- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Cargo Analysis
- Route Maps
- Fast Fact Report
- Airline Status
- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- Corporate Address
- P.O.Box 35566, Head Office, Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Main hub
- Abu Dhabi International Airport
- United Arab Emirates
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Airline Group
- Part of Etihad Aviation Group
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
- Aegean Airlines
Air Europa Lineas Aereas
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Comair (South Africa)
CSA Czech Airlines
Hong Kong Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Middle East Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Precision Air Services
Royal Air Maroc
South African Airways
Founded in 2003, Etihad Airways is the national carrier of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, based at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Operating a fleet of narrow and wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Etihad provides a rapidly expanding network of services within the Middle East and to Europe, Asia, North America, Canada and Australia. In addition to its core activity of passenger transportation, Etihad earns significant revenue from its cargo operation, Etihad Crystal Cargo. Etihad Airways forms part of the Etihad Aviation Group.
Location of Etihad Airways main hub (Abu Dhabi International Airport)
344 total articles
Part 1 of this report on Air Malta analysed its network, capacity development, codeshare partnerships and the competitive landscape in its markets. This second part looks at its financial track record and the development of its shrinking fleet and its financial track record. It also presents an estimate of Air Malta's unit cost position and the outlook in the aftermath of the Alitalia talks.
Air Malta's majority owner, the Maltese government, initiated a search for private investors in the loss making national airline in 2015. In Apr-2016 Alitalia signed an MoU with the government over the possible acquisition of up to 49% of Air Malta, but the two airlines announced on 13-Jan-2017 that talks had ended. It seems that the financial and political risks have prevented the investment from proceeding, particularly as Alitalia is wrestling with its own restructuring.
Its unit cost is efficient compared with European legacy airlines, but remains higher than the level of the LCCs with which it competes. Its short haul, non premium, point-to-point product has little with which to differentiate itself.
Air Malta has struggled to compete profitably and has reported several years of losses. A new plan is needed, and this may include a search for an alternative investor.
Pragmatism is forcing the Lufthansa Group to compromise its legacy outlook and adapt its rhetoric as it cautiously welcomes into its nucleus the Etihad Aviation Group. Lufthansa and Etihad’s 01-Feb-2017 USD200 million catering and engineering deal may seem underwhelming, but it brings Etihad into other areas of Lufthansa Group’s business – and management. After being so flagrantly opposed to Gulf airlines, Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr recognises he needs to change internal mindsets while not advancing faster than ultraconservative unions will allow. Mr Spohr also says there is potential for a JV with Etihad.
As with recent Etihad cooperation – addressing ailing airberlin, and a new simple codeshare – the benefits of the latest deals are tilted towards Lufthansa. Lufthansa has yet to bring Etihad into its core to help address its fundamental cost and network problem – as it surely must do. Such a deal would leverage Etihad’s fundamental business of a hub in Abu Dhabi.
Partnerships are easier to announce than to sustain. That is evident with Etihad Airways and its Abu Dhabi hub, which is experiencing a decrease in capacity and flights from Etihad's equity and codeshare partners. Etihad established itself as the nucleus of a model in which partner airlines from around the world fly to Abu Dhabi and connect passengers onwards. Now all but one of Etihad's investment airlines are shrinking in Abu Dhabi. All partner capacity has fallen 22% compared to 2015 but is still up 46% compared to 2013.
This is not a one-way review but a significant shake up in relatively short time. On 18-Jan-2017 CEO James Hogan remarked "We are committed to our equity partner strategy." A week later on 24-Jan-2017, as Etihad's chairman announced Mr Hogan's departure in 2H2017 (with no successor named), he said Etihad remains committed to its equity network but opened the door to adjustments: "We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape. We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships."
Etihad's partnership approach, and its challenges to address ailing airberlin, could further adjust on 01-Feb-2017 as Etihad and Lufthansa plan further cooperation. Even though airberlin has mostly delivered financial pain, it could provide the key to an invaluable strategic bridge.
Air Malta Part 1: no longer the biggest airline in Malta as it struggles with rising LCC competition
On 13-Jan-2017 Alitalia and Air Malta jointly announced that the two had ended talks about a possible investment by the Italian airline in its Maltese counterpart. This throws the spotlight once more on Air Malta's struggle for viability in an increasingly competitive market.
In 2016 Air Malta cut its seat capacity by 12% and reduced its fleet by two, to eight aircraft. Having discontinued its North Africa routes, it is a Europe-only airline with no long haul network, focusing on point to point routes. A series of codeshares, including a new agreement with Alitalia, provide it with offline only access to long haul destinations.
Air Malta's highly seasonal and strongly leisure focused network is facing growing competition from LCCs. Indeed, its 2016 contraction coincided with expansion by Ryanair, which is now the biggest airline by seats to/from Malta. Modest capacity expansion is currently scheduled for 2017, but this is based on fewer routes, with more frequencies to partner hub airports.
Qatar Airways grows in Saudi Arabia as it catches up to flydubai and appears to end Al Maha ambition
Often overlooked in the story of Gulf aviation superconnectors is Saudi Arabia. A large and underserved domestic and international market in its own right, Saudi also possesses hub capability to challenge its better known rivals. 13 Saudi cities have international service but the flag carrier Saudia only serves five. Foreign airlines have moved in, taking advantage of Saudia's absence and the often favourable geography.
Qatar Airways intends to launch service to two new Saudi points in 2017, bringing its total number of services to 10 as it seeks to narrow the gap with the 13 destinations of the leader, flydubai.
In 2016 Qatar Airways overtook flydubai and Emirates in capacity size, making it the largest foreign airline in Saudi. Qatar's organic growth comes as it is increasingly likely that its proposed Saudi start-up, Al Maha Airways, will not launch. Saudia accounts for only 31% of Saudi's international market. This is likely to grow as Saudia continues its quiet revitalisation, aided by improved hubs at Jeddah and Riyadh. There is also a dual brand strategy with the LCC start-up flyadeal.
Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
In Australia/NZ Gulf airlines have doubled their presence between 2012 and 2017. In Australia/New Zealand, by 2020, Gulf airlines could create the presence of two Singapore Airlines, an operation which established itself over many decades. Gulf growth has broader implications as their mostly European traffic flows challenge historical Australia-Europe hubs in Asia.