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European carriers must change to be competitive: Etihad CEO

3-Nov-2010 1:23 PM

Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan stated European carriers must make changes to be competitive against Etihad and the other Gulf airlines which are operated with lowest costs (Bloomberg, 02-Nov-2010). Airlines in the Gulf region also profit from their location and new technology that allow them to operate non-stop to all parts of the world with Mr Hogan adding: "We can’t be blamed for that."

Etihad Airways:  “Most European carriers are 50 to 60 years old so they’ve got challenges on restructuring, on their cost base and on their employment practices.  We don’t have that. Here at Etihad, we’re seven years old and we started with a clean sheet of paper. That’s the opportunity we have. [European carriers] are now finding due to their cost base and structure that they can’t compete. They should restructure their businesses and not use legislation to force Gulf carriers to slow down. If there’s an issue with regard to export credits, that’s a European opportunity that we’ve taken advantage of. We would see no problem in that benefit being extended to European carriers,” James Hogan, CEO. Source: Bloomberg, 02-Nov-2010.