A decade of orders by Etihad Airways for new Boeing aircraft is supporting more than 200,000 American jobs, the airline's President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said yesterday.
Since 2006, the airline has introduced or placed orders for 115 wide-bodied Boeing aircraft, including 71 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which will enter service early next year.
The US Department of Commerce estimates that for every US$1 billion invested in the US aerospace industry, 5,747 American jobs are supported.
Mr. Hogan was speaking at the UAE – US Business Council lunch in San Francisco to celebrate the successful launch of Etihad Airways' non-stop flights to San Francisco on 18th November, one of six destinations in the US.
"At 2014 list prices, the total value of Boeing jets we have received or have on order is US$36.5 billion. Based on the US Government formula, this represents almost 210,000 US aerospace jobs.
"We also have options and purchase rights for in excess of 30 more aircraft, which if exercised will further strengthen our contribution to the economy," he said.
Etihad Airways has selected US made GE engines for all its Boeing aircraft, while other US suppliers manufacture aircraft seats, onboard equipment and provide inflight entertainment systems.
Last year, Etihad Airways began a US$1 billion partnership with Sabre Travel Technologies for the provision of a new IT platform to support its global passenger services systems. The airline has also just signed a major agreement with another US technology provider, SAP.
"Linking San Francisco via Abu Dhabi with the strategically important and rapidly growing markets in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent will help to deepen the strong commercial, trade and cultural relationship between the US and the UAE." Hogan said the new service will also open up San Francisco to more tourism and travel opportunities.
"The service between San Francisco and Abu Dhabi also offers convenient onward connectivity to more than 30 destinations across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, Middle East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, available through Etihad Airways' global network and codeshare agreements with partner airlines." Key connecting markets in the Indian Subcontinent include Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In partnership with Jet Airways, Etihad Airways offers access to a large Indian market with more than 200 weekly flights to 14 destinations in India.
By the end of 2014, Etihad Airways will operate 45 passenger flights per week between Abu Dhabi and the US following the introduction in March of a second daily flight to New York, the launch in June of daily nonstop services between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, and the commencement of daily flights to San Francisco and three flights per week to Dallas/Fort Worth from November and December respectively. There are plans for flights to Dallas/Fort Worth flights to increase to daily.
In addition to Etihad Airways' passenger services to the US, Etihad Cargo offers weekly flights to Miami and Chicago, as part of a round-the-world airfreight service. These flights are operated for Etihad Cargo by US-based partner Atlas Air, using a Boeing 747-8 freighter in Etihad Cargo livery.
This service supports US importers and exporters as well as furthering trade links between the UAE and the US.