Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways

Infobox Airline
airline = Etihad Airways
الإتحاد للطيران

logo_size = 200
fleet_size = 38 (+ 225 Orders including 55 Options and 50 Purchase Rights)
destinations = 48
callsign = ETIHAD
parent =
company_slogan = "From Abu Dhabi to the World"
founded = 2003
headquarters = Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
key_people = H.E. Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan (Chairman), James Hogan (CEO)
hubs = Abu Dhabi International Airport
frequent_flyer = Etihad Guest
lounge = Etihad Premium Lounge
alliance = Arab Air Carriers Organization
subsidiaries =

*Etihad Holidays
*Etihad Crystal Cargo

website =
Established in 2003, Etihad Airways (Arabic: الإتحاد, "ʼal-ʻitiħād") is the flag carrier airline of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Etihad is based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.

'‘Etihad’' (Arabic for "united", "federation" or "union") is the Arabic abbreviation for الإمارات العربية المتحدة - United Arab Emirates. It operates services to the Middle East, Europe, Indian subcontinent, North America, Far East, Africa, and Oceania. Its main base is Abu Dhabi International Airport. [cite news | title= Directory: World Airlines | work= Flight International | page= 78 | date= 2007-04-03]

In 2007, it carried more than 4.6 million passengers, compared with 340,000 in its first full year of operations in 2004. In the first six months of 2008, it carried 2.8 million passengers, 41 per cent more passengers than the same period the year before. By the end of 2008, it expects to carry more than six million passengers in total.

Etihad has launched four new destinations in 2008, starting flights from Abu Dhabi to Beijing in March and in August to Kozhikode (Calicut) and Chennai (Madras) in India and Minsk in Belarus. [cite news | title=Etihad is first Gulf carrier to fly to Belarus | date=2008-08-12 | url = | accessdate = 2008-09-07 ] It also plans to fly to Moscow and the Kazakh city of Almaty in December 2008.


Etihad Airways was established as the national airline of the United Arab Emirates in July 2003 by a royal decree, issued by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It started with an initial paid-up capital of AED500 million. Services were launched with a ceremonial flight to Al Ain on November 5 2003, and on November 12 2003, Etihad started commercial operations with the launch of services to Beirut. In the months that followed, almost one new route was added per month. In 2007 Etihad carried more than 4.6 million passengers, compared to 2.8 million in 2006.

In June 2004 the airline flew the first direct flight from the UAE to Geneva followed by Brussels and Toronto in October 2005.


The airline has not made a profit since its inception, but expects to by 2010. Growth has never fallen below 40% a year. In its first 4 years, it doubled in size every 6 months, and has every year since. [ Rise of the Emirates Empire] CNN Money, October 1 2005]

In the financial year 2008, Etihad carried 4.6 million passengers and 330,000 tonnes of cargo. International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics indicate that in 2007 Etihad ranked among the top-ten airlines in the world in terms of growth since its inception in 2003.

Fleet developments

On July 14 2008 Etihad Airways placed one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. The total deal for up to 205 wide-body and narrow-body planes is worth approximately US $43 billion, at list prices. It comprises 100 firm orders, 55 options and 50 purchase rights in a combination of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The agreement with Airbus and Boeing comprises firm orders for 100 aircraft:20 A320 aircraft. The engine type is subject to further discussions.25 A350 aircraft, powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines10 A380 aircraft. The engine type is subject to further discussions.35 B787 aircraft. The engine type is subject to further discussions.10 B777-300ER aircraft, powered by GE90 engines

There are also options for five A320s, 10 A350s, five A380s, 25 B787s and 10 B777-300ERs and purchase rights for a further 10 B787s, five B777s, 15 A320s, 15 A350s and five A380s. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery between 2011 and 2020 and when delivered will give Etihad a fleet of more than 150 aircraft.

Etihad placed a further order in June 2007 with Airbus at the Paris Airshow for aircraft to be delivered between 2008 and 2011. The total value of the agreement was US $2.2 billion: four A340-600s, five A330 passenger aircraft and three A330 freighters.

Etihad made its first aircraft order at the 2004 Farnborough International Airshow. The total value of the agreement was in excess of US $7 billion and was for 4 Airbus A330-200s, 4 Airbus A340-500s, 4 Airbus A340-600s, and 4 Airbus A380s.


Etihad Airways has received over 30 awards since its inauguration in 2003. It has a four star ranking by Skytrax.

Incidents and accidents

*On November 15 2007 an Airbus A340-600, due to be delivered to Etihad, jumped its chocks during an engine test at the Airbus factory at Toulouse Blagnac International Airport. The nose went up and over a concrete blast fence. At least five people were injured, there were no fatalities. The aircraft was written off.


Etihad has three travel classes, First class or "Diamond Zone", business class ("Pearl Zone") and economy class ("Coral Zone"). "Pearl Zone" and "Coral Zone" are available on all of Etihad's aircraft, whereas "Diamond Zone" is only fitted on select aircraft depending on the routes served. Personal LCD screens are fitted as standard in all classes.

In-flight entertainment

For in-flight entertainment, Etihad uses an AVOD (audio-video on demand) system on its new long-range aircraft. Newer additions to the fleet, as well as some older planes, feature a Plug-And-Play system, which works on USB technology, that allow passengers to play their own audio and video media. Some aircraft have in-flight telephony.

Etihad Guest

"Etihad Guest" is the airline's frequent flyer program, launched August 30 2006. It features a discount web shop for loyalty program members and a platform for merchants to log into to manage their products.

Etihad is not part of any airline alliance, but has a partnership agreement with Brussels Airlines, Oman Air and Jet Airways.

Company data & management structure

Etihad's passenger numbers reached more than 4 million in 2007 [cite news
url =
title = ITCA Dubai Market Information
publisher = ITCA Dubai
date = n/a
accessdate = 2007-09-16
] . Etihad currently has 6,300 members of staff which includes more than 3,000 cabin crew and 600 pilots.

Board of directors

Etihad is governed by a board of directors under the chairmanship of HH Dr SH Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan 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.

Management team

The airline is led by James Hogan (formerly CEO of Gulf Air) who was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in October 2006.

Corporate sponsorship

*Etihad is 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.
*For the 2007 season, Etihad was one of the title sponsors for the Spyker F1 team. In 2008 Etihad switched its sponsorship to the Ferrari F1 Team.
*On July 30 2007 it was announced that Etihad Airways would become the main sponsor of Harlequins rugby club and Harlequins Rugby League club (UK). The sponsorship also includes renaming the East Stand at the Twickenham Stoop Stadium (the home of Harlequins) to the Etihad Stand. Etihad's logo was painted on the roof of the stand which is directly under the flight path to London Heathrow Airport.
*In September 2007 Etihad announced that they had signed a three-year contract to serve as sponsor and official airline of the Chelsea F.C..
*On December 18 2007 Etihad announced that they would become the title sponsor for the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be held on Yas Island.
*On March 19 2008 it was announced that Etihad Airways would become a main sponsor for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship from 2008-10.


*On April 27 2007 two Australian businessmen gained international notoriety after behaving badly aboard an Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi. [cite news
last = Wainwright
first = Robert
url =
title = First-class fracas, but facts remain in a sky-high fog
publisher = Sydney Morning Herald
date = 2007-06-09
accessdate = 2007-06-09
] The two mining executives were accused of being drunk, stripping naked and offering flight attendants money for sex. The pair were detained in an Abu Dhabi prison for six weeks, telling news reporters they were treated inhumanely and were forced to live off "fermented camel meat". [cite news
last = Haynes
first = Rhys
url =,21985,21812937-663,00.html
title = Aussie 'held in stifling cell, fed camel meat'
publisher = Herald Sun
date = 2007-05-29
accessdate = 2007-06-06
] The men were eventually convicted of sexual harassment, given suspended jail sentences, and deported from the United Arab Emirates. [cite news
last = Carter
first = Paul
url =,23599,21856313-1702,00.html
title = Deported Aussies being flown home
publisher =
date = 2007-06-05
accessdate = 2007-06-06
] They were also fined 1,000 Dirhams for drinking alcohol aboard an Etihad flight without a liquor permit. [cite news
url =
title = Men detained in UAE consider legal action
publisher = The Age
date = 2007-06-06
accessdate = 2007-06-08
] The Australians later vowed to sue Etihad Airways. [cite news
last = Wainwright
first = Robert
url =
title = Deported businessmen set to sue airline
publisher = Sydney Morning Herald
date = 2007-06-06
accessdate = 2007-06-06
] The men were later dropped from the board of directors of the mining company they represented.


External links

* [ Official website]

Template group
list =

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