Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, unveiled its ambitious growth plans at this week’s Dubai Airshow, as CEO Antonoaldo Neves took center stage to present the airline’s transformative strategy for the next seven years, aptly named “Journey 2030.”
This strategic initiative, backed by the airline’s steadfast shareholder, ADQ, marks a pivotal turning point in Etihad’s journey, charting a course for sustainable growth, elevated customer experiences, and a substantial economic contribution to Abu Dhabi.
Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad Airways, expressed his excitement about the future, stating, “As we mark Etihad’s 20th anniversary, we are excited about what’s next. Journey 2030 is the guiding plan that propels Etihad into the future.
He went on to say: “Etihad has solidified its global presence and successfully navigated challenges. Now, with strong shareholder support and a strategic plan in place, the airline is poised for sustainable, profitable growth.”
Over the past year, Etihad has demonstrated impressive growth, carrying 13 million passengers—a remarkable 30% increase from 2022.
Journey 2030 aims to build on this success, projecting a return to Etihad’s peak 2017 passenger numbers by late next year or early 2025, with an ambitious target of 33 million passengers by 2030.
Network and Fleet Expansion
Under Journey 2030, Etihad’s network is set to expand to over 125 destinations, leveraging its strategic geographical advantage connecting Asia and Europe.
Simultaneously, the fleet will undergo significant growth, doubling to over 160 aircraft. The focus will be on connecting short and medium-haul destinations in the GCC, India, and Asia with long-haul destinations in Europe and North America.
Antonoaldo Neves highlighted the core tenets of the network strategy, stating, “Our mandate is clear: to deliver extraordinary customer service and sustainable profitability, as the foundation for Etihad’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s aspirations.”
Journey 2030 not only signifies a strategic milestone for expansion but also promises substantial economic benefits for Abu Dhabi.
10 million travelers by 2030
The plan targets attracting 10 million point-to-point travelers to the UAE capital by 2030, catalyzing economic growth, creating job opportunities, and solidifying Abu Dhabi’s status as a premier global travel hub.
“The opening of our new home airport Terminal A is a perfect springboard for our growth and will provide the capacity and the quality we need to cater for our guests,” added Neves.
This year has already proved successful for the airline, with the addition of 12 new destinations and further routes planned in India, Boston, and Nairobi.
Etihad has expanded its operations in key markets, adding flights and improving connectivity across the network. The airline has also welcomed 16 new aircraft to its fleet.
Reflecting on the journey that began two decades ago, Neves remarked, “Twenty years ago, the leaders of the UAE launched a remarkable airline that has established a global reputation. Our rich past is the perfect starting point for our next chapter.”
“Journey 2030 will ensure we continue to delight our customers, our people, and our nation in the years to come and be the airline everyone wants to fly.”
As Etihad Airways charts a course towards the future, “Journey 2030” positions the airline as a trailblazer in the aviation industry, committed to innovation, growth, and delivering exceptional experiences to passengers around the globe.
The announcement at the Dubai Air Show stands as a testament to Etihad’s commitment to shaping the future of air travel.