Etihad Airways’ Journey 2030 charts course for sustainable growth

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national airline, has outlined its future growth plans at this week’s Dubai Airshow.

In a keynote interview this morning, Etihad’s CEO Antonoaldo Neves took to the airshow’s main stage to discuss the airline’s ambitious growth plan for the next seven years, Journey 2030.

This strategy, supported by the airline’s shareholder, ADQ, signifies a pivotal turning point in Etihad’s journey, setting the stage for a future marked by sustainable growth and enhanced customer experiences, with a significant economic contribution to Abu Dhabi.

Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad Airways CEO, said: “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.

“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 carried 13 million passengers, a 30% increase from 2022.

Through Journey 2030, this growth trajectory is set to continue, projecting a return to Etihad’s peak 2017 passenger numbers by late next year or early 2025, culminating in a target of 33 million passengers by 2030.

Under Journey 2030, Etihad’s network will extend to over 125 destinations, leveraging its strategic geographical advantage connecting Asia and Europe.

Simultaneously, the fleet will double to over 160 aircraft, focusing on connecting short and medium-haul destinations in the GCC, India, and Asia with long-haul destinations in Europe and North America.

Core tenets of its network strategy include introducing new destinations, providing more options, and increasing frequencies to key international markets.

“Our mandate is clear: to deliver extraordinary customer service and sustainable profitability, as the foundation for Etihad’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s aspirations,” said Neves.

Journey 2030 not only signifies a strategic milestone for expansion, but also promises substantial economic benefits for Abu Dhabi. The plan targets attracting 10 million point-to-point travellers to the UAE capital by 2030, catalysing 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, which has added 12 new destinations, with further new routes in India, as well as Boston and Nairobi to start shortly. The airline has also enlarged its operations in several key markets, adding flights and improved connectivity across the network, and it has welcomed 16 new aircraft to its fleet.

“Twenty years ago, the leaders of the UAE launched a remarkable airline which has established a global reputation,” said Neves.

“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.”