Warns against action which would restrict competitive choice for travellers
Abu Dhabi | March 17, 2015– Open Skies has been “a model of success, generating enormous benefits for travellers and for airlines in the US, the UAE and around the world,” said James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, speaking today at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 14th Annual Aviation Summit in Washington, DC.

In his first public comments since three US airlines launched a campaign against Etihad Airways and other Gulf carriers, Mr Hogan called for reasoned debate based upon facts. He also warned against action which would restrict competitive choice for millions of US and international air travellers in markets which the US airlines have chosen not to serve.

Mr Hogan’s speech laid out the key facts behind Etihad Airways’ growth and its competitive strategy.

“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 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.

“In many cases, those established airlines were gifted amazing infrastructure – airports, terminals, slots, landing rights – over decades.

“To take them on, we’ve had to work harder and we’ve had to work smarter. That’s called competition.

“We’ve been helped by our geographic position. The Gulf is at the centre of today’s trade and travel routes. Today’s aircraft technology and the changing patterns of world trade mean we are positioned strongly for many new and emerging markets.

“We’ve been helped by our blank sheet of paper – no legacy systems, no legacy aircraft, no legacy mindsets.

“And we’ve been pushed hard by the vision and ambition of our shareholder to create a globally competitive airline.”

Mr Hogan said the ‘secret’ behind Etihad Airways’ rapid growth was nothing more than incredible customer service, delivered on modern new aircraft, with world-leading product, at competitive prices, on routes people want to fly.

He also said that Etihad Airways had been more transparent about its business than other airlines.

“Etihad Airways has had a greater focus on reaching and delivering sustainable profitability – we believe – than any other national airline in history,” he said. “We set a timetable to break even within a decade and we beat that target. We’ve delivered a net profit in each of the last three years.

“I say ‘we believe’ because it is surprisingly hard to find financial information about the first one or two decades of national airlines around the world. We get criticized regularly for our so-called lack of transparency but we see few national airlines that were as open in their first stages of development, as we are being in ours.”

As a national airline owned by its government, said Mr Hogan, Etihad Airways is no different than 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 US$ 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.

“They’ve seen the success we are delivering, both as a business in our own right and as a catalyst for other business, trade and tourism, in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We are now not just an airline but a successful aviation group, incorporating handling, maintenance and distribution capabilities.

“Our shareholder, like any rational shareholder in the world, has made that commitment to us because it expects a return, and as it sees greater success from our business, it sees the opportunity for even greater returns in the future.

“The key word is return.”

Mr Hogan continued by outlining the economic contribution that Etihad Airways delivers to the United States, directly through its daily flights between Abu Dhabi and six US destinations, which the airline serves exclusively, and also through its extensive supply chain partners throughout the country.

“We regard ourselves as a friend of the United States,” he said. “Certainly, the bonds between the UAE and the USA are incredibly strong, and we believe Etihad Airways has always reflected that in our business operations.

“We are major customers of Boeing, of GE, of Sabre, and of many other American businesses. We work with strategic American partners – for example, with Atlas, on developing and improving global cargo operations. We work with US financial institutions, with US tourist boards, with US airports. Our commitment to the US economy supports more than 200,000 jobs.”

He used the example of the airline’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight into the United States, which started on Sunday from Abu Dhabi to Washington DC. The aircraft is the second of 71 Dreamliners on order from Boeing, part of total orders of almost 120 aircraft worth more than US$ 36 billion with the American manufacturer.

In addition, he said, Etihad Airways delivered 180,000 travellers onto the networks of US airlines in 2014, and 50,000 in the first two months of 2015.

Mr Hogan finished his speech by saying Open Skies is about customer choice.

“This is ultimately all about consumer choice. Customers choose to fly Etihad Airways 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 US carriers offer those alternatives. No US carrier flies into Abu Dhabi. There are very few US carriers operating to where we do in the Indian sub-continent, in south-east Asia, or in the wider Middle East.

“We make no apologies for offering new competitive choice for air travellers. We hope to continue to do so around the world.”

  • A380 will debut The Residence by Etihad™ – the only three-room cabin in the sky
  • New contemporary living spaces on A380 and B787 to transform air travel
  • First Apartment, First Suites, Business Studio, and Economy Smart Seat to debut

United Arab Emirates | May 4, 2014 — Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled the new product and service offering on its Airbus A380 and Boeing B787 Dreamliner aircraft, including The Residence by Etihad™, the world’s most luxurious living space in the air, available only on the airline’s A380 aircraft.

The Residence will be the breath-taking and completely new forward upper-deck cabin on the A380. Accommodating single or double occupancy, it features a living room, separate double bedroom and ensuite shower room. Customers in The Residence will also have a personal butler.

With the launch of these new fleets, the Abu Dhabi-based airline will also redefine and rename its cabin classes.

The A380 will feature revolutionary First Apartments, which are fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed, as well as a chilled mini-bar, personal vanity unit and wardrobe.

Etihad Airways has allocated the upper deck of the A380 to its premium cabins.

On the B787, Etihad Airways has designed an enhanced First Suite, adding many new features including a chilled mini-bar.

The Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat will feature on both the A380 and the B787.

Etihad Airways is introducing the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system across both fleets, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, improved gaming and high definition screens across all cabins.

The system has video touchscreen handsets, offering an additional screen for customers to maximise their entertainment, so they can play games or view a moving flight route map while watching a movie.

Noise cancelling headsets are provided across all cabins, with built-in magnetic audio jacks to ensure the best sound quality.

The A380 aircraft will have full mobile and Wi-Fi service while the B787 will be equipped with Wi-Fi.

The new cabins and service offering follow the airline’s pledge to transform air travel and make every customer journey a remarkable one.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “These new living spaces will raise inflight product and service standards to their highest level yet in commercial aviation and alter air travellers’ expectations of inflight comfort and luxury forever.

“Etihad Airways’ A380 and B787 will deliver the most advanced airline cabins in the industry, while meeting all weight, range and cost targets at our desired seat count. This will allow us to offer products unparalleled in quality and style, yet at competitive prices across all three cabins.”

Believing that no single design agency could deliver its vision for the new cabins, Etihad Airways established in 2008 the Etihad Design Consortium (EDC) which brought together three leading British design companies, Acumen, Factorydesign and Honour Branding to develop innovative cabin and seat designs for the new fleets.

The EDC collaborated with Promise Communispace, a leading agency, to launch comprehensive consumer research and workshops in London, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, and New York, with the goal of understanding what makes a ‘perfect flight’ and asking consumers to help design the perfect airline.

Eighty per cent of the new product offering is a direct result of the feedback and information garnered from these workshops.

Etihad Airways’ design vision was to bring the individuality and exclusivity of a luxury boutique hotel experience to the sky in a way that embraced Arabian modernism, an aesthetic that combines the traditions of the Middle East with contemporary design.

The Residence by Etihad

The Residence, which is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for single or double occupancy, offers levels of luxury and total privacy normally found only on private jets.

Each Etihad Airways A380 will offer a boutique version of The Residence with different colour palettes, table marquetry and custom carpets.

Customers in The Residence will have the services of a personal butler throughout their flight. These fully trained service professionals will receive specialist training at the Savoy Butler Academy in London.

They will also have a dedicated VIP travel concierge team who will ensure every detail of their travel experience, including ground transport, cuisine, and amenities, are tailored to their requirements.

First Apartments

Etihad Airways will redefine first class and set a remarkable new industry standard with the launch of the First Apartment on the A380.

Nine First Apartments will be installed on the upper deck in a 1-1 configuration to create the only single aisle first class cabin in the industry.

Each First Apartment, which has a 64 inch high sliding door, includes a reclining armchair and a full-length ottoman, both upholstered by the prestigious Italian suppliers of Ferrari’s interiors, Poltrona Frau. The ottoman transforms into a separate 80 inch long fully flatbed.

The First Apartment, which also includes features such as a chilled mini-bar, a personal vanity unit and a swivelling TV monitor for viewing from either the seat or the bed, has a 74 per cent larger footprint than the airline’s current award-winning first class suites.

A fully equipped shower room is available on the A380 for exclusive use by first class customers.

First Suites

On the B787, Etihad Airways has designed an enhanced First Suite with many new features. The eight First Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration along a curved aisle, another first in commercial aviation.

Each completely private First Suite has a large seat and ottoman, both upholstered by Poltrona Frau, which converts into an 80.5 inch long full-flat bed.

On the centre seats, the armrests retract and the suites can be joined to create a ‘double’ bed. Other features include a chilled mini-bar and a 24 inch TV monitor.

Business Studios

On both the A380 and the B787, Etihad Airways will launch its new Business Studios which provide 20 per cent more personal space than the airline’s current business class seat.

Configured 1-2-1 in a forward and aft ‘dovetail’, the Business Studios all have aisle access and the seat converts into a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long.

With its privacy, ample storage and surface space, the Business Studio has been designed with the diverse needs of the premium business or leisure traveller firmly in mind.

The Lobby

On the Airbus A380, First and Business Class guests will be able to relax in The Lobby which is a serviced lounge and bar area located between the first and business cabins.

Providing a semi-circular leather sofa, a marquetry table and a large TV screen, The Lobby is designed for relaxing and socialising.

The TV has a USB connection so it can be used for sharing content or it can also be set to the airline’s live news and sport TV channels..

Economy Smart Seat

New Economy Smart Seat will offer an ergonomic fixed-wing headrest, to give customers a place to rest their head for added comfort and relaxation.

The seat also has a lumbar support feature, allowing customers to adjust their seat comfort, and an 11 inch personal monitor screen, with all the IFE peripherals conveniently set into the seatback in front.

The latest Panasonic eX3 personal entertainment system, of which Etihad Airways is a launch customer, is installed across all cabins

Cabin Entrances

A key design objective for Etihad Airways was to transform the boarding experience making it more akin to stepping into the lobby of a boutique hotel.

In all entry-ways in both aircraft and in all cabins, the galley equipment is concealed behind custom Arabic fretwork screens and blinds, while the trolleys are covered by elegant wood-finish doors, setting a stylish and welcoming environment for all customers.

Importantly for the airline’s Muslim customers, Etihad Airways has developed prayer areas which can be curtained off for privacy and are equipped with a real-time electronic Qibla-finder showing the exact direction of Mecca based on the aircraft’s geographical position.

In the premium class boarding areas, Etihad Airways will collaborate with cultural institutions in the UAE to exhibit artwork and artefacts in display cabinets installed throughout. Items from the Etihad Airways duty free catalogue will also be displayed.

With the launch of these new aircraft, Etihad Airways will update its dining equipment, amenities and soft furnishings across its entire fleet.

To view images and video of the new cabins, please click on the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEhl8GyXfBY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqZZHT5dvMU

  • Another vote of confidence from a leading Middle East carrier for Airbus

November 17, 2013– Etihad Airways, national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced a firm order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neo aircraft and one A330-200F as part of its fleet modernization strategy. The contract was signed today at the 2013 Dubai Airshow by James Hogan, Etihad Airways CEO and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.

The order comprises 40 A350-900s, ten A350-1000s, one A330-200F, 26 A321neo’s and 10 A320neo’s. Etihad currently operates a fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft, 25 A330s and 11 A340s. The new aircraft will fit seamlessly into the airline’s existing long-haul fleet delivering operational efficiencies and cost savings.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said, “Ten years ago this month, we celebrated our inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi using an Airbus A330.

“A decade later, we have grown into one of the world’s leading airlines and the importance of Airbus to our fast-growing operations has never been stronger. We have more than 60 Airbus aircraft in our fleet today, and this latest order is testament to the continued strength of our partnership.

“As one of the first airlines set to receive the much-awaited Airbus A350-1000, we look forward to benefiting from its operational efficiencies and cost savings.”

“We are delighted that Etihad Airways has consistently maintained its confidence in the full range of Airbus’ modern aircraft family. This is highlighted by today’s new order for the fuel-efficient A320neo Family, to the versatile A330-200F and up to the all-new, efficient A350 XWB Family,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “We look forward to seeing Etihad benefit from the unbeatable economics and best-in-class comfort all our aircraft offer, ensuring the continued success of Etihad Airways as a leading airline for the years to come.”

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is an all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions. The new Family, whose fuselage cross-section is optimized to accommodate Airbus’ 18-inch economy seat-width for long range passenger comfort, will also bring a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category. Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB to date has already won 764 firm orders from 39 customers worldwide.

The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of October 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,487 from 44 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.

The A330-200F is the all-freight version of the best-selling A330 Family. It is the world’s most modern mid-size freighter and can carry 70 tonnes of payload with a range capability of up to 4,000nm. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the A330, with over 1,010 aircraft currently flying with more than 100 operators worldwide.

Abu Dahabi | August 7, 2013– Etihad Airways has become the fastest-growing carrier in commercial aviation history, and one of the most successful, by “rewriting the rulebook”, the airline’s President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said today in his keynote address at the 2013 CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit held in Sydney.

Mr Hogan’s address in Australia came just days after Etihad Airways announced an historic deal with the Government of Serbia to buy 49 per cent of Air Serbia, the country’s rebranded national airline, and a five-year management contract to run it.

Eschewing the traditional airline model and legacy alliances, Mr Hogan presented a new business model for global aviation describing the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s unique strategy of building scale through organic growth, codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other carriers.

“There is ample evidence to show that the traditional airline model and legacy airline alliances are no longer relevant to today’s operating environment and that progress for the industry is unlikely without radical change,” Mr Hogan said. “A sustainable future for global aviation relies on a bold vision and a willingness to break with tradition and past practices.”

Mr Hogan said that global reach was beyond the capability of any single airline and that progress would come only through partnerships.

“Including Jet Airways, where we’re still going through the regulatory process, Etihad Airways will have six equity and 46 codeshare partners, offering a pool of over 96 million guests and a choice of more than 410 destinations on six continents, serviced by a fleet of approximately 500 modern aircraft,” said Mr Hogan.

“Cooperation includes joint procurement of assets, services and supplies such as aircraft, engines, fuel and insurance, as well as cooperation on issues such as maintenance, crew training and sales activities, which reduces costs for all participating carriers. This is real value-add for our equity alliance and I am confident it is the way forward,” Mr Hogan said.

“We are delighted to welcome Air Serbia to our equity alliance, and look forward to receiving final approvals from regulators in India of our investment in Jet Airways,” he added.

In addition to the actions which airlines must take to ensure their own futures, Mr Hogan said other broader changes were required by governments and regulators including workforce deregulation, reform of airspace management, technology innovation, more investment in infrastructure and greater collaboration with industry.

He said one major and continuing issue for the air transport industry was constrained access to major airports, many of which were now at maximum capacity and could not be expanded, or would take many years to upgrade.

Mr Hogan said one option which should be considered was selective easing of noise curfews at major airports. In some cases, he said, curfews were introduced up to 50 years ago to mitigate the noise of 1950s-era jets including Boeing 707s, DC-8s and VC10s. However, regulators did not consider the billions of dollars invested by airlines on low noise, low emission aircraft such as today’s Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s, which remain constrained by the same noise curfews as the very first jet airliners. “Perhaps, to ease airport congestion, there should be curfew relief for next-generation, low-noise aircraft,” Mr Hogan said.