Etihad CEO takes a swipe at competition for accepting freekick

first_imgEtihad Airways CEO, James Hogan has taken a swipe at some of the airline’s competitors for accepting subsidies or government hand-outs. “We have been very different,” Hogan said in a speech to the Australian Business Group in Abu Dhabi.“Unlike many of the original flag-carriers, which ran for decades – yes, decades – on Government hand-outs, subsidies and support, our shareholder has been very clear about the return on investment that is expected – and the commercial basis on which we are to operate.”Hogan said that Etihad receives no “free-kicks” because of its commercial principles. “[There are] no fuel subsidies, no cut-price landing charges – everything is expected to run on a commercial basis.”Hogan said that at just six years old, Etihad didn’t suffer from the legacy equipment problems afflicting some of its older competitors, going as far as to say that the carrier’s new operations control centre “would put NASA to shame.” “We’ve also not been burdened with some of the other legacy problems of those competitors. “You only have to look at the challenges being faced by Willie Walsh and his colleagues at British Airways currently to see the cost – both short term financial and long term reputational – of such issues,” he said. Hogan reiterated his expectation that Etihad would break even in 2011, and reported that the airlines contribution to the Abu Dhabi economy had weighed in at $4bn last year.Currently, the airlines fleet of 53 aircraft reaches 63 destinations around the world. Etihad doesn’t yet offer services to South America, however the airline expects to significantly add to its network within the next five years. “The global issues of the last 18 months did slow our pace of growth – but the airline’s performance in the first and second quarter of this year shows the global recovery is well established,” Hogan said. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more