Etihad Airways will introduce two new long-haul aircraft types, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and the Airbus A380 super jumbo to boost its flight operations.
"The new jumbos will deliver new, industry-leading in-flight product,” said James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad Airways, while speaking to more than 700 delegates from the airline industry gathered in Abu Dhabi for the International Air Transport Association's, or IATA, inaugural of World Financial Symposium.
Delegates were welcomed to the conference by Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the U.A.E. Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development.
"The airline will also continue to invest in new fleet and industry-leading product,” he said. In his opening presentation, the airline's president and chief executive officer, James Hogan, said Abu Dhabi was not only one of the world's fastest-growing commercial centres, but also a growing hub for international aviation.
"The air transport industry is growing at a faster rate in the Middle East than anywhere else in the world, and Abu Dhabi is one of the strongest performers in the region,” he said.
"This city is a natural junction for emerging markets including India, China and Africa to connect with established markets, and is a major air transport hub of the future. Etihad Airways and its airline partners are major drivers of this growth, and Abu Dhabi International Airport is critical not only to our own growth strategy but also to that of Abu Dhabi. That is evidenced by the construction of the airport's spectacular new Midfield Terminal, which will open in July 2017 to accommodate continued strong growth of this city as an international air transport hub.”
Hogan said Etihad Airways would continue to grow through a mix of organic growth, codeshare partnerships and minority investments in some strategically-important airlines. The IATA World Financial Symposium, with the theme "Supporting Sustained Airline Financial Health”, will conclude tomorrow afternoon. Etihad Airways carried 11.5 million passengers, last year. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 108 existing. The airline has a fleet of 104 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s.
Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional.