Etihad looks forward with caution

Etihad looks forward with caution
By admin

Etihad Airways expects profits to continue to rise in 2013, but the airline's president and chief executive James Hogan has warned it won't be an easy year.

At a media briefing in Abu Dhabi, Hogan pointed to ongoing turbulence in Syria and other areas of the Middle East as a concern, with potential to impact the cost of fuel. Challenging economic conditions in the Eurozone also continue to place pressure on air fares, he added.

Futhermore, he highlighted aviation taxes such as those being imposed in Germany and the UK as an additional burden on airlines.

"These unfair taxes are purely a form of revenue for the respective treasuries," he argued.

But overall, Hogan was optimistic about the year, outlining a profit target higher than 2013, although he did not disclose details.

"Obviously in running an airline, you have to ensure it is robust enough to meet any challenges that may impact the business in 2013," he said. "The market will continue to be competitive, but Etihad, as a brand and a structured airline, is in good shape to meet those challenges."

The development of Abu Dhabi itself as a tourism destination will play a key role in the Etihad's success, Hogan added. The airline has signed a deal with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) to "work as one" to promote the destination worldwide, with more hotels and attractions expected to open in 2013.

"As more content becomes available Abu Dhabi, more visitors from overseas will come here to experience the destination," he said.

Meanwhile, Hogan reported a good start to 2013, with the airline "extremely bullish" for the first quarter.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier yesterday reported a 200% spike net profits to US$42 million for the 2012 financial year.


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