Etihad’s 30-30 vision

Etihad Airways surely gets the award for the most prolific issuer of press releases over the past year. Hardly a week seems to go by without a new route starting up or a new aircraft being delivered.

The latest is worth mentioning because it documents the fact that the Abu Dhabi upstart has brought on board 30 international destinations in as many months. Such frenetic growth is usually the preserve of low-cost players. Etihad is doing it with Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s.

This week alone the carrier begins new services to Paris and Dhaka, while routes to Islamabad, Jakarta, Lahore, Manila, Muscat and Peshawar have come on stream in the last six months. The past week have also seen it take delivery of its third A330-200 and fourth 777-300ER.

The carrier is on target to achieve its ambitions of flying to 70 destinations across the globe by 2010, says its chairman HH Dr Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan.

As the network spreads it will be fascinating to see if Etihad’s traffic and yield manages to keep pace.

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