Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has signed a contract with CIT Aerospace for the lease of 2 new Airbus A 330-200s. The two planes are scheduled for delivery in January and March 2009 and they will directly replace two other leased aircraft. In addition, EY's CEO Mr James Hogan has informed the media, that the airline wants to increase its flights to India by flying to eight more cities in India namely MAA, BLR, CCJ, CCU, HYD, AMD, ATQ & JAI. In order for this to happen, the Abu Dhabi-India air bilateral accord first has to be amended to allow for such a major Indian expansion to take place.

On the other hand, Etihad Crystal Cargo has announced that it will be wet leasing one MD 11 freighter aircraft from Sept 17th onwards to expand its cargo operations worldwide. This MD 11F will join 2 AB6Fs and will be used to HHN (Frankfurt Hahn), BOM and PVG only.

My comments :

For decades, Air India and Indian Airlines have maintained a strong monopoly grip on Calicut airport by lobbying the Indian Govt for not allowing any Arab airline fly into the airport as they feel that this is a very lucurative route. I do not see this changing in the short term future even though it maybe on EY's wish list.

Etihad should concentrate on flying to cities to India where it doesnt face stiff competition from EK & QR thus having the ability to carve itself up a nice little niche market for itself. Cities in India that come to mind are ATQ & JAI where neither QR nor EK fly to but WY will be launching JAI flights soon nonstop from MCT.

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