Etihad Airways is launching a daily service between Manchester and Abu Dhabi, the announcement was made at the airline’s first World Travel Market (WTM). “There are over 1,500 companies in the north of England with connections to the United Arab Emirates. It is a very important hub for the north of England. In the spring we will launch this service,” says UK general manager Peter Dunkin.
“We have two new routes recently launched—Brussels and Toronto—we are also expanding to Africa with a route to Johannesburg and we are on track to have 70 destinations by 2010.”
Manchester airport already handles over 20 million passenger a year, offering the North of England direct flights to over 180 destinations worldwide by over 90 airlines.
“It is quite amazing how far we have come in two years. Next year we will be launching a new destination every month including Paris, New York, Manila and Jakarta,” reiterates Dunkin.
“We want to do things differently and better with groundbreaking new products—we are one of the fastest growing airlines—but we do not carry passengers we carry guests. And it is just the little touches that make the difference.”
Dunkin explained that as an airline Etihad can learn a lot from the hotel industry and its focus on hospitality, for instance whether the check-in counter should look and act like a hotel front desk.
“But Etihad is not just about relentless growth, our decisions are made on solid ground, we will also be the first airline to put the A380 in the skies,” says Dunkin.
The airline is involved in the global scramble for super jumbo “firsts,” Etihad has already taken its ordered plane on a test flight over southwest France.
Head of Communications, Ian Brown stressed the cultural diversity present at Etihad in that it has 72 different nationalities working for the airline.
“We want to make change happen that is why we have joined Etihad, we want to stand for change in the aviation industry and to change that stressful air experience. Why after 40 years do we still have only three classes?” says Brown.
While Kirk Albrow, Thailand country manager talked about Abu Dhabi’s commitment to strengthening air traffic to the United Arab Emirates and increasing investment in business and leisure.
VIDEO TRAVEL NEWS: Etihad Airways UK’s General Manager, Peter Dunkin talks to Breaking Travel News at the World Travel Market on the United Arab Emirates airline new developments.
Click here to watch video clip >>
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