Codesharing is key to turning Abu Dhabi into a major aviation hub, says Etihad chief
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is planning to grow its network through increasing its number of codeshare agreements.
James Hogan, chief executive officer of the airline, told delegates at the World Route Development conference in Abu Dhabi on 30 September that 20 per cent of the airline’s revenues come from its codesharing agreements, which helps the airline compete against other large airlines in the UAE.
“It gives us the reach to compete and ability to develop Abu Dhabi as a major hub,” he explained.
Etihad announced a codesharing agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Nasair at the conference, and negotiations surrounding codesharing with Air France-KLM are continuing.
The airline is also expanding its fleet. It currently has 67 aircraft and Hogan told delegates this would increase to 71 aircraft by the end of the year. He added that by 2014, the airline would also bring in its first A380 aircraft.
Etihad has also built its network on equity partnerships of which it has four in place with Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and Virgin Australia.
In 2011 the airline made $4.1bn in revenues and Hogan told the conference the airline was targeting $5bn-plus in revenue for 2012.
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