners. Together, the catering and (MRO) agreements were said to be worth $100 million.

The (CEO)s said that (EHD) would also move its locations at Frankfurt and Munich airports to Lufthansa (DLH) terminals. “This partnership is the platform for a much wider strategic collaboration between our 2 organizations,” Hogan said.

Spohr added that partnering with the Etihad Aviation Group “fits perfectly the Lufthansa Group’s global strategy for our passenger airlines and service companies.” Further cooperation areas are being looked at, including freight operations, procurement and passenger services, the airlines said.

The previously announced code share between the 2 airline groups goes on sale from February 1 for flights between Abu Dhabi and Germany. (DLH) will place its LH code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s 2x-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and both Frankfurt and Munich. After government approval is given, (EHD) will put its EY code on (DLH)’s long-haul, nonstop intercontinental services between Frankfurt and Rio de Janeiro and Bogota.

See attached - "EHD-2017-02 - DLH and EHD Link.jpd."

News Item A-2: "Wet-leased Airberlin A320s Begin Service for Eurowings" by Kurt Hofmann Kurt Hofmann, February 10, 2017.

3 airberlin (BER) Airbus A320s operating in Eurowings (EWG) colors launched February 10 from Hamburg to Manchester, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. The flights are part of a 6-year wet-lease agreement between (BER) and the Lufthansa Group, which was approved unconditionally at the end of January by federal antitrust authorities.

Under the wet-lease agreement, (BER) will lease 38 Airbus A319/A320 aircraft (which are stationed at German and Austrian airports) to Lufthansa (DLH) and its subsidiaries Eurowings (EWG) and Austrian Airlines (AUL). (EWG) will take 33 of the aircraft and Austrian (AUL) will take the remaining 5. The deal also includes a code share between (DLH) and (BER) equity parent Etihad Airways (EHD).

Airberlin (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said, “The wet-lease agreement with the Lufthansa Group is a significant milestone for (BER) by providing job security with ultimately 38 aircraft flying for the Lufthansa Group.”

The (BER) wet-leased A320s will be delivered to the Lufthansa Group in phases by the end of April and all aircraft will carry the wording “operated by airberlin” on their fuselages. “According to the agreement with (BER), Eurowings (EWG) is the fastest-growing carrier compared to any other airline brand in Europe,” (CEO) of (EWG) and Aviation Services Karl Ulrich Garnadt said. The wet-leased aircraft will be operated in (EWG) colors and its cabin design.

Up to 20 (BER) A320s will replace the oldest (EWG) aircraft of the same type. The increased aircraft capacity allows (EWG) to offer 23,000 additional flights per year and >60 new connections. (BER) also estimates it will carry 3 million additional passengers annually.

4 of the 33 wet-leased aircraft will be based in Munich beginning from this summer. “>50% of the 60 additional new connections will be offered from (DLH)’s 2nd hub Munich,” Garnadt said.

2 former (BER) A320s will be based in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), increasing the number of aircraft to 4 (in Palma) starting from this summer, while the remaining aircraft will strengthen (EWG)’s existing bases in Cologne Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Vienna.

Star (SAL) Alliance member Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), which operates 51 aircraft, should be integrated into the Eurowings Group from 2018. Including Brussels, the total (EWG) fleet is expected to reach 160 aircraft.

News Item A-3: In 2016, Etihad Airways (EHD) saw a year “of sustained growth in a very tough business environment,” Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) President & (CEO) James Hogan said on February 8. Financial details were not released; (EHD) usually releases its full-year financial report in April.

Hogan indicated (EHD)’s prime accomplishment of the year was the official launch of the Etihad Aviation Group in May 2016. The (EAG) includes Etihad (EHD)’s airline equity partner network: airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Alitalia (ALI), Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and Etihad Regional, (EHD)’s Engineering division, (EHD)’s Airport Services division and Hala Abu Dhabi, ((EHD)’s Tourism Management division).

Operationally, for full-year 2016, (EHD) reported a +8% rise in passenger traffic, as measured in (RPK)s; capacity, measured in (ASK)s was up +9% over 2015; (EHD)’s average load factor remained at 79% LF, unchanged from 2015.

(EHD)'s fleet of 119 airplanes is one of the youngest and most environmentally friendly in the industry with an average age of 6 years. During the 2016 year (EHD) took delivery of 10 airplanes, including 5 787-9s, 3 A380s, 2 777-200Fs and 1 A330-200F.

(EHD) said it operated >109,000 scheduled passenger and cargo flights during the year “spanning around 446 million km and 112 destinations.” Etihad Cargo carried 592,700 tonnes of freight during the year; the volume total is unchanged from 2015.

(EHD) launched Venice, Italy; Rabat, Morocco; and Sabiha Gokcen, Turkey as newq destinations in 2016. (EHD) A380 service began to Mumbai and Melbourne. 787 Dreamliners started new routes to Perth, Shanghai, Johannesburg, and Dusseldorf. (EHD) began a 5th daily flight on the Doha route, an extra daily flight to Cairo and Kozhikode
and frequencies to Damman, Manila and Tehran.

(EHD) carried >76% of total passengers who traveled to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2016. With the addition of (EHD)'s equity partners to Abu Dhabi, the combined total rose to >86% of passenger traffic at the airport.

(EHD) code share and equity partners delivered 5.5 million passengers
onto (EHD) flights, an increase of +9% over 5 million passengers in 2015.

(EHD) launched new code share agreements with Avianca (AVI), Avianca Brazil (ONE), Kulula (KUL), Precision Air (PRT), and Montenegro Airlines. (EHD)'s existing code shares with airberlin (BER), Alitalia (ALI), Brussel Airlines (DAT)/(EBA), Flynas (NAZ), Jet Airways (JPL), Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Hong Kong Airlines (CRY), and Virgin Australia (VOZ) were significantly expanded.

(EHD) also launched new interline agreements with Lufthansa (DLH), Pegasus (PGS), Malindo (MXD), and LATAM (LAN)/(TPR) and as a result (EHD) now offers a passenger and cargo network of nearly 600 destinations through its 188 interline and 53 code share partnerships.

(EHD) equity partner network including airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Alitalia (ASY), Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ) and (EHD) Regional represents the 7th largest global company of airlines. In 2016 the combined fleet of 705 airplanes carried 126.6 million passengers.

In November, (EHD) Engineering dealt with a record breaking week of heavy maintenance at its state of the art facility in Abu Dhabi. Aircraft from 6 of the 7 partner airlines were worked on by the 3,000 strong team.

During 2016 (EHD) Cargo carried 592,200 tonnes, which was flat year-on-year. (EHD) expanded its freighter services to several new markets including Columbus Rickenbacker, Ohio in the USA; East Midlands and London Stansted in England in the UK; in Copenhagen, Denmark; Brussels, Belgium; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Casablanca in Africa; Colombo; Muscat; and Zengzhou in China, bringing the number of freighter destinations to 15.

Strong growth was achieved within the group's "loyalty" businesses with >3 million new members joining (EHD) "Guest", Mille Miglia (ALI), Top Bonus (BER), and JetPrivilege programs, which now provide benefits to nearly 20 million members.

The (EHD) Aviation Group workforce as of December 31st totaled 26,635 employees, representing 150 nationalities. (EHD) continues to prioritize its Emiratization program and in November celebrated the graduation of 310 future leaders from the Future Leader Programs, a strong indication of the company's commitment to investing in its people. There are currently >3,000 Emirati employees (52% of whom) are women, including engineers (MT) and pilots (MT).

2016 was a year of impressive accolades for (EHD): the pinnacle being the Skytrax certified 5-Star Airline Rating (the most sought after quality status in the airline industry). (EHD) was also named the "World's Leading Airline" at the World Travel Awards" for the 8th consecutive year and collected the coveted "Crystal Cabin" award for the Boeing 787 First Class cabin design. During the year "Etihad Guest" marked its 10th anniversary and reached 4.7 million members.

“2017 will be another challenging year; we will continue to expand prudently and efficiently, reflecting the nature of the economic environment,” Hogan said. “We remain optimistic and [believe our] business model will succeed and, most importantly, stand the test of time.”

Hogan announced in January that he will step down as the (EAG) President & (CEO) in the 2nd half of 2017.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways Engineering has received an approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to design and certify 3D printed parts for aircraft interiors, becoming the 1st airline Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) organization under (EASA) to hold certification approvals for 3D printed parts flying on Etihad Airways (EHD) aircraft.

Etihad Airways Engineering has a 3-year Air Tahiti Nui (NUI) contract for Airbus A340 heavy maintenance.

787-9 (39656, A6-BLL), and A330-243F (1772, A6-DCE), ex-(F-WWCP) deliveries.

March 2017: airberlin (BER), which has transferred its leisure routes to Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI), said the 1st (NKI) Dusseldorf to Palma de Mallorca service began on March 26.

The switch is part of a rescue program for Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER), which announced the sale of 49.8% FlyNiki (NKI) to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million in December 2016.

Airberlin (BER) reported a 2015 3rd-quarter loss of -€45.6 million/-$51.2 million, reversed from a +€56.2 million profit in the year-ago quarter. “I expect the 4th quarter will also deliver very negative results,” according to a (BER).

FlyNiki (NKI) will operate from Dusseldorf to 16 destinations in Spain, Portugal, and the Canary and Greek Islands. Palma de Mallorca, for example, will be served by 7 non stop daily flights.

Airberlin (BER) launched its 1st route in 1979 from Berlin to Palma de Mallorca.

Airberlin (BER) (CCO) Götz Ahmelmann said, “It is a matter of great importance to us that we are handing over the baton to our partner FlyNiki (NKI) who will operate flights to holiday destinations on our behalf. For airberlin (BER), this marks an important milestone on its way to becoming a network carrier with a focused global route network and a unique portfolio of premium services,” he said.

“FlyNiki (NKI) is set to become the number 1 holiday airline in German-speaking countries,” (NKI) (CCO) Julio Rodriguez said.

As a result of this move, FlyNiki (NKI) will become the 3rd-largest airline in Dusseldorf after the Lufthansa Group and airberlin (BER), both in terms of passenger numbers and aircraft movements.

FlyNiki (NKI) will base 8 out of 21 Airbus A321s in Dusseldorf. 4 aircraft will be based in Zurich, taking over leisure routes from airberlin (BER)’s Swiss subsidiary Belair, which reportedly could close down in 2017. 5 A321s will be based in Vienna and the remaining ones will be spread out over several German airports such as Munich or Hanover.

FlyNiki (FKI) will wet-lease 2 Boeing 737-800s from Slovakia-based Go2Sky to cover summer peaks.

Airberlin (BER) will use Dusseldorf as a hub. During the summer 2017, (BER) will fly to 38 destinations from Dusseldorf including routes to the USA and the Caribbean.

FlyNiki (FKI) is part of a planned European leisure airline group to be established by the Etihad Airways Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG), pending regulatory approval. The new leisure airline group, which was announced in October 2016, is expected to be headquartered in Vienna. The carrier plans to operate 60 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets and would have a 35% market share in the Germany/Austria/Switzerland leisure business.

April 2017: The Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group named Robin Kamark as (CEO) Airline Equity Partners on April 24. Kamark will be responsible for leading and developing the group's minority equity investment strategy, which includes stakes in airberlin (BER), Italian flag carrier Alitalia,(ALI), India's Jet Airways (JPL), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Etihad Regional, and Virgin Australia (VOZ). The biggest current problem in Etihad's partner portfolio is Alitalia (ALI), which is seeking a financial bailout following reported continued heavy losses. (EHD) has a 49% stake in (ALI). Germany's airberlin (BER) also has significant problems.

Kamark will report to group President & (CEO) James Hogan, and takes over from Bruno Matheu, who is leaving the post for personal reasons.

Kamark rose through a succession of strategy, commercial and general manager roles at (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines, where he became (CCO). For the last 5 years, he has been Executive VP & (CCO) of Storebrand (ASA), a Nordic financial services business.

"Robin is a well-respected leader in global aviation, with wide-ranging experience at the (SAS) Group. He performed important roles in the restructuring of that airline and has broadened his experience more recently in financial services," Etihad Aviation Group Chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said.

"Our equity partner strategy continues to be an important element of our business model, and Robin will drive the strategy by adjusting and progressing our approach. We would like to thank Bruno for his sterling efforts over the last 2-and-a-half years, as we have built and consolidated our equity partner approach," he said.

Kamark will lead strategic developments to optimize business performance, revenues and cost synergies between Etihad Airways (EHD) and its equity partner airlines. He will also provide strategic leadership for airline partners where (*EHD) has management responsibility. He will take up his new position in October 2017.

Etihad Group Strategy & Planning Officer Kevin Knight will also work with Matheu to provide continuity across Airline Equity Partners as the group manages the transition over the coming months.

May 2017: News Item A-1: "The Face of an Airline" by Victoria Moores in "Need I say Moores" May 10, 2017.

It is almost impossible to imagine Etihad Airways (EHD) without James Hogan, but come July that will be a reality. How do airline brands move on when their face changes?

There are certain airlines where their (CEO) is almost as well known as the brand itself. Take Ryanair (RYR) and Michael O’Leary, for example, or Qatar Airways (QTA) and Akbar Al Baker.

I’d argue Hogan is in that group. He became head of (EHD) in 2006 and has undoubtedly shaped (EHD) from a small (if well-funded) start-up into the Goliath that it is today. So, what happens now?

Some airlines have moved on from high-profile leadership changes very effectively, such as Herb Kelleher and his low-cost icon Southwest Airlines (SWA). Others have done so with turbulence. Greek entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou was as synonymous with easyJet (EZY) as the color orange. Since stepping down, his presence has continued to be felt as an extremely vocal shareholder. However, Carolyn McCall took the reins in 2010 and has arguably become far more associated as a face of the (EZY) brand than (EZY)’s other leaders, Ray Webster and Andrew Harrison.

Some airlines seem to keep their actual (CEO)s a little more out of the spotlight. For example, the International Airlines Group (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh is far better known as a figure head than his immediate successor as (CEO) at British Airways (BAB), Keith Williams, who kept a low profile. Likewise, Alex Cruz has become a lot less visible since he was promoted from Vueling (VUZ) (CEO) to become (BAB)’s latest chief.

Another example is Virgin Atlantic (VAA), which will always be associated with its celebrity founder Sir Richard Branson, rather than characters like Steve Ridgway and Craig Kreeger, who held the top spot at (VAA).

Perhaps the most entrenched name in the airline business today is Michael O’Leary. Even non-aviation people are aware of the (RYR) (CEO)’s antics, which have calmed a little under the ‘Always Getting Better’ niceness program. O’Leary has already accrued 17 years as (CEO) of (RYR) and has been with (RYR) even longer, since January 1994. He has committed to remain until September 2019. Responding to a question on when he might step down back in 2014, he replied: “I have always said that, from my point of view, I would be very happy to stay here for as long as what we’re doing is interesting. Over the last few years, that included resolving Aer Lingus (ARL), along with the Stansted and Dublin [airport] issues and the airplane order. But I think the whole digital transformation and new growth at primary airports makes it a very interesting place to work for the next number of years, so I hope the board will keep me on,” he said.

Under O’Leary’s leadership, (RYR) has grown from 3 million to 121 million passengers per year. By 2024, (RYR) expects to carry 180 million passengers annually. O’Leary previously indicated that once (RYR) became more corporate and friendly, it would be time for him to step down. Then, in the 2014 quote, he said he was waiting on the digital transformation, which has moved along a lot since. Post-2019, who knows?

Ultimately, in a world where some (CEO)s are almost as well-known as their airline, even the most personality-centered brands find a new face with time.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) has taken delivery of its 10th and final Airbus A380. It was officially handed over to (EHD) at the Airbus Hamburg Finkenwerder plant in Germany before commencing its delivery flight to Abu Dhabi.

(EHD)’s A380s include "The Residence" (a 3-room living space for up to 2 guests, including a living room), 9 First Apartments, 70 Business Studios, a Lobby Lounge, and 415 Economy Smart Seats.
(EHD) operates its A380 fleet from Abu Dhabi on flights to London Heathrow, Sydney, New York (JFK), and (from July 1) to Paris Charles de Gaulle. (EHD) plans to terminate A380 services to Mumbai and Melbourne.

113 out of 210 A380 aircraft in service with 13 airlines are currently based in the Gulf (95 of the type are with Dubai-based Emirates Airline (EAD), 10 with Etihad (EHD) and 8 with Doha-based Qatar Airways (QTA).

787-9 (39658, A6-BLM), A340-541 (757, A6-EHB) to storage and A380-841 (237, A6-APJ), ex-(F-WWAR) deliveries.

June 2017: News Item A-1: "Etihad, (TUI) Group Calls Off Plans for New Leisure Airline" by Kurt Hofmann, June 8, 2017.

The Etihad (EHD) Aviation Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group have ended plans to establish a new European leisure airline group. “I can confirm that negotiations on this project, which have been on hold since the end of 2016, have ended.”

In October 2016, the partners detailed plans to combine the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group and German carrier (TUI)fly (HAP)/(HLX) into a new airline group, serving destinations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. (BER) was expected to operate 58 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.

The Etihad Aviation Group also confirmed it terminated negotiations with the (TUI) Group, saying it has taken this decision following many months of negotiations in good faith. However, Etihad (EHD) said the parties had been unable to reach agreement on the final nature of such a joint venture (JV).

A source close to Austria-based FlyNiki (NKI) said the news from Abu Dhabi came as shock. Both brands: TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) and FlyNiki (NKI) already operate in parallel with around 60 aircraft in the current summer period. “It is a clever strategy to create a strong European leisure-airline because there is too much capacity in Germany. But FlyNiki (NKI) is not available anymore,” (TUI) (TUG) board member Sebastian Ebel said June 7. “We will continue to push ahead with the repositioning of TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) in order to develop a long-term perspective for the airline and its employees.”

According to Etihad (EHD), the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group will now continue to operate as a separate business unit under the FlyNiki (NKI) brand. Further details of this structure will be announced by airberlin (BER). (NKI)’s operating schedule remains unchanged with all bookings being honored; however, customers should contact (NKI) directly for any further information.

On December 5, 2016, Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member airberlin (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of its Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI) to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million), an investment that is important for financially troubled airberlin (BER).

At this point in time, it remains unclear what will happen with the €300 million (EHD) has already given to airberlin (BER).

The original plan had called for (TUI) AG (TUG) to hold 24.8% of shares in the (JV), with (EHD) holding a 25% stake. The remaining 50.2% shares will continue to be held by FlyNiki (NKI).

News Item A-2: "Etihad, airberlin Outline FlyNiki’s Future" by
Kurt Hofmann, June 9, 2017.

The Etihad Aviation Group and Germany-based airberlin (BER) have confirmed the sale of Austrian subsidiary FlyNiki (NKI). The 2 companies said the sale will proceed at an agreed-upon time and in a manner compliant with European Union (EU) regulations; further details will be provided in due course, according to a statement released June 9. Until the sale is completed, (NKI) will continue to operate as a separate business unit within the (BER) group with a focus on short- and medium-haul leisure destinations. “The (NKI) flight schedule for winter 2017 has been published and all bookings remain valid.”

In December 2016, (BER) said it had reached an agreement with the Etihad Investment Company for the sale of the shares it indirectly held in (NIK) Luftfahrt GmbH. On December 5, 2016, Oneworld (ONW) Alliance member (BER) announced the sale of 49.8% of (NKI) to Etihad (EHD) for €300 million/$320 million.

In October 2016, the partners detailed plans to combine the leisure operations of the airberlin (BER) group and German carrier TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) into a new airline group, serving destinations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The airline was expected to operate 58 aircraft on point-to-point services to key tourist markets.

On June 8, the Etihad Aviation Group and German holiday company the (TUI) Group (TUG) said they ended plans to establish a new European leisure airline group, which included FlyNiki (NKI).

“Within the airberlin (BER) group there will be 2 clearly identified separated divisions: flights to long-haul destinations and to major business centers throughout Germany and the rest of Europe, [which] will be operated by (BER) from Dusseldorf and Berlin,” (BER) (CEO) Thomas Winkelmann said on June 9.

“(NKI), as a standalone business, will offer flights to popular leisure destinations for holidaymakers. With this, both the new airberlin (BER) and the leisure business operated by FlyNiki (NKI), can be properly addressed with the right organization and resources until the acquisition of (NKI) is completed,” he said.

Etihad Aviation Group interim (CEO) Ray Gammell added: “We continue to support the efforts of the (BER) management team as it continues its transformation. Similarly, our commitment to support (NKI) still stands and we aim to finalize the transaction soon.”

On June 9, (NKI) appointed Armin Bovensiepen as (CCO), replacing Julio Rodriguez.

July 2017: News Item A-1: Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) and Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines (GUN) have begun a new code share partnership.

Under the agreement, SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member China Southern Airlines (GUN) will put its CZ code on Etihad Airways (EHD)’s daily services from Abu Dhabi to Beijing, Shanghai Pudong, and Chengdu.

(EHD) said the new partnership increases its number of code share agreements to 53.

(EHD) Executive VP Commercial Mohammad Al Bulooki called the code share a “significant milestone in the airlines’ network development strategy and a key component of its footprint in the China market.”

Both carriers plan to implement a reciprocal loyalty partnership in the near future, enabling passengers to earn and redeem miles on each other’s flights network-wide.

News Item A-2: "Etihad Said American Code Share Decision is ‘Anti-competitive" by Karen Walker, July 14, 2017.

Etihad Airways (EHD) said it is “disappointed” by American Airlines (AAL)’s decision to terminate its code share relationship and views it as “anti-competitive and anti-consumer.”

(AAL) announced July 12 that it notified (EHD) and fellow Oneworld (ONE) alliance member Qatar Airways (QTA) at the end of June that the code share arrangements with each carrier would end in March 2018. (AAL) said its decision was made as a protest against what it alleges to be government subsidies of the major Gulf carriers.

Responding to the announcement, an (EHD) spokesperson said its code share, begun in 2009, has been “mutually beneficial” and provided passengers flying to and from the USA with more and better flight options to points in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and other destinations that historically have not been served by USA airlines.

“We view the decision by (AAL) as being anti-competitive and anti-consumer. This action will reduce choices for consumers and may result in higher fares for travelers to and from the USA.”

“We are committed to the US market and American consumers, and are taking all possible measures to ensure that the flying public is not harmed by this decision. We will continue our interline relationship with (AAL) to help ensure continued connectivity to secondary markets. We are committed to working with all airlines, including all USA carriers, to offer passengers more competition, more destinations, and an overall better flying experience.

(EHD) added that its 6 daily flights to the USA “in no way threaten (AAL), which together with its regional partner American Eagle, operates 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations in 50 countries.”

August 2017: News Item A-1: "Air France (AFA) - (KLM) & Virgin Atlantic (VAA): Culture Clash?" by Victoria Moores, July 28, 2017.

Air France (AFA) - (KLM) pulled a surprise move, announcing plans to acquire 31% of UK long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic (VAA), but how will the partnership play out in terms of culture and strategy?

From a strategic standpoint, the acquisition joins up a few SkyTeam (STM) alliance dots. (AFA) - (KLM) has a strong relationship with USA major Delta Air Lines (DAL), which in turn has a maximum 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic (VAA). Meanwhile, SkyTeam (STM) alliance members (DAL) and China Eastern (CEA) are each buying 10% of Air France (AFA) - (KLM).

There are definite gains to be had on both sides of the Channel. (VAA) will finally get the short-haul feed it has been craving for years, since its failed attempts to buy UK short-haul carrier bmi. Meanwhile, Air France (AFA) gets a solid London foothold to add to its Paris and Amsterdam hubs.

But do equity partnerships truly work? The "Qualiflyer Group" tried this strategy. It failed. Air Afrique (AFR) also tried it and failed.

Another equity investment story is playing out at the Etihad (EHD) Group, which has just offloaded its stake in Swiss regional Darwin Airline (flying as Etihad Regional). Meanwhile, 2 other investments: Alitalia (ALI) and airberlin (BER) continue to bleed cash, contributing to Etihad (EHD)’s -$1.87 billion net loss for 2016.

The Lufthansa (DLH) Group and the International Airlines Group (IAG)’s portfolio of airline brands seem to be better examples of industry consolidation, but these are typically full-control ventures.

How much strategic benefit do smaller (but significant) equity stakes truly bring, compared with non-equity joint ventures?

Also, how will this fit with the UK’s plans to exit the European Union (EU) (Brexit), if UK carrier Virgin Atlantic (VAA) has 79% foreign ownership (49% Delta (DAL) and 30% (AFA) - (KLM))?

Then there’s the problem of cultural fit. (AFA) - (KLM) and (VAA)’s cultures are very different. (AFA) trades on its lengthy history, exuding a certain elegance and grace. (KLM) is more in line with (VAA), with an edgy, modern and slightly rebellious personality.

But here’s the rub. Air France (AFA) and (KLM) joined forces in 2004 and (despite 13 years together) the 2 companies are still batting a serious cultural divide. How well will (AFA) mesh with (VAA)?

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) and Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARG) have started implementing their code share agreement, which was originally signed in 2014.

(EHD)’s code will be placed on (ARG) flights from Rome and Madrid to Buenos Aires, and from Buenos Aires to 9 destinations in Argentina: Córdoba, Mendoza, Rosario, Iguazú, Salta, Mar del Plata, Bariloche, Trelew, and Ushuaia.

(ARG)’s code will be placed on Etihad (EHD) flights from Rome and Madrid to Abu Dhabi, enabling (ARG) passengers to gain “access to (EHD)’s network of >100 destinations from its Abu Dhabi hub via the Italian and Spanish capitals.”

(EHD) Executive VP Commercial Mohammad Al Bulooki said the code share agreement “demonstrates the importance of Argentina as a vital travel market for (EHD) in Latin America.”

(ARG) (CCO) Diego Garcia added the code share deal “allows us to improve our load factors, optimize the use of the fleet and strengthen the image of Aerolíneas Argentinas (ARG) in the Asian market.”

Members of both airlines’ loyalty programs “will soon be able to earn and redeem miles on the code share flights,” according to (EHD).

News Item A-3: German carrier airberlin (BER), in which Etihad Airways (EHD) has a 29.2% stake, filed for insolvency on August 15 after (EHD) withdrew financial support.

The German government is issuing a loan of €150 million/$177 million to airberlin (BER) to ensure flight operations for about 3 months, German Minister of Economic Affairs, Brigitte Zypries said.

(EHD) said: “We have been informed that (BER) has filed for administration.

News Item A-4: Etihad Airways (EHD) has ended A340-541 operations following the retirement of its last remaining aircraft of the type, (783, A6-EHD)), on July 28 as EY616 Rabat to Abu Dhabi International.

September 2017: Etihad Airways (EHD) has named UK Ministry of Defense executive Tony Douglas as group (CEO), succeeding James Hogan in the role.

Douglas will join (EHD) in January 2018, taking over from Ray Gammell, who has held the role on an interim basis since May 2017. Gammell will return to his role as group chief people & performance officer.

Douglas has previously held (CEO) roles at Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Abu Dhabi Ports Company.

Most recently, Douglas has been working as (CEO) of the UK MoD Defense Equipment & Support Department, with responsibility for British Armed Forces procurement. Prior to that, he held senior roles with UK airport operator (BAA), including London Heathrow Airport (LHR) (CEO) and Managing Director of the (LHR) Terminal 5 project.

Etihad Aviation Group Chairman Al Mazrouei said Douglas “has guided the transformation of large organizations in the (UAE) and the UK, and he understands the (UAE) and the region. He is also deeply knowledgeable about commercial aviation and keenly familiar with (Ehd)’s challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.”

In addition, (EHD) said Douglas will guide the company into its next phase of development, implementing “a range of strategic initiatives.” The group has suffered several major blows recently, after 2 of its equity partners (Italian carrier Alitalia (ALI) and German leisure airline airberlin (BER)) entered administration. (EHD) also sold its stake in Swiss regional Airline Darwin.

“(EHD) is a force in global aviation that must continue to adapt and evolve on its own and with industry partners,” Douglas said.

Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) comprises 5 divisions: — national carrier Etihad Airways (EHD), Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, the Hala Group, and Airline Equity Partners, and has had minority investments in 6 airlines: airberlin (BER) (although it withdrew its 29.2% stake in August), Air Serbia (JAT), Air Seychelles (ASY), Alitalia (ALI), Jet Airways (JPL) and Virgin Australia (VOZ).

The divisional (CEO)s will report to Douglas, including Etihad Airways (CEO) Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airport Services Managing Director Chris Youlten, Etihad Airways Engineering (CEO) Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Hala Group Managing Director Gavin Halliday and Robin Kamark, who will take up the role of Airline Equity Partners (CEO) in October.

October 2017: News Item A-1: "Etihad (CEO) Looks to Redefine Airline’s Future" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker October 11, 2017.

Etihad Airways (EHD)’s executive team is close to completing its strategic review and setting a new 5- and 10-year plan after being rocked financially by what its (CEO) calls “a perfect storm” of multiple circumstances.

(EHD) posted a net loss of -$1.87 billion for 2016, reversed from a net profit of +$103 million in 2015. Exceptional charges were major factors behind the deficit, including an $808 million charge on assets and financial exposures to equity partners, mainly related to Alitalia (ALI) and airberlin (BER), which are now both in bankruptcy and in which Etihad (EHD) owned stakes.

(EHD) was also affected by a fall in oil prices, which led to an accelerated overcapacity situation in the Gulf market. On top of that, terrorist events in Europe, the USA President Trump travel bans, and the USA’s 5-month ban on laptops and other electronic devices in the cabins of aircraft all impacted demand for travel on the Gulf airlines.

Etihad (EHD) (CEO) Peter Baumgartner acknowledged that it was a “quite intense” time and that (EHD) was “redefining its future.”

The strategic review, he said, will be completed in a few weeks. “It’s not just what we are doing with our partner airline strategy. Airlines as a whole are at a point where we need to assess where we are going and the trends and their effects on our industry. Transformation forces do not stop at the borders of the Middle East. There are also opportunities and you can't afford to miss them,” Baumgartner said.

“Customer expectations and behaviors have fundamentally changed,” he added, giving the Smartphone as an example.

“The (LCC)s have shown how it works when it comes to technology. The definition of a great airline has changed. It's now all about customization and personalization. The days are over when it was about the flattest bed. It’s not just what we are doing with our partner strategy. Airlines as a whole are at a point where we need to assess where we are going and the trends and effects on our industry. Transformation forces do not stop at the borders of the Middle East. There are opportunities and you can miss them,” he said.

Airlines must enable passengers to purchase the product they need at the price they are willing to pay. Europe’s (LCC)s are successful, even with the business (C) traveler, because they deliver a product that’s efficient, seamless, on time, and affordable. “So that’s the definition of the "best airline in the world" and that’s changing everything,” he said.

Digital technology is enabling airlines to segment their products and allow them to select and pay for what they want. “That’s the way to go,” Baumgartner said. “It means customer expectations are met.”

One special concern is the USA market, which Baumgartner said was “very important” but Etihad (EHD) is having to rethink its footprint there. American Airlines (AAL) took the decision earlier this year to end its code shares with (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) from March 2018 because of the "Open Skies" dispute and USA accusations that the Gulf carriers are government subsidized. That dispute is believed to be heading for another wave of political campaigning.

“The USA is such an important market for us and what’s happening is really quite sad. It destroys a win, win for us and our USA partners,” he said, noting the code share brought “tremendous incremental value” to both airlines. But he added that (EHD) operates on a commercial mandate and its network must be based on a healthy foundation. He said there was a “sense of urgency to bring the "Open Skies" debate to a conclusion” and he was “hopeful we can go back and look at this reasonably.”

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) Engineering was selected by both Lufthansa (DLH) (Airbus A340-300s and A380-800s) and Aeroméxico (AMX) (Boeing 777s) to perform heavy maintenance checks.

November 2017: Etihad Airways (EHD) will suspend its Abu Dhabi to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) route from March 25, 2018. (EHD) said November 2 the route would become commercially unsustainable following American Airlines (AAL)’s decision to terminate the code share agreement between them. (EHD) hinted that further action could be taken to adjust its USA services.

(AAL) announced in July it would end code shares with both Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) because of its long-running complaint that the major Gulf carriers receive government subsidies that do not comply with the "Open Skies" agreements with the (UAE) and Qatar. The last day of the (EHD) code share operation will be March 24, 2018.

“The unfortunate decision by (AAL) to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left (EHD) with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth,” (EHD) (CEO) Peter Baumgartner said. Dallas/Fort Worth is (AAL)’s home hub.

“We are open to (AAL) reversing its decision to cancel our code share agreement so that Etihad Airways (EHD) can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines.”

The efforts of the USA majors to review the air access agreements between the USA on the one hand and the (UAE) and Qatar on the other, largely failed to gain traction with the Obama administration, but have been ramped up again this year, apparently in the belief that President Trump will be more receptive to their claims of unfair competition.

On November 2, Etihad (EHD) said it had invested heavily in the (DFW) route since its launch in December 2014. The service commenced on a 3x-weekly basis and was upgraded to daily in February 2017. (EHD) had added that half of its (DFW) customers connected on USA code share flights operated by (AAL).

“The cancellation of the Dallas route is 1 of several adjustments that we are making to our USA network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability. Further changes are possible as we monitor the full impact of the (AAL) code share cancellation on summer 2018 bookings,” said Baumgartner.

In October, Baumgartner said this was a “sad situation” that “destroys mutual value. The "Open Skies" debate and the impact we see at Etihad (EHD) redefines our footprint in the country. That partnership has brought tremendous incremental value to (AAL) and to us,” he said.

(EHD) operates 42x-weekly nonstop flights to 5 USA gateways: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York and Washington. Additionally, Etihad Cargo operates 2x-weekly Boeing 777F freighter services to and from Columbus, Ohio; and Tucson, Arizona.

December 2017: News Item A-1: "Etihad (EHD) Introduces Buy-on-board Refreshments" by
Victoria Moores , December 11, 2017.

Etihad Airways (EHD) will continue offering complimentary meals in economy (Y) class, but is to add buy-on-board drinks, snacks and amenity kits as (EHD) continues to experiment with new products.

Under the initiative, announced on December 11, economy (Y) class passengers will be able to buy snack boxes, champagne ($8) and cold-brew coffee ($4), as well as amenity kits ($22) and sleepwear ($35) on board.

“(EHD) is always looking at new ways to give our guests more power and control over their experience, through options to customize and personalize their journey. In addition to providing extra comfort and choice in the air, some of the items are great gift ideas, particularly in the run up to the holiday season. We will monitor guest satisfaction and aim to expand the range of items for sale in the future,” (EHD) VP Guest Experience & Delivery Linda Celestino said.

As part of the product revamp, (EHD) recently began offering chauffeur transfers, hand-luggage only fares, paid lounge access, neighbor-free and extra-legroom seats for economy passengers.

These initiatives form part of Etihad’s drive to tap digital, increase customer choice and diversify revenues.

News Item A-2: "Swiss Regional Darwin Airline Declared Bankrupt" by
Alan Dron , December 15, 2017.

Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline has been declared bankrupt, after attempts to resolve its financial problems failed. The Lugano, Switzerland-based carrier had in recent years traded as Etihad Regional until the Abu Dhabi carrier sold its 33.3% shareholding to Luxembourg-based private equity fund (4K) Invest in July 2017. The new owners also own Slovenia’s national carrier Adria Airways (ADR).

Darwin was to be re-branded as Adria Airways Switzerland for marketing purposes, although the Darwin name would remain legally alive.

On November 27, Darwin filed for voluntary insolvency, the Swiss equivalent of "Chapter 11," after a series of external developments, including the cessation of contracts with Italian flag carrier Alitalia (ALI) and the collapse of airberlin (BER), badly affected its financial situation. Within 24 hours, Swiss aviation regulator (FOCA) suspended the airline’s operating license, barring it from flying in its own right, while allowing it to continue to operate wet-lease services on behalf of other companies.

Darwin had been willing to do this, a (FOCA) spokesman said December 15, but little appeared to change in the company’s fortunes over the following 2 weeks and a judge announced the company’s bankruptcy. “The decision was taken because of the unbearable financial situation of the company,” the spokesman said.

Darwin, based for many years in the SE Swiss city of Lugano, operated a fleet of 6 Saab 2000 turboprops and, more recently, 4 ATR 72-500s. The latter aircraft are believed to have been leased and have returned to their lessors.

“It seems they were trying to use [the Saabs] for other companies, especially for Adria Airways Slovenia, but they couldn’t do it,” according to the (FOCA) spokesman, who said it was not clear what would happen to the aircraft. “They were trying to sell at least 1 quickly, to raise some money in this period, but were unable [to do so].”

When (4K) Invest took over Darwin, it appointed Heinrich Ollendiek as (CEO). He said he had left the company in September 2017. The airline’s telephone number went unanswered and its website appeared to be down. (4K) Invest did not have a spokesman available to comment on the bankruptcy, insisting on written questions. Those had not been answered at publication time.

January 2018: News Item A-1: "Air Serbia Names Naysmith as Interim (CEO)" by Victoria Moores January 2, 2018.

Air Serbia (JAT) has named Etihad Airways (EHD) executive Duncan Naysmith as interim (CEO), following Dane Kondic’s decision to step down for personal reasons at the end of January.

On December 25, (JAT) announced that Naysmith would assume full management responsibility “effective immediately.” There will be a handover period until Kondic; leaves at the end of January 2018.

Naysmith is Chief Financial & Business Transformation Officer at Etihad Airways (EHD), which holds a 49% equity stake in Air Serbia (JAT). With >12 years of senior airline management experience, Naysmith will take on the role of interim (CEO) until Kondic’s permanent successor is found.

Air Serbia (JAT) Chairman Siniša Mali credited Kondic for delivering “significant achievements and milestones,” including product and fleet upgrades, significant network expansion and improved financial performance. He added that (JAT) is embarking on the next phase of its development and that Naysmith has “the complete confidence of the board” as (JAT) repositions itself.

(JAT), which launched in 2013, reported +3% passenger growth for the 1st 6 months of 2017 with an average load factor of 70.5% LF, while its cargo operations grew +54.6% against the comparable period. “The new leadership will focus on a clear strategy to meet the challenges ahead and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the airline. We know we can rely on Duncan Naysmith’s proven skills and experience to lead (JAT) during this time. (EHD) is committed to providing its expertise and ongoing support to (JAT) both as a major shareholder and partner,” Etihad Aviation Group Chief Strategy & Planning Officer and (JAT) Vice Chairman Kevin Knight said.

News Item A-2: "The Open Skies ‘Big Deal’ That Isn’t" by Karen Walker ( in (ATW) Editor's Blog January 30, 2018.

American (AAL), Delta (DAL) and United (UAL) still have little to show for the millions of dollars they’ve spent on publicity campaigns and legal work aimed at curtailing the growth of Emirates (EAD), Etihad (EHD) and Qatar Airways (QTA).

While the USA airline (CEO)s and (ALPA) have issued press statements akin to victory claims, the reality is that the new USA - Qatar “understandings on civil aviation” pact, announced this month by USA Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, changes nothing about the "Open Skies" agreement between the 2 countries or Qatar Airways (QTA)’s operations to the USA.

To summarize, in return for not renegotiating the "Open Skies" deal, the Qatari government has agreed that (QTA) will release an audited financial statement within a year and assured Washington that the Doha-based airline has “no current plans” to operate 5th freedom flights to the USA.

How useful that audited statement will be to the USA carriers is anybody’s guess, but there seems to be a wide margin for interpretation of how to deliver that concession. And (QTA) does not operate 5th freedom flights to the USA (although it could do so under the "Open Skies" agreement, if it wished), so nothing changes there and the Qatari government’s assurance on this is even vaguer than the financial transparency pledge.

Tillerson’s statement was also cloaked in diplomatic assurances, emphasizing that Qatar was “a strong partner and a longtime friend of the USA,” with whom the USA is keen to deepen its strategic ties and cooperation in areas that include trade, security and counterterrorism.

The most important part of today’s statement, however, is what wasn’t mentioned: the (UAE), Emirates (EAD) and Etihad (EHD). The USA is apparently hopeful of reaching the same type of amicable handshake with the (UAE), which is unquestionably as important a strategic partner as Qatar. But the (UAE) is in a diplomatic standoff with Qatar, so there’s no reason to believe that where Qatar goes, so will the (UAE). Even more problematic, Emirates (EAD) (the world's largest international airline) does operate 5th freedom flights (via Italy and Greece) to the USA. Would a USA “civil aviation understanding” with the (UAE) require (EAD) to give those up?

Even if the (UAE) and (EAD) were to make such a concession, would they do so while still permitting USA cargo carriers to operate 5th freedom flights out of Dubai?

But let’s hypothesize that an agreement is forged with the (UAE) similar to Qatar’s. What, in reality, have (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) achieved for their money? The "Open Skies" agreements will remain intact (a good thing, in this editor’s view); the Gulf carriers will maintain their current direct schedules to the USA; and, if they wish and if slots are available, those airlines can continue to expand their USA destination networks.

Meanwhile, the consolidated USA majors will continue to control some 80% of the USA domestic market (into which foreign carriers, including the Gulf carriers, cannot venture because of USA cabotage laws) and will maintain their dominant, anti-trust protected positions in the transatlantic market with their European partners, Air France (AFA) - (KLM), British Airways (BAB), Lufthansa (DLH) and Virgin Atlantic (VAA).

3 years on, with millions of dollars and a lot of rhetoric spent, (AAL), (DAL) and (UAL) seem to have achieved only 1 thing: securing the status quo.

March 2018: News Item A-1: "Etihad Said No Plans to Divest Stake in Jet Airways" by ET Bureau, The Economic Times, March 02, 2018

Etihad Airways (EHD) will likely sell its entire 24% stake in Jet Airways (JPL) by December this year, consultancy firm (CAPA)-Center for Aviation said. (EHD) denied any such plan, while (JPL) called it "speculation."

The sale, possibly in the 3rd quarter of the next fiscal year, "could lead to a rationalisation of capacity between India and the Gulf, particularly Abu Dhabi," the Sydney-based consultant said in a tweet.
"The claims made in the (CAPA) report are false. (JPL) is a valuable partner of Etihad Airways (EHD), and we have no plans to divest," Abu Dhabi-based (EHD) said in an e-mailed response to (ETH)'s queries.

Rumours of (EHD)'s exit have been rife in the aviation industry since last year, despite (JPL) Chairman Naresh Goyal and executives denying it. Goyal had also denied (JPL) was looking for another partner, despite floating industry information of talks with Air France (AFA) - (KLM) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) with whom (JPL) has deep rooted commercial ties. Sources said Goyal had been wooing all these airlines for a stake sale. ET Bureau reported on July 3, 2017 about talks with Delta Air Lines (DAL).

In November, during an interview to ET Bureau, (AFA) - KLM Chairman Jean-Marc Janaillac didn't rule out a strategic investment in (JPL), although he said there were no plans at the time for such a deal. It will be a complex process if (EHD) and (JPL) want to disengage, analysts said. (EHD) owns 24% in (JPL) and half of its miles rewarding unit Jet Privilege.

It had bought flight slots in London from (JPL), which then leased those from (EHD). It has also wet-leased (with crew) several wide bodied planes from (JPL). On top of that, at a time when most of its European investments, primarily Alitalia (ALI) and Air Berlin (BER), are bleeding, (JPL) is the only large-sized partner carrier for (EHD) making consistent profits and giving it traffic flows to take on its Gulf peers Emirates (EAD) and Qatar Airways (QTA) as well as western rivals in this region. (JPL) has a lot to gain from India's rapidly inflating air traffic.

(EAD)'s involvement in (JPL) has however, diminished to minimal levels, according to sources in the know. Operationally, (JPL) has widened its number of overseas hubs from just Abu Dhabi and Brussels to 5: Amsterdam, Paris, London, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Its plan is to primarily expand via western gateways though agreements with (AFA) - (KLM).

"Jet Airways (JPL) has little to gain from the alliance with Etihad (EHD) now, but (EHD) has a lot to get from it," said the senior executive of a rival carrier, who didn't want to be named. "Their ties are complex and deep. Only time will tell how and if the airlines manage to go their own ways."

News Item A-2: "Airberlin Administrator Seeks >$1.25 Billion in Claims Against Etihad" by Jens Flottau (ATW) Plus, Mar 6, 2018.

Airberlin’s (BER) Insolvency Administrator Lucas Floether is near­ing a decision on making claims in excess of >€1 billion/>$1.25 billion against former shareholder Etihad Airways (EHD) as he seeks to satisfy as many creditor demands as possible. The airline’s creditor committee was expected to discuss the matter at its March 5 meeting, but was likely to postpone a formal decision about a lawsuit against Abu Dhabi-based Etihad (EHD) for several weeks.

April 2018: News Item A-1: "USA (DOT) Approves Hong Kong Airlines, Etihad Code Share to (SFO), (LAX)" by (ATW) Katie Cantle, April 16, 2018.

The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved a code share between Hong Kong Airlines (CRY) and Etihad Airways (EHD) on 2 intercontinental services from Hong Kong to San Francisco International (SFO) and Los Angeles International (LAX) airports.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) is expected to place its EY code on the 2 services operated by Hong Kong Airlines (CRY). Both carriers are expected to enhance their flight connectivity between the Middle East, Asia and Europe through the new code share deal.

(CRY) began Airbus A350 flights to Los Angeles December 2017 and launched service to San Francisco March 25, 2018. (EHD) cut its service to San Francisco and reduced flight frequencies to Los Angeles from daily to 3x-weekly flights.

(CRY) and (EHD) began code sharing in 2014. Under the agreement, (EHD) placed its code on flights from Hong Kong to Bangkok and Okinawa, Japan. In return, (CRY) placed an HX code on (EHD)’s 3x-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Bangkok, with 2 additional routes connecting Abu Dhabi to Madrid starting March 29, 2015 and to Hong Kong beginning June 15, 2015.

In recent years, (CRY) has committed to rapid international expansion as a part of its strategic transformation from a regional to an international carrier.

(CRY) plans to open new service to New York and London this year in addition to its San Francisco service opened last month. “Our performance on long-haul international routes will be 1 of the important indicators to evaluate whether our transformation is successful or not,” (CRY) President Wang Liya was quoted as previously saying.

(CRY) has 37 aircraft in its fleet, comprising 20 A330 family aircraft, 11 A320 passenger aircraft, 2 A320 freighters and 4 A350-900s. (CRY) plans to expand its fleet to 50 aircraft in 2019 and is scheduled to put all its ordered (21) A350s in place by 2020 to facilitate its international expansion.

In 2017, (CRY) transported >7 million passengers, up +9% over 2016, and boosted its share of the Hong Kong market to 10% from 9.07% in 2016.

June 2018: "Emirates Clark Said Any Etihad Merger Plan Is Up to Shareholders" by Haidi Lun, Anurag Kotoky, "Bloomberg News" June 05, 2018.

Emirates Airline (EAD) said any merger plan with Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways (EHD) is for shareholders to decide and no such development is likely any time soon. "That is in the hands of the shareholders," (EAD) President Sir Tim Clark said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Sydney. "On the short-term, medium-term horizon, I would say no."

Local press reports have said United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s ruling families that control (EAD) and (EHD) have held talks about possibly combining the 2. (EHD) posted a loss of -US$1.87 billion in 2016 following the failure of an alliance-building strategy that saw it pour cash into Air Berlin (ber) and Alitalia (ALI), both of which later filed for insolvency. (EAD) Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in May there have never been talks with (EHD) about a merger.

(EAD) is working with (EHD) had to look at areas of common ground without mixing up the brands and entering into competing areas, Clark said. (EAD), the world's biggest long-haul carrier, posted a net income of 4.11 billion dirhams/US $1.1 billion in the 12 months ended March 31 as higher oil prices spurred a revival in travel in oil-based Middle Eastern economies.

While Clark said bookings this summer are "very, very strong" and that ticket prices have risen from last year, (EAD)'s outlook for the year is facing the double whammy of the rising dollar, as well as rising fuel costs leaving its outlook "cloudy." (EAD) said in May that full-year profits had returned to the levels of 2013 to 2014, signaling a recovery after the collapse of oil prices and a wave of terror incidents across Europe hit demand.

July 2018: News Item A-1: "Etihad Aviation Group Sign Major Agreement with Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company" by China Aviation Daily, July 20, 2018.

A strategic partnership and mutual promotion mechanism was established as Etihad Aviation Group (EHD) (CEO) Tony Douglas and Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company Limited (JOCIC) Chairman Luo Hua inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during Chinese President Xi Jinping's 3-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The parties plan to cooperate on a wide range of areas in order to better support the development of the China - (UAE) Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park (China - (UAE) Industrial Park) in Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi, including air logistics, procurement, mutual promotion on respective premises and digital channels.

The MoU signifies that (EHD) will provide the companies investing in the China - (UAE) Industrial Park with preferred air transportation and cargo rates on the routes and services between China and other cities on Etihad Airways (EHD) entire network. (JOCIC) and the companies of the China - (UAE) Industrial Park also designate (EHD) as their preferred airline.

Under the agreement, (EHD) and (JOCIC), the management company of the China - (UAE) Industrial Park, will jointly explore marketing opportunities through appropriate promotional channels in China and the (UAE) to promote the China - (UAE) Industrial Park, Abu Dhabi's friendly investment environment for Chinese companies as well as Abu Dhabi's unique geographic advantages and (EHD)'s convenient network, which supports China's Belt and Road Initiative.

In addition, (EAD) will enjoy special rates on the products produced and manufactured by Chinese companies at the China - (UAE) Industrial Park.

Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group (CEO) said: "China is a strategically important market for (EHD). We feel extremely honored to forge such a strategic partnership with (JOCIC) so as to serve the development of the China - (UAE) Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park, and better foster the Chinese companies within the Industrial Park."

"The partnership will demonstrate the long-standing commitment of (EHD) to acting as a bridge for economic and cultural exchanges between the (UAE) and China, as well as to strengthen the position of Abu Dhabi as an aviation hub to connect China with the economies along the Belt & Road Initiative by leveraging our strong global network," Mr Douglas continued. "It also exemplifies our pivotal role in the Abu Dhabi government's plan to strengthen the infrastructure and transport sectors in Abu Dhabi, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030." "This is only the beginning. We look forward to making more contributions to the project," Mr Douglas added.

Luo Hua, Chairman of Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company, said: "The China - (UAE) Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park is a major project under the Belt and Road Initiative. It represents an important consensus reached by the leadership of China and the (UAE) to strengthen international industrial capacity cooperation between the 2 countries.

"We look forward to working closely with Etihad Aviation Group by leveraging its diversification of business, convenient network and innovation advantages to drive the continued success of the China - (UAE) Demonstration Park," added Chairman Luo.

Established in July 2017, with a 50-year agreement signed between Abu Dhabi Ports and (JOCIC), the China-UAE Industrial Park has successfully achieved investment agreements with 16 Chinese companies, totaling US$1 billion in value. The Chinese companies investing in the Industrial Park come from various sectors, including new energy sources, aluminum processing, machinery manufacturing, trade and logistics, metallurgy, building materials, chemicals, packaging, and food and beverages.

In May 2018, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) also signed an MoU with (JOCIC) to establish a comprehensive financial service platform to better integrate financial resources to service the development of the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park. The Industrial Park aims to become a major window and platform for China's investment and trade cooperation with countries in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

(EHD) currently operates daily flights between Abu Dhabi and China's 4 main gateways: Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

News Item A-2: Etihad Airways (EHD) will introduce the Boeing 787-9 on Abu Dhabi to Morocco’s Rabat, replacing the Airbus A330-300 currently serving the route. (EHD) will increase 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Toronto Boeing 777-300ER services to 5x-weekly from October 28.

August 2018: News Item A-1: "(DHL) Subsidiary, European Air Transport Leipzig (EPT), has taken delivery of its 1st Airbus A330-200F (D-ALMA), an ex-Etihad Crystal Cargo Aircraft (formerly A6-DCA)" by "Airways" August 2018 Newsletter.

The A330-200F was ferried from Abu Dhabi to Leipzig on August 14, 2018.

(EPT) is due to receive the other 4 Etihad Crystal Cargo A330Fs that are currently in storage in Teruel, Spain.

The Arab carrier (EHD) has effectively phased out all the A330Fs from its cargo fleet, transitioning to an all-Boeing 777F operation.

(EHD) withdrew these young A330s (delivered in 2014) at the beginning of the year as part of a major fleet reorganization plan that aims to cut costs and streamline its cargo operation through a single-type fleet system. The planes have been in storage since January.

* Etihad (EHD)’s Reorganization Plans Continue:

As (EHD) continues to reorganize its business, the largest cuts have been on both its route network and fleet. “The wide body freighters were withdrawn from service effective January 1 and have been placed into storage in Abu Dhabi Intewrnational and Teruel ever since,” said an (EHD) spokesperson.

Other than the Airbus A330Fs, (EHD) also has phased out its 5 Boeing 777-200ER fleet. (EHD)’s freighter fleet remains with 5 Boeing 777Fs, all of which are deployed on cargo flights from Abu Dhabi to India, the Far East, China, Sub-Saharan Africa, North/South America, and Europe.

With an all-777F operation, (EHD) will take advantage of the fleet commonality between its cargo and passenger operation, where it runs a strong 777-300ER and 787-9 Dreamliner fleet.

In the meantime, (EHD) is exploring ways to cooperate with its biggest competitor, Emirates (EAD).

(EAD), the Dubai-based giant has said it would explore ways to work more closely with struggling Etihad (EHD). “The 2 (UAE)-based airlines would consider joint purchases and sharing facilities in countries,” said an open statement.

(EHD)’s new (CEO) Tony Douglas, said that his airline will become “more rational” and that he would not shy away from axing routes that were “commercially unsustainable.”

(EHD), rapidly expanded under James Hogan’s tenure by purchasing stakes on a myriad of airlines (all of which failed), as well as placing orders for aircraft that the new administration is now canceling or selling out.

News Item A-2: "Etihad Incident Over Australia led to 777 Production Line Inspections" by Sean Broderick (ATW Plus), August 31, 2018.

A new report released by the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) reveals an in-flight diversion of an Etihad Airways (EAD) Boeing 777-300ER on October 14, 2017 caused by chafing and arcing of incorrectly installed wire bundles led Boeing (TBC) to subsequently introduce new production-line inspections and issue maintenance recommendations to operators. The incident occurred during the cruise portion of a flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney.

October 2018: Etihad Airways (EHD) will be upgrading to Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur, starting December 20, as well as to Brussels starting January 3, 2019.

Robin Kamark, Etihad Aviation Group (CCO), admitted that “Kuala Lumpur and Brussels are 2 very important destinations on the Etihad network, popular with both business and leisure customers and we are delighted to be introducing the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on these routes. Our customers flying between Abu Dhabi and these capitals continue to benefit from convenient departure and arrival times at both ends, and those transiting through Abu Dhabi enjoy seamless connections onto Etihad’s global route network,” Kamark added.

* Etihad Cancels Airbus A350 Order.

As reported by Aviation Analyst, Alex Macheras, (EHD) has canceled “a significant amount of its existing Airbus order.” (EHD) had ordered 62 A350 aircraft, of which 40 are A350-900s, and 22 of the larger variant, the A350-1000.

(EHD) has seen a major reshuffle on its services, crew, and fleet this year following reports of heavy losses after the closure of partner airlines Air Berlin (BER) and Alitalia (ALI).

(EHD) was the 1st airline to ever cancel an Airbus A350 order in 2012, when 6 A350-1000s were canceled. (EHD), still under reform, has seen many services canceled and has removed some aircraft from its fleet.
In the meantime, (EHD) has upgraded 2 important routes to 787 Dreamliner service.

November 2018: News Item A-1: Etihad Airways (EHD) has added Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner service from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Manchester (MAN). From December 8 to to December 31, the 787-10 will operate EY015/016 service instead of the 787

News Item A-2: "Etihad Airways Launches Inaugural Flight to Barcelona"
by China Aviation Daily, November 30, 2018.

Etihad Airways (EHD) has launched its 1st ever scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Barcelona. The inaugural flight, EY49, departed Abu Dhabi this morning carrying a special delegation including dignitaries, media representatives, influencers and senior members of (EHD)'s management team.

(EHD), the (UAE) national airline is celebrating the occasion in style by hosting a special event held at the historic "Capella dels Angels," a 16th-century Gothic building which is now part of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), attended by leading figures from the local government, diplomats, media, corporate partners and travel trade.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Etihad Aviation Group, said: "We have been tremendously excited about the launch of this service and what better time to arrive here than the month (EHD) celebrates its 15th anniversary.

"Commercial and cultural links between the (UAE) and the Catalonia region are flourishing and (EHD) is honored to play a pivotal role in facilitating and enhancing the growth of trade and the strong demand for tourism. This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world, with something to offer the most discerning of travelers, and now for the 1st time, Abu Dhabi, our amazing home, is accessible from Barcelona with regular non-stop flights, featuring (EHD)'s acclaimed in-flight hospitality.

"On behalf of the Etihad Aviation Group, I extend our sincere thanks to the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee for their invaluable support with the new service, the launch event, and for their genuine welcome."

The number of visitors from the UAE to Spain has been rising rapidly, thanks in part to a successful Schengen visa waiver program introduced for (UAE) nationals in 2015. The new route will initially be operated 5x-weekly by a 2-class Airbus A330-200 before becoming a daily operation from March 31 2019.

Barcelona is the 2nd city in Spain served by (EHD), complementing (EHD)'s existing daily service to Madrid. The new link will provide business and leisure travelers with convenient timings to travel between Abu Dhabi and Barcelona, also providing seamless onward connections through Abu Dhabi to major cities in the Indian Subcontinent, SE Asia, China, Japan, and Australia.

(EHD) operates an extensive code share partnership with Air Europa (ARE) allowing guests a seamless transfer with the Spanish airline's services between Barcelona and Madrid. (EHD) also code shares with (ARE) beyond Madrid to 19 cities in Europe, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

News Item A-3: See video "Etihad Young Pilot":


Click below for photos:
EHD-747-87UF - 2013-06
EHD-777-300ER - 2013-12
EHD-777-300ER 2018-08 pa.jpg
EHD-777-8X 777-9X - 2013-11
EHD-777-FFX - 2013-07
EHD-777F - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-777F 787-9 2011-12
EHD-777X LAUNCH - 2013-11
EHD-787 A6-BLK 2017-01.jpg
EHD-787-9 - 1ST 2014-12
EHD-787-9 - 2015-02
EHD-787-9 - 2016-09.jpg
EHD-787-9 - NEW LIVERY-2014-09
EHD-787-9FX - 2012-03
EHD-787-A6-BLH 2018-10.jpg
EHD-A320 - 2013-10
EHD-A320NEO - 2013-11
EHD-A321-231 - 2014-05
EHD-A330-200 - EXPO MILANO 2015 - 2014-10
EHD-A330-343E 2009-12
EHD-A350-900 - 2013-11
EHD-A380 - 2014-07
EHD-A380 - 2014-12 - 1st
EHD-A380 - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-A380 - Final 10th 2017-05.jpg
EHD-A380 A6-APG-2017-11.jpg
EHD-A380 NEW LIVERY - 2014-09
EHD-A380-861 A6-APJ 2018-09.jpg

December 2018:

2 747-400F (TLS) WET-LEASED 2012-06 & 2013-01 FOR ETIHAD CARGO. FREIGHTER.

1 747-87UF (37566, N854GT, 2013-05; 37567, N855GT, 2013-06), (TLS) WET-LEASED FOR ETIHAD CARGO OPERATIONS. FREIGHTER.

0 767-341ER (CF6-80C2F FADEC) (768-30341, /99 A6-EYZ), (ABD) LEASED 2004-05. RETURNED 2008-08. 18F, 24C, 156Y.

0 767-383ER (257-24318, CS-TLO), EX-(MAE), (SNR) LEASED 2005-01. RETURNED, LEASED TO (MAE).

2 +4 ORDERS 777-FFX (GE90-110B1) (39682, A6-DDA 2011-06; 39692, A6-DDB, 2013-01), FOR ETIHAD CRYSTAL CARGO OPERATIONS. FREIGHTER.

5 777-237LR (36303, A6-LRD), EX-(VT-ALD), BOUGHT FROM AIR INDIA (AIN) 2013-11. 237 PAX.

5 +2/10 ORDERS 777-35R (GE90-115BL2) (35158, A6-JAD; 35159, A6-JAA; 35160, A6-JAB; 35163, A6-JAE; 35164, A6-JAF), 35159 WET-LEASED TO (JPL) 2014-12.

16 777-3FXER (GE90-115BL2) (538-34597, /05 A6-ETA; 543-34598, /05 A6-ETB; 544-34599, /06 A6-ETC; 547-34600, /06 A6-ETD; 548-34601, /06 A6-ETE; 832-39700, /09 A6-ETF; 39681, /09 A6-ETG; 39683, /10 A6-ETH; 39684, /12 A6-ETI; 39688, A6-ETM, 2013-01; 41699, A6-ETP, 2013-06), 28C, 350Y.



17 ORDERS 777-9X (GE9X):

9 +32/25 ORDERS 787-9FX DREAMLINER (GEnx-1B74) (39646, /14 A6-BGA, 2014-12; 39648, A6-BLC, 2015-07; A6-BLI, 2018-09; 520-39654, A6-BLK, 2017-01; 39656, A6-BLL, 2017-02; 39657, A6-BLJ, 2016-10; 39658, A6-BLM, 2017-05; A6-BLR, 2018-04), 8F (SUITES), 28C, 199Y; and 28C (STUDIOS), 271Y "SMART" ECONOMY.

1 +29/12 ORDERS 787-10.





2 A319-132 (V2524-A5) (1947, /03 A6-EID, 2008-04; 1955, /03 A6-EIE, 2008-05), 16C, 90Y.

11/5/15 ORDERS A320-200:

3 A320-200, (MLT) WET-LEASED. 162Y.


1 A320-214 (0350, A6-EIZ), EX-(9H-AFE). 162Y.

5 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (1944, /03 A6-EIA, 2008-01; 1945, /03 A6-EIB, 2007-01; 4066, /09 A6-EIL, 2009-10; 4077, /09 A6-EIM, 2009-11; 4124, /09 A6-EIN, 2009-12), (SIL) LEASED. 1944 WET-LEASED TO (ASY) 2015-06; 162Y AND 16C, 120Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (2167, /04 A6-EIC), EX-(MTH) (PH-MPF), (GAX) LEASED 2007-12. 162Y.

2 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (3004, /07 A6-EIF; 3050, /07 A6-EIG), (PEB) LEASED 2008-06. 162Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (3676, /08 A6-EIK), EX-(IGO) 2009-01. 16C, 120Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (3693, /08 A6-EIH), (TCI) LEASED 2008-11. 16C, 120Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (3713, /08 A6-EII, 2008-12), (TCI) LEASED. 16C, 120Y.

1 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (3902, /09 A6-EIJ, 2009-05), (RBS) AEROSPACE LEASED. 162Y.

2 A320-232 (V2527-A5) (5882, /13 A6-EIV, 6134, /14 A6-EIX), EX-(F-WWIJ & F-WWIP). 162Y.

1 ORDER (2015-04) A321-200, (ALE) LEASED WITH SHARKLETS:

1 +1 ORDER A321-200, (SIL) LEASED.

4 +10 ORDERS A321-231WL (5836, A6-AEA - - SEE PHOTO - - "EHD-A321-231 - 2014-05;" 6143, A6-AEC, 2014-06; 6382, /14 A6-AED, 2014-12; 6760, A6-AEH, 2015-09), WITH SHARKLETS. 12F, 158Y.


2 A330-202 (CF6-80E1A4) (272, /99 A6-EYV; 339, /00 A6-EYW), EX-(VLR), (ILF) LEASED 2005-02. RETURNED. 18F, 36C, 171Y.

2 A330-202 (CF6-80E1A4) (885, VT-JWJ; 923, VT-JWM), (JPL) LEASED 2013-05 & 2013-06.

0 A330-223 (PW4168A) (361, /00 A6-EYA; 259, /99 A6-EYB; 232, /98 A6-EYX; 238, A6-EYY), (TPR) LEASED. (GAMCO) (GUL) MAINTENANCE. ALL RETURNED. 18F, 36C, 171Y.

8 +2 ORDERS A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (658, /05 A6-EYD; 688, /05 A6-EYE "BLUE MOON RISING*;" 717, /06 A6-EYF; 724, /06 A6-EYG; 729, /06 A6-EYH; 730, /06 A6-EYI; 737, /06 A6-EYJ; 748; 757, A6-; 761; 783; 788, /06 A6-EYK), (WAHA) LEASING LEASED. *688; WITH "Manchester City Football Club" titles on blue colored football design fuselage, seen 2011-10. 22C, 240Y.

8 A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (751, /07 A6-EYY; 807 /07 A6-EYZ; 809, /07 A6-EYL; 824, /07 A6-EYM; 832, /07 A6-EYN; 852, /07 A6-EYO; 854, /07 A6-EYP; 868, /07 A6-EYQ), NATIONAL BANK OF ABU DHABI LEASED. 751; & 807; WET-LEASED TO (ASY). 10F, 26C, 164Y.

2 A330-243 (TRENT 772B-60) (975, /08 A6-EYR, 2009-01; 991, /09 A6-EYS, 2009-03), (TCI) LEASED. 12F, 40C, 151Y.




6 A330-343 (TRENT 772B-60) (1071, /09 A6-AFA "VISIT ABU DHABI" - - SEE PHOTO - - "EHD-A330-343 2009-12;" 1081, /10 A6-AFB, 2010-01; 1167, /10 A6-AFC; 1226, A6-AFE, 2011-06; 1245, A6-AFF, 2011-08), 1167; (HSBC) BANK LEASED. 12F, 40C, 151Y.

0 A340-313X (CFM56-5C4) (117, /96 A6-EYC), EX-(SIA), (TBC) LEASED 2004-03. RETURNED & LEASED TO (LXA). 10F, 30C, 225Y.

0 A340-541 (TRENT 553-61) (748, /06 A6-EHA; 757, /06 A6-EHB; 761, /06 A6-EHC; 783, /06 A6-EHD), TO BE SOLD TO CONVIASA (VCV) IN 2012. 757, TO STORAGE 2017-06. 12F, 28C, 200Y.

6 A340-642 (TRENT 556A261) (829, /07 A6-EHE; 837, /07 A6-EHF; 856, A6-EHG; W/O PRIOR TO DELIVERY DURING GROUND RUN-UPS OF ENGINES - SEE PHOTOS; 870, /07 A6-EHH; 929, /08 A6-EHI; 933, /08 A6-EHJ, 2008-12 - - SEE PHOTO - - "EHD-A340-642-2009-01;" 1030, /09 A6-EHK; 1040, /09 A6-EHL), 829, TO STORAGE 2017-04). 12F, 32C, 248Y.

25/10/15 ORDERS (2017-07) A350-1000XWB (TRENT XWB-92):

10/5/5 ORDERS (2014-12) A380-841 (GP7270), 853 PAX:

11 A380-841 (GP7270) (002, A6- - TEST AIRPLANE; 004, /08; 007, /08; 009, /08; 166, A6-APA, 2014-12; 176, A6-APC, 2015-06; 237, A6-APJ, 2017-05), "THE RESIDENCE SUITE;" 9F APARTMENTS, 70C STUDIOS, 415Y SMART.

1 A380-841 (A6-ARJ, 2018-06.


Click below for photos:
EHD-1-James Hogan - 2016-02.jpg
EHD-1-Robin Kamark - 2017-04.jpg
EHD-1-Tony Douglas - 2018-01.jpg
EHD-2-James Hogan-Interview-2016-02-A.jpg
EHD-2-James Hogan-Interview-2016-02-B.jpg
EHD-2-Peter Baumgartner - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-2-Peter Baumgartner - 2017-10.jpg
EHD-3-Bruno Matheu - 2014-10.jpg
EHD-3-James Rigney - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-3-James Rigney-L-2014-08
EHD-3-Jim Callaghan - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-3-Kevin Knight - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-3-Ray Gammell - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-3-Richard Hill - 2015-05.jpg
EHD-3-Robert Webb - 2015-11.jpg
EHD-7-DAVID WALSH - 2012-03



Tony has taken over from Ray Gammell, who held the role on an interim basis since May 2017. Ray has returned to his role as Group Chief People & Performance Officer.

Tony has previously held (CEO) roles at Abu Dhabi Airports Company and Abu Dhabi Ports Company.

Before that, he worked as (CEO) of the UK MoD Defense Equipment & Support Department, with responsibility for British Armed Forces procurement. Prior to that, he held senior roles with UK airport operator (BAA), including London Heathrow Airport (LHR) (CEO) and Managing Director of the (LHR) Terminal 5 project.

Etihad Aviation Group Chairman Al Mazrouei said Douglas “had guided the transformation of large organizations in the (UAE) and the UK, and he understands the (UAE) and the region. He is also deeply knowledgeable about commercial aviation and keenly familiar with Etihad (EHD)’s challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.”

In addition, (EHD) said Douglas will guide the company into its next phase of development, implementing “a range of strategic initiatives.” The group has suffered several major blows recently, after 2 of its equity partners (Italian carrier Alitalia (ALI) and German leisure airline airberlin (BER)) entered administration. (EHD) also sold its stake Swiss regional Airline Darwin.

“(EHD) is a force in global aviation that must continue to adapt and evolve on its own and with industry partners,” Douglas said.

James Hogan and (CFO) James Rigney were scheduled to leave (EHD) in the 2nd half of 2017 as part of a transition process.

See interview - "EHD-2-Thomas Hogan-2016-02-A/B.jpg."


Duncan leaves to become interim (CEO) of Air Serbia (JAT) in 2018-01 until Dane Kondic (JAT) departing (CEO)'s successor is found.

Robin was previously Etihad Airways Managing Director of Airline Equity Partners in October 2017.








Mohammed was previously VP (UAE) Commercial since (2015-09).












Ulf Hüttmeyer took over the newly created position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Air Berlin (BER) on February 1st 2006. Originally from Visbek in Lower Saxony, Ulf graduated in Business Administration from the Vechta Academy for Cooperative Education, where he specialized in banking. Later, he obtained an (MBA) by studying part-time at the private College for Economics & Technology in Vechta. Ulf began his professional career at Commerzbank in Bremen, where he worked as an analyst for large-scale loans and special funding. Initially in this capacity and then as relationship manager responsible for transportation, Ulf was subsequently employed at Commerzbank SE Asia Ltd in Singapore for 3 and a half years, after which, he moved to Berlin as key account manager for the eastern region. At the beginning of 2005, Ulf was appointed as Director. His other posts included that of Account Manager for Air Berlin (BER). Ulf is married and has 2 children.




Rick was formerly Managing Director Flight Operations at Air Canada (ACN).

Chris was formerly VP Network Operations at (EHD).

Most recently, he served as the President & (CEO) of Royal Jet (RJT), the largest private jet company in the Middle East.








Majed succeeded Paolo LaCava who joined the management team of Etihad (AHD)’s strategic partner, Alitalia (ALI).

















Lindsay is formerly (EHD) VP Asia Pacific South & Australasia. He has also held senior management positions at British Airways (BAB) and Gulf Air (GUL) as General Manager Malaysia & Brunei.



Most recently, Linda was General Manager In-flight Services & Product at Oman Air (OMR). She also has served as President of the New York-based Airline Passenger Experience Association.


Calum was formerly Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience, and previously (EHD) Head Guest Experience.

Sajida leads service design and development of the hospitality culture across all areas of the business. She moves to the new role from her previous position as Etihad Airways (EHD)’s Head of Product & Service Standards.






Amina is a (UAE) national with >10 years experience in marketing & communications.

Eszter joins (EHD) from Boeing (TBC), where she held the position of Communications Director for (EU)/(NATO), Northern Europe & Africa, based in Brussels. Eszter will be based at (EHD)’s European headquarters in Berlin and will be responsible for building and managing (EHD)’s brand and reputation in Europe, as well as supporting its engagement with European Union (EU) institutions.

Christophe, ex-Delta Air Lines (DAL), where he held a number of sales positions in Latin and North America.





Dimitrios who has >20 years of airline experience, takes up the Bangkok-based role after 5 years in Athens as (EHD) General Manager Greece. Prior to joining (EHD), he held a number of Athens-based sales and marketing management roles at Continental Airlines (CAL) and Delta Airlines (DAL).

Al Shabi will oversee the airline’s commercial activities in the Kingdom, with flights currently operated between Riyadh, Jeddah Dammam and Al Medina AL Munawra and Abu Dhabi.


Philip joins (EHD) from Oleander Travel in the Netherlands.

Iwan is formerly Etihad (EHD) Drector Sales & Operations-Netherlands.


In his new role, Gianni will be based in Zurich, where he will lead (EHD)’s expanded commercial operations in Switzerland.




















Othman's current position is Assistant General Manager for (EHD)’s Abu Dhabi Hub. In the new role, Othman will oversee (EHD)’s operations and driving growth in the (GCC). He will be the first (UAE) national to hold this position. He joined (EHD) in 2007.

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