Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer, James Hogan, recently said in his keynote address at the 2013 CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit held in Sydney that the airline has become the fastest-growing carrier in commercial aviation history, and one of the most successful, by “rewriting the rulebook.”
Mr. Hogan’s address in Australia came just days after Etihad Airways announced a historic deal with the Government of Serbia to buy 49 percent of Air Serbia, the country’s rebranded national airline, and a five-year management contract to run it.
Eschewing the traditional airline model and legacy alliances, Mr. Hogan presented a new business model for global aviation describing the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s unique strategy of building scale through organic growth, codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other carriers.
“There is ample evidence to show that the traditional airline model and legacy airline alliances are no longer relevant to today’s operating environment and that progress for the industry is unlikely without radical change,” Mr. Hogan said.
“A sustainable future for global aviation relies on a bold vision and a willingness to break with tradition and past practices,” he added.
Etihad’s president said that global reach was beyond the capability of any single airline and that progress would come only through partnerships.
“Including Jet Airways, where we’re still going through the regulatory process, Etihad Airways will have six equity and 46 codeshare partners, offering a pool of over 96 million guests and a choice of more than 410 destinations on six continents, serviced by a fleet of approximately 500 modern aircraft,” Mr. Hogan said.