James Hogan, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is visiting the Philippines this week for meetings with the country’s leaders and business and trade partners as part of the airline’s fifth anniversary of service to the republic.
Mr Hogan held talks with the President of the Republic of Philippines His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III at Malacanang Palace and Vice-President The Honourable Jejomar (Jojo) Binay about opportunities to increase trade and international tourism to the Philippines.
Mr Hogan said, “The Philippines is one of the world’s best kept secrets and has enormous appeal as a holiday destination for travellers from the Middle East and Europe.”
Mr Hogan continued, “Etihad is committed to doing more with the Philippines Government and its tourism board to grow the economic benefits of tourism to the country and our business.”
“The extra two weekly B777 services we plan to operate between Abu Dhabi and Manila by the end of the year - bringing to 14 the total number of weekly flights - will be a key stimulus for this growth,” he added.
Mr Hogan, who was accompanied by senior Etihad executives Khaled Almehairbi and Hasan Al Hammadi, met Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Bautista. Etihad and Philippine Airlines operate codeshare services between Abu Dhabi and Manila.
Mr Hogan also hosted a VIP lunch and a cocktail event for more than 400 dignitaries and special guests including UAE Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Moosa Al Khajah.
During his visit, Mr Hogan presented 10 of the airline’s 25 staff in Manila with commemorative five-year service awards. He thanked the entire Etihad staff in the Philippines for their commitment and contribution to the airline’s success over its first five years.