A fleet of new aircraft, 21 new routes and the accolade of world’s leading new airline for the third year running, has made 2006 a landmark year for Etihad Airways, said its CEO, James Hogan. The airline hopes for four million guests in 2007.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline has undergone unparalleled growth during 2006 with the momentum set to increase even further during 2007, he said. “The last 12 months at Etihad has witnessed a major transformation in all areas of the business, and strengthened our place at the very forefront of the aviation industry.
“From award-winning Pearl Zone business bed to a significant increase in routes and holiday destinations, Etihad really has set the benchmark for others to follow during 2006, and we are confident this trend will continue into 2007 and beyond,” he added.
In 2006 Etihad launched 21 new international destinations which included New York, Paris, Casablanca, Khartoum and Jakarta. Guests were also able to travel to Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Manchester, Doha, Jeddah, Muscat, Riyadh, Tehran, Dhaka and Manila.
A record four million guests are anticipated for 2007, with 37 routes now available – including the highly prestigious service to New York which opened in October. The Kuala Lumpur route was launched on January 16 this year.
Currently, 80 per cent of Etihad’s fleet is brand new which is unprecedented in the world of air travel.
The fleet has become one of the youngest in the world with the twenty-third aircraft, a three-zone A340-500, arriving in Abu Dhabi in December.
The new A340-500 forms part of the airline’s record $8 billion order, which was made in 2004 for 29 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The latest addition to Etihad will now join a fleet which includes nine A330-200s and five Boeing 777-300 ERs.
ETIHAD Airways has confirmed that it will begin flights to Australia within the next few months from its base in Abu Dhabi. This follows the conclusion of an extended aviation bilateral agreement between the governments of the UAE and Australia.
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