ATW named Etihad Airline of the Year 2016
Etihad Airways has been named Airline of the Year 2016 by the prestigious US-based aviation industry publication Air Transport World (ATW).
Etihad Airways was chosen for the top honour by ATW’s editorial board in a highly contested competition, with entries from more than 100 airlines around the world.
The award recognises Etihad Airways’ clear vision; its successful organic growth supplemented by a unique partnership strategy; its commercial focus which has delivered net profits in each of the last four years and its development of innovative products and services, said Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, said: “I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of the 27,000 employees of the Etihad Airways group around the world. I applaud their commitment, dedication and hard work in pursuit of our goal to be the world’s best airline.”
ATW’s Airline Industry Achievement Awards were created in 1974 to recognise excellence across a broad range of airline operations and are widely considered as the most coveted in the aviation industry.
ATW also spoke highly of Etihad Airways’ “consistently diplomatic, dignified and assured response to attacks by US airlines on Gulf carriers” in which Etihad Airways had developed a powerful defence of its business model and strategy.
ATW said Etihad Airways’ executive team, led by president and CEO James Hogan, had maintained the high road and, in doing so, demonstrated industry leadership beyond the company mandate.
“There have been attacks on our business model but we have chosen to let our service, our routes and our competitive offer do the talking,” said Hogan. “Etihad Airways is not about being the biggest – it is about being the best.”
A key part of Etihad Airways’ unique growth strategy has been to strike equity partnerships with other airlines. This year, it took a 49 per cent stake in Italian carrier Alitalia in a game-changing deal. This added to minority stakes in airberlin, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional.
The airline launched six new routes on three continents during 2015 taking its global network of destinations to 116 with a fleet of 120 aircraft. More than 17 million guests are expected to travel on Etihad Airways by the end of 2015, up from almost 15 million last year, while the airline maintains its focus on profitability.