Etihad Airways was established in July by Emiri decree. It has a capital of AED 500 million ($136 million) and plans to acquire six aircraft in 2004.

Fleet expansion is planned by another new carrier, Dubai-based ExecuJet Middle East. It announced on 12 November plans to invest $48.5 million in acquiring two aircraft: a Bombardier Global Express, offering 16 seats; and a PilatusPC-12, with eight seats,are due to be delivered on 1 December to the chartered flight operator. At present, ExecuJet Middle East owns four aircraft.