Etihad planning to launch new routes

AL AIN — Etihad Airways will receive the delivery of a Boeing 777 by the end of this month. The airline will receive one aircraft each month during the year to receive total of 14 aircraft that would enable it to launch two-dozen new destinations world-wide, said Geert Boven, Vice-President-Commercial.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Thu 12 Jan 2006, 9:57 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:46 PM

"In total we will receive the delivery of five Boeing 777, five Airbus 330's and four Airbus 340-600's for long range, non stop flights to North America," he said on the sidelines of the Al Ain Aerobatic Show. Etihad Airways is one of the key sponsors of the event.

Geert Boven, who joined the airlines in November, told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview, that the airline has Airbus 330, 340 and Boeing 767's, which ferried over 1.2 passengers during the year 2005.

With the brand new aircraft available, the airline plans to embark upon new destinations — Manchester, Paris and Manila in the next two-three months. While there could be more openings during this period, he added.

In total, Eithad Airways plans to expand its network by 12 more path breaking routes which will include Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan, India, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait to cater to the strong demand the airways has created for its valued service, Boven said.

The airline, which is running on 67 per cent load factor, has projections to raise it to 77 per cent, with the availability of 14-new wide body aircraft. It has shown a marvellous growth of 80 per cent in its passenger handling, which has made it more efficient economically and has resulted in overcoming the enormous pressure caused by the hike in fuel prices.

The Vice-President Commercial said that airline is working on a plan to introduce an incentive- oriented promotion for its loyal guests whereby they would be rewarded in an extraordinary way.

"It would certainly not like the frequent flyers programme already being offered by many airlines and the new plan would cover a whole range of benefits including goods and services," he said.

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