Etihad Airways has announced it will invest $750 million in its workforce, fleet, in-flight service and planning and resourcing.
The news – which was announced at this week’s Dubai Air Show – comes just days after the airline secured the prestigious accolade of World’s Leading Airline at this year’s World Travel Awards.
Speaking at a press conference on the second day of the Dubai Air Show, James Hogan, Etihad’s chief executive, said:
“Etihad has taken great strides forward in only six years. We have created a compelling brand, an outstanding service offer and a strong hub at Abu Dhabi Airport.
“That progress was recognised last week when Etihad was named the world’s leading airline at the World Travel Awards.
“The record-breaking aircraft and engine orders we made at the Farnborough and Paris air shows demonstrate our transformation into a major player in global aviation.”
Hogan said over the course of this week he would be making further announcements relating to strategic contracts, partnerships and initiatives.
Mr Hogan said the contracts and signings would provide maintenance, retro-fitting and cabin upgrades including the carrier’s inflight entertainment system.
The other announcements include:
• A $200m contract with International Aero Engines to provide a comprehensive overhaul and repair service for 14 Airbus aircraft in Etihad’s narrow-body fleet
• A major contract with Lufthansa Technik to install the airline’s new first class suite in nine of its Airbus A340 aircraft currently in service. The work involves a complete renovation of the cabin, galley areas and a new in-flight entertainment system
• A contract with Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to upgrade the cabins in the airline’s Boeing B777 and Airbus A320 fleets. The Boeing B777 programme involves replacing and reconfiguring economy class seats as well as upgrading the in-flight entertainment system.
• An agreement with aviation IT specialist Lufthansa Systems to introduce a new flight planning system, which will enable the airline to significantly reduce fuel costs by up to five per cent, cut emissions and benefit from more efficient flight planning processes
A key factor behind Etihad’s growth has been its investment in premium cabins including its First Class Suite, which won the World’s Leading First Class at this year’s World Travel Awards.
The airline will use the Dubai Air Show to showcase its new first class suite on one of its newest Airbus A340-600 aircraft.
Mr Hogan said: “The new first class suite is a stunning product that is helping us stand out in the premium travel market.
“It has been incredibly well-received and we are delighted to be able to roll it out across the A340 fleet so quickly.”