Dubai: Etihad Airways, which will launch flights to Washington in March next year, is eyeing further expansion in North American markets, a top official said,
The expansion comes amid growing trade between the United States and the UAE totalling $18.3 billion in 2011.
“As we build our operations at Washington, D.C., we are also keen to expand further in the US and are examining a number of other destinations, particularly on the West Coast,” James Hogan, Etihad Airway’s CEO, told businessmen in Washington on Wednesday.
“Building complementary networks to support business and passenger flows across the globe is a key part of Etihad Airways’ hub strategy — the growing number of connections between the US and India is a perfect example of this.”
The aviation industry which is driving the change in global business, is still governed by the rules of 1945 — the pre-jumbo jet era — which needs to change, a top airline official said.
“But many of the rules that we operate under have not. This is an industry that has lost more money than it has made in more than a hundred years of operation. The result is an industry which remains heavily regulated and commercially prejudiced,” Hogan said.
Etihad carried 1.5 million passengers to New York and Chicago.
The Abu Dhabi-based national carrier of the UAE that has completed nine years, currently serves 10 million passengers annually to 86 destinations with 67 aircraft. In 2011, Etihad delivered $4.1 billion in revenues, up 37 per cent over 2010. It has become profitable when most airlines are struggling.
The company has started to create strong partnership with other airlines to reach out to increased number of passengers.
“I don’t say we have created an airline, I say we have created a business,” Hogan said, explaining the new business model. “Despite our relative youth as a business, and despite our continued and significant investment in new routes, new services and new infrastructure, we delivered a profit.”