Australia still a 'key market' for Etihad Airways, to deploy A380s to Sydney and Melbourne
Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, stated (07-Aug-2013) Australia remains a “key market” for the airline, with 28 departures per week, including a twice-weekly dedicated freighter service to Melbourne launched in Jun-2013. Since 2007, the carrier has handled over 2.5 million passengers on routes to/from Australia, at an average passenger load factor of 79%. Etihad has an equity partnership and commercial agreement with Virgin Australia and recently won approval to increase its stake from 10% to 19.9%. Mr Hogan also confirmed Etihad Airways plans to launch nonstop service to Perth and will deploy A380s to Sydney and Melbourne from 2014. He commented that Sydney Airport is Australia’s most important piece of economic infrastructure and Sydney is facing a capacity crisis comparable to London Heathrow.