Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan stated Western airlines are trying to divert attention from their structural failings by deepening a dispute over the funding advantages of fast-growing Middle Eastern carriers (Financial Times Limited, 12-Dec-2010). Mr Hogan added that Western airlines are falling behind their Middle Eastern counterparts because of agreements with unions, outdated infrastructure and hubs that were poorly located to benefit from Asia’s booming economies. He added that Western carriers were not adapting very quickly to building fleets for new hubs that focused on the Asian economies.
Etihad Airways: “What European legacy carriers are doing here is muddying the water. Why do people such as ourselves have a competitive advantage? We are seven years old; we are not a legacy carrier. I am not bound by union agreements that may be 25 or 30 years old. I am not bound by infrastructure that may have been right for 30 years ago. There’s an economic shift. Whereas the European hubs were at the centre of the aviation world, today they are at the end of it,. Their networks rely on feeding into London, Frankfurt or Paris. That’s a competitive issue, a structural address. So address it. It is not to do with us getting a form of credit,” James Hogan, CEO. Source: Financial Times Limited, 12-Dec-2010.