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Etihad Airways

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Etihad" redirects here. For other uses, see Etihad (disambiguation).
Etihad Airways
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded July 2003
Hubs Abu Dhabi International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Etihad Guest
Alliance Etihad Airways Partners
Fleet size 123
Destinations 90[1]
Company slogan
  • From Abu Dhabi to the World
  • The World Is Our Home, You Are Our Guest
  • Flying Reimagined
Parent company Etihad Aviation Group
Headquarters Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates[2]
Key people
Revenue US$ 9.02 billion (2015)[3]
Employees 20,000 (Oct. 2015)[4]
Website etihad.com

Etihad Airways (Arabic sharikat alittid liayarn) is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the UAE (after Emirates). Its head office is in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, near Abu Dhabi International Airport. Etihad commenced operations in November 2003.[5]

The airline operates more than 1,000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 122 Airbus and Boeing aircraft as of July 2016. In 2015, Etihad carried 14.8 million passengers, a 22.3% increase from the previous year,[6] delivering revenues of US$9.02 billion and net profits of US$103 million.[3] Its main base is Abu Dhabi International Airport.[7]

In addition to its core activity of passenger transportation, Etihad also operates Etihad Holidays and Etihad Cargo.[5] Etihad established its own airline alliance, Etihad Airways Partners, in 2015,[8] that includes Alitalia, Jet Airways, Air Berlin, Niki, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional. With the exception of Niki, Etihad Airways holds minority equity investments in the participating airlines; as well as holding a stake in Virgin Australia, which is not officially listed as an Etihad Airways Partner. Booking for these airlines is consolidated under one network.

As of 12 October 2016, Etihad Airways is rated as one of a small number of 5-star airlines by Skytrax.[9]


The name Etihad is an informal romanisation of ittid, which means 'union', referring to the United Arab Emirates where the airline is based.[10]


Etihad Airways was established as the second flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates in July 2003 by Royal (Amiri) Decree issued by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who wanted an airline for Abu Dhabi. Darwish Alkhoory, the chief personal pilot for Sheikh Zayed, established the airline. It started with an initial paid-up capital of AED500 million. Services were launched with a ceremonial flight to Al Ain on 5 November 2003. On 12 November 2003, Etihad commenced commercial operations with the launch of services to Beirut. Prior to the establishment of Etihad, Gulf Air was the airline which was based at Abu Dhabi International Airport and was also co-owned by Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman.

In June 2004, the airline placed an US$8-billion aircraft order for five Boeing 777-300ERs and 24 Airbus aircraft, including four Airbus A380s. Its first A380 was delivered in December 2014.[11]

The airline announced what was the largest aircraft order in commercial aviation history at the Farnborough Airshow in 2008, for up to 205 aircraft100 firm orders, 55 options and 50 purchase rights.

Etihad reported its first full-year net profit in 2011, of US$14 million, in line with the strategic plan announced by CEO James Hogan in 2006.[12]

In December 2011, Etihad announced it had taken a 29.21% stake in Air Berlin,[13] Europe's sixth largest airline, and James Hogan was appointed Vice Chairman. It followed this up with minority stakes in other airlinesAir Seychelles (40%),[14] Aer Lingus (2.987%),[15] Virgin Australia (10%).[16] On 1 August 2013, the President of the company, James Hogan, signed a deal with Aleksandar Vui, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, in Belgrade, giving Etihad a 49% stake in the Serbian national carrier Jat Airways.[17] The Serbian Government retained 51% of the shares. The new company is named Air Serbia.[18]

At the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Etihad announced that it was acquiring a 33.3% stake in the Swiss carrier Darwin Airline. Darwin was rebranded as Etihad Regional from March 2014.[19]

On 1 August 2014, Etihad agreed to take a 49% stake in the Italian flag carrier Alitalia for an estimated 560 million. The deal was closed on 8 August 2014.[20] On 1 January 2015, Alitalia-CAI formally passed its operations to Alitalia-SAI, a new entity owned 49% by Etihad and 51% by the Alitalia-CAI shareholders.[21]

In May 2016, the management structure was reshuffled, appointing James Hogan CEO of the airline's parent company, Etihad Aviation Group. Peter Baumgartner, formerly the airline's Chief Commercial Officer, took over as Chief Executive Officer of the airline, answering to Hogan.[22]

Corporate affairs

Head office

Etihad has its head office, in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi,[23] near Abu Dhabi International Airport.[24] Etihad spent 183.6 million UAE dirhams ($50 million USD) in 2007 to arrange to have its new head office and training center built. The new head office was scheduled to be finished by the end of 2007.[25]


Etihad is governed by a board of directors chaired by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan being the vice chairman and operates in terms of its founding legislation and the Article of Association of the Company. The Board consists of seven independent non-executive members and has two sub-committees, being an Executive Committee and an Audit Committee, each with its own charter and chairman.

Other members of the board include: Mohammed Mubarak Fadel Al Mazrouei, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, Hamad Abdullah Al Shamsi, Khalifa Sultan Al Suwaidi and George Cheaib.[26]

The airline is led by James Hogan (formerly CEO of Gulf Air) who was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer on 10 September 2006.

Etihad Airways partners

One of the pillars of Etihad's operation is its equity alliance, which is composed of airlines in which Etihad has minority shareholdings:[27]

Business trends

The key trends for Etihad Airways since it started trading in November 2003 are shown below (as at years ending 31 December):

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover (AEDb) 2.9 5.8 9.2 8.4 11.0 15.0
Turnover (US$b) 0.8 1.6 2.5 2.3 3.0 4.1 4.8 6.1 7.6 9.0
Profits* (EBITDAR) (US$b) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.4
Profits* (EBIT) (US$m) n/a n/a n/a n/a 137 170 208 257 259
Number of employees 1,761 2,116 3,468 5,563 7,058 7,828 7,855 9,038 10,656 13,535 17,712 26,566
Number of passengers (m) <0.1 0.3 1.0 2.8 4.6 6.0 6.3 7.1 8.3 10.2 11.5 14.8 17.4
Passenger load factor (%) 60 69 75 74 74 76 78 78 79 79
Cargo carried (000s tonnes) 115 121 175 194 219 263 310 368 486 569 592
Number of aircraft (at year end) 6 12 22 37 42 53 57 64 70 89 110 121
Notes/sources [28] [28] [29][30] [30] [31] [32] [33] [3][34]

Profits* - earlier profit/loss figures do not appear to have ever been published; the company announced, however, that it became profitable as from 2011.[35]

Corporate sponsorship

Event and organisations

  • On 18 December 2007 Etihad announced that it would become the title sponsor for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be held on Yas Island, the F1 logo and the words "Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix" appeared on the aircraft for one month before the race.[36]
  • In October 2008, it was announced that Etihad would take over sponsorship of the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia (previously known as the Telstra Dome). The name change to Etihad Stadium took effect on 1 March 2009.
  • On 19 March 2008 it was announced that Etihad Airways would become a main sponsor for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship from 2008 to 2010, which was later extended until 2012. On 12 April 2012, the Gaelic Athletic Association signed a new five-year sponsorship deal with Etihad.[37]
  • On 25 March 2014, Etihad announced a partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States to become the Official Airline Partner of MLS, in a multi-year deal.[38]

Current team sponsorship deals

Team Sport Located Commenced sponsorship Notes
Harlequins F.C. Rugby Union London, United Kingdom 30 July 2007 The sponsorship also includes renaming the East Stand at the Twickenham Stoop (the home of Harlequins) to the Etihad Stand. Etihad's logo is painted on the roof of the stand which is under the flight path to London Heathrow Airport.[39]
Harlequins RL Rugby League
Manchester City FC Association Football Manchester, United Kingdom May 2009 Part of the deal now includes the renaming of Manchester City's stadium to the "Etihad Stadium".
Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Maranello, Italy 2008 For the 2007 season, Etihad was one of the title sponsors for the Etihad Aldar Spyker F1 Team. Because the team was purchased by the chairman of another airline (Vijay Mallya, of India's Kingfisher Airlines), Etihad switched to Scuderia Ferrari.
Anorthosis Famagusta FC Association Football Larnaca, Cyprus November 2013 Cyprus First Division side
Melbourne City FC Association Football Melbourne, Australia May 2014 Home kit resembles that of sister club Manchester City.
New York City FC Association Football New York, United States of America 13 November 2014 Home kit resembles that of sister club Manchester City.
Washington Wizards Basketball Washington D.C, United States of America 11 May 2015 NBA Subsidiary of Monumental Sports and Entertainment
Washington Capitals Ice Hockey NHL Subsidiary of Monumental Sports and Entertainment
Washington Mystics Basketball WNBA Subsidiary of Monumental Sports and Entertainment.


  • Etihad was a sponsor of UAE sports clubs, including the Abu Dhabi Rugby Union Football Club, the Abu Dhabi International Sailing School and the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC), as well as the Al-Jazira Club.
Awards and recognitions

Etihad Airways has received over 30 awards since its inauguration in 2003. It has won the World Travel Awards (WTA) designation for having the best Business Class in the world in 2009. In November 2009 Etihad Airways won the "World's Leading Airline" award at the World Travel Awards in London. In November 2013, Etihad Airways won the "World's Leading Airline - First Class 2013" World Travel Awards.

In 2010, Etihad Airways won the "World"s Best First Class' award by Skytrax at Hamburg. Etihad also received awards for "Best First Class catering" and "Best First Class Seat" as well. Etihad was awarded the World's Leading Airline in 2009,[40] 2010,[41] 2011[42] and 2012[43] by the World Travel Awards.

In 2013, Etihad Airways received all three awards in the First Class Category at the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards "Best First Class", "Best First Class Seats" and "Best First Class Catering".[44]

On 9 June 2014 Etihad announced that it would be withdrawing from Skytrax.[45]

Despite having been withdrawn from Skytrax, Etihad Airways received 6th place on "The world's Top 10 Airlines of 2015" by Skytrax.[46]

On 3 December 2015 at an A380 launch event in New York City it was announced that Etihad had won Air Transport World's 2016 Airline of the Year.[47]


Etihad Cargo, formerly Etihad Crystal Cargo, operates three Boeing B777F, one Boeing 747-400F (operated by Atlas Air in Etihad Colors), one Boeing 747-8F (also operated by Atlas Air in Etihad Colors) and three Airbus A330-200F. Etihad Cargo has one additional Airbus A330-200F freighter scheduled for delivery in 2014.

Etihad Cargo delivered 368,000 tonnes of cargo in 2012, a tonnage growth of 19 per cent on the back of a capacity increase of 14 per cent in available tonnage kilometres. Etihads new facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport will be equipped to handle more than 500,000 tonnes annually.[48]

The carrier refreshed its brand image in June 2012 dropping the "Crystal" part, with full Etihad Cargo title now applied billboard style.


As of September 2013, Etihad serves 116 passenger and cargo destinations across Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australasia from its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport.[49] Etihad Airways, along with Air China, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Korean Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, and South African Airways, is one of the few carriers to have services to all six inhabited continents.[50][51]

Codeshare agreements

Etihad Airways codeshares with the following airlines:[52]

Additionally, Etihad Airways has a codeshare partnership with French Railways SNCF.[56]


As of March 2017 the Etihad Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft:[57][58]

Etihad Airways Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
F C Y Total
Airbus A319-100 2 16 90 106
Airbus A320-200 23 12 114 126
16 120 136
Airbus A320neo 10[59] TBA
Airbus A321-200 10 16 158 174
Airbus A321neo 26[59] TBA
Airbus A330-200 19 22 240 262
18 236 254
Airbus A330-300 6 36 258 294
Airbus A340-500 1 12 28 200 240 Two aircraft stored
Airbus A340-600 7 8 32 276 316 to be retired by 30 September 2017[60]
One painted in Formula 1 livery
Airbus A350-900 40[59] TBA
Airbus A350-1000 22 TBA Deliveries begin in 2018.[61][62]
Airbus A380-800 9 1 11 Note 1 70 417 498
Boeing 777-200LR 5 8 40 191 239
Boeing 777-300ER 19 28 384 412
40 340 380
8 40 292 340
Boeing 777-8 8[63] TBA Launch customer.[63]
Boeing 777-9 17[63] TBA
Boeing 787-9 12 29[64] 28 271 299
6 30 204 240
Boeing 787-10 30[64] TBA Delivery begins 2018.
Airbus A330-200F 5 Cargo Launch customer.
Boeing 777F 5 1[63] Cargo
Total 123 184
  • ^1 The First-class accommodation on the A380 includes 'The Residence By Etihad', a three-room cabin that can seat up to two passengers; and nine First Apartments, each seating one passenger.
Previously operated

Etihad Airways operated the following aircraft in the past:[58]

Fleet history
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Airbus A300-600RF 2005 2010
Airbus A310-300F 2005 2006
Airbus A340-300 2003 2008
Boeing 747-400ERF 2013 2015
Boeing 747-400F 2013 2017
Boeing 747-8F 2013 2016
Boeing 767-300ER 2004 2006


Etihad Airways introduced new cabins in December 2014. Here are the old and new cabins.

Old cabins (until December 2014)

Etihad has 3 cabins, Diamond First Class, Pearl Business Class and Coral Economy Class.[65]

Diamond First Class

Etihad's existing First Class cabin, labelled "Diamond First Class", features a perfectly flat, 6 ft 8 inch bed, in its own private suite. The suites include a personal mini-bar and wardrobe, in-built massage and a 23-inch widescreen television. There is a changing room on board, and passengers also have their own personal chef.

Pearl Business Class

There are two Business Class cabins - one that operates on widebody aircraft, and one that operates on narrowbody aircraft. Business Class on widebody aircraft offers a 6 ft 1 inch full flat bed, with finest dining and a 15-inch widescreen television. There is also an in-built massage included. On narrowbody aircraft, they have a seat with 49 inches of pitch.

Coral Economy Class

Economy Class on all aircraft offers a cradle recline and 32 to 34 inch seat pitch. All seats have 10.4 inch entertainment screens offer 675 hours of films and games.

New cabins (from December 2014)

With the introduction of the Airbus A380s, and Boeing 787-9s, new cabins were introduced, their names being: The Residence (A380 only), the First Apartments (A380 only), First Suite (787), Business Studio and Economy Smart seat. The rest of the fleet will gradually be retrofitted with these cabins except for the Residence and First Apartment cabins which will only appear on the Airbus A380s. The Residence was the only three-room cabin in the sky when it was introduced in December 2014.[66][67]

The Residence (Airbus A380 only)

The Residence introduced on Airbus A380s, can accommodate one or two people, at a size of 125 sq ft. It features a private living room, bedroom and bathroom. Some of the features include a 60.6 inch two-seater reclining sofa and 32 inch TV monitor in the lounge, an ensuite bathroom with shower and an 82 inch long, 47.5 inch wide double bed in the bedroom which also includes a 27" TV monitor. The airline claims it is the most luxurious living space in the air.[67]

First Apartment (Airbus A380 only)

First Class on Airbus A380s was overhauled with the "First Apartments". There are nine in total, configured 1-1 across a single aisle, and take up a total area of 39 square feet each. It features a 30.3 inch wide reclining chair; a full length ottoman which can be transformed into a bed; a 24-inch TV monitor which can swing to align itself to the ottoman so that it can be viewed from the bed; a vanity cabinet; and a chilled drinks bar with assorted drinks. In 2015, this class was named the world's best first class due to its luxurious innovation.[68]

First Suite (Boeing 787-9 only)

Boeing 787-9s feature eight First Suites to accommodate the narrower aircraft. The service includes a 26-inch-wide reclining lounge chair (which converts into an 80.5 inch fully flat bed); dining table; and a 24-inch TV monitor. All covers are tailored by Poltrona Frau. There is a personal wardrobe, along with total privacy with high sliding doors.[69]

Business Studio

The "Business Studio" is on both models, with 70 seats on the Airbus A380s, and 28 on the Boeing 787-9s. The studio seats include a 22-inch-wide reclining chair, which converts into a fully flat bed, and an 18-inch TV monitor. All have leather covers tailored by Poltrona Frau.[70]

Economy Smart Seat

Economy Smart seats feature a 17 inch-wide seat on the Boeing 787 and 19 inch-wide seat on the Airbus A380, with a 31-to-33-inch pitch and 6-inch recline. There is also an 11-inch touch screen fitted with Etihad's entertainment system. A fixed wing is in place to allow passengers to rest upon.[71]

In-flight entertainment

Etihad uses both the Panasonic eX2 and the Thales TopSeries i5000[72] in-flight entertainment system with AVOD (audio-video on demand) system on its new long-range aircraft and on some of its new A320-200 aircraft. Etihad brands this system as the "E-box". International destination fleets have a Plug-And-Play system which works on USB technology, that allow passengers to play their own audio, video and picture media. The Airbus A330s, Airbus A340s, Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 777-300ER all have in-flight telephone facility.

Etihad signed a new 10-year agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation in 2011 for the provision of in-flight entertainment including broadband internet and live TV.[73]

Loyalty programme

Etihad Guest is the airline's frequent flyer program, launched on 30 August 2006. It offers a discount web shop for members.

Etihad is not part of any airline alliance, but has partnership agreements with:

Accidents and incidents

  • 15 November 2007 A new A340-600, registration A6-EHG, due for delivery to Etihad Airways was damaged beyond repair during ground testing at Airbus' facilities at ToulouseBlagnac Airport. During a pre-delivery engine test, multiple safety systems had been disabled, leading to the non-chocked aircraft accelerating to 31 knots (57 km/h) and colliding with a concrete blast deflection wall. Severe damage was inflicted on the aircraft and nine people on board were injured, four of them seriously. The right wing, tail, and left engines made contact with the ground or wall, leaving the forward section of the aircraft elevated several meters and the cockpit broken off.[citation needed]

See also


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External links

Media related to Etihad Airways at Wikimedia Commons

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