Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub: more partners stop service, shifting Etihad’s outlook to a boutique airline

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Etihad and its Abu Dhabi hub are shifting from an expansive network involving multiple partners to a smaller footprint centred around Etihad. 2017 is witnessing an exodus from Abu Dhabi of Etihad's equity partners. Air Berlin, Air Serbia, Niki and Virgin Australia have all ended Abu Dhabi flights. Air Seychelles has reduced capacity.

Jet Airways, the largest partner in Abu Dhabi, is reducing its presence as it favours a new partnership with Air France-KLM and Delta, and shifts its flying from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam and Paris. Jet Airways is scaling back Abu Dhabi service from secondary Indian cities, the market the Abu Dhabi hub was right for.

Etihad has more work ahead of it as it unwinds its partnership strategy and receives a new CEO, but it is evident the future Etihad will be more boutique and have to rely more on itself as its strategy is refocused.

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