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Etihad Airways (EY/ETD) is one of two national airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) besides Emirates. It is headquartered in Khalifa City, near Abu Dhabi, UAE. Founded in 2003, Etihad Airways commenced its commercial flight in November 2003. With its slogan “From Abu Dhabi to the World”, Etihad Airways has become one of the fastest growing airlines that claims to reflect the best of Arabian hospitality. The airline is currently a 4-star airline according to Skytrax.
Etihad Airways has been one of the most ambitious leading airlines in the history of aviation. One of the strategies is to expand its global network by buying stakes in other foreign airlines all over the world. Together with its Equity Partner airlines, Etihad Airways now covers over 325 destinations worldwide.
Current partners of Etihad Airways are: Aer Lingus (national airline of Ireland), Air Seychelles (national airline of the Republic of Seychelles), Airberlin (Germany’s second largest airline), Air Serbia (national airline of the Republic of Serbia), Alitalia (national airline of Italy), Jet Airways (India’s full service airline) and Virgin Australia (one of Australia’s leading airline).
As one of the fastest-growing airline, Etihad Airways has been awarded for its many achievements. Five times in a row, the airline gained World’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards. In 2013, it was awarded as Airline of the Year, Best Airline First Class and Best Airport Lounges by Global Traveler Magazine. Among many other achievements, Skytrax World Airline Awards also named Etihad Airways as Best First Class for the fourth consecutive year. In 2014 alone, it was awarded Airline of the Year by: Global Traveler Awards, CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence, TTG Travel Awards and Aviation Business Awards.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2013, Etihad Airways operated 89 Airbus and Boeing jets. Also in the same year, it settled upon purchase orders of up to 199 new narrow-body and wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircrafts that will be introduced between 2017 and 2025. That is a part of Etihad’s long-term growth plan until 2040.
A loyalty program, Etihad Guest, was launched in 2006. The program welcomes a daily average of 1,100 new members joining. By 2013, Etihad Guest had members in 190 countries.
For onboard experience, Etihad Airways offers First Class, Business Class and Economy Class. Economy Class enhances the onboard experience with its Economy Smart Seat, seats with a unique “fixed wing” headrest. For Economy Class, Etihad Airways allows checked baggage with a total not exceeding 30kg. For passengers traveling with infant, it is allowed to have one additional bag up to 10kg. Besides inflight entertainment, Etihad Airways offers food and refreshment that includes: hot meals, onboard cafe and complimentary bar (beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks).
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In July 2003, Etihad Airways was officially established as one of the national airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) besides Emirates. The establishment was declared by Royal (Amiri) Decree from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE. The airline began operating in November 2013.
In 2004, Etihad Airways placed its first order of five Boeing 777-300ERs and 24 Airbus planes.
During the first four years, the airline has had more siginificant growth than any other airlines in commercial aviation history, thus proven as one of the most ambitious airlines in the world. In its fifth year of operation, Etihad Airways was named one of the world’s top ten airlines according to a survey by Skytrax, involving 15 million air travellers worldwide.
Not only in terms of targets, Etihad Airways is also aggressive in hedging its cost budgets and fuel consumptions. Although it’s the national carrier of one of the world’s biggest oil-producing countries, Etihad Airways buys future oil needs at set prices, and therefore helps stabilise cost budgets.
2008 was a record-breaking year for Etihad Airways. In July that year, the airline announced one of the largest orders in aviation history at the Famborough International Airshow. The order includes up to 205 new aircrafts, including 55 Airbus and 45 Boeing aircrafts.
In 2009, Etihad Aiways became the first airline in the Middle East to join the IATA Working Group Committee for Security. By joining this program, the airline is assigned to provide technical advice and work with IATA management on issues and campaigns relating to security in aiming at safety, security and efficiency air transport.
Etihad Airways’s flight attendant uniform is designed to really introduce “a new age of glamorous and sophisticated flying”. The uniform is designed by Italian Haute Couturier Ettore Bilotta at his atelier in Milan, and made from 100% Italian wool. It is elegantly made, with around 30% of the outfits are handmade or handstitched, with warm chocolate brown as the base colour.
However, it is also designed to meet the purpose of flexibility and practicality. The signature look of the female attendant presents a skirt suit, accessorised with fitted gloves, belt, hat and scarf. Male attendant wears a three-piece suit, light-weight, versatile, foldable and suits all kinds of weather.
Etihad Airways offers free food and refreshment that includes: hot meals up to 3 selections, onboard cafe and complimentary bar (beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks).