Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Etihad's Anniversary Splash

Etihad celebrated its tenth anniversary with a splash.
  • The Jet Airways 24% equity deal was finally approved by the Indian Cabinet setting the stage for expansion into India. 
  • Air Serbia 49% equity deal setting the stage for expansion in Central Europe
All this is old news. Dubai Airshow was the stage of its splurge on aircraft orders:
  • Fifty (50) A350s;
  • Thirty Six (36) A320NEOs;
  • One (1) A330F;
  • Twenty Five (25) B777X (launch customer for the -8)
  • Thirty (30) B787s (bringing the total Boeing orders to 1000 aircraft and becoming the largest operator of the type);
  • One (1) B777F.
All these aircraft are not intended for Etihad's fleet only, some will be used for their equity partners.

On a quieter note Etihad announced the launch of its new route to Zurich in June 2014 and almost in the same breath announced the launch of Etihad Regional, not in the Gulf or MENA but in Europe. Darwin Airline in Switzerland, Etihad acquired a 33.3% equity stake in the regional airline. The idea is for Darwin Airline, which will be rebranded as ETIHAD REGIONAL is to feed traffic to Etihad and its equity partners' hubs in Europe for onward travel. Eihad Regional will add 21 new routes and 18 new destinations by mid 2014 to Etihad gateways in Europe (Geneva, Paris, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Belgrade and Zurich). Will this be the only regional airline equity acquisition or just the first in many more to come.

If the aircraft orders upset some US carriers and A4A, the European response to Etihad Regional has been almost non existent. 

Time will tell how this will evolve for now Happy Anniversary Etihad...

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