ABU DHABI/DUBAI: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, celebrated its 20th anniversary last night with a dazzling illumination of the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai featuring a spectacular light and sound show to celebrate the airline’s history and ambitions.
The special moment marked the 20th anniversary of Etihad’s first commercial flight to Beirut in 2003, signifying two decades of aviation excellence and its commitment to guests.
Since its inception, Etihad has undergone substantial growth. The workforce has increased from 1,761 employees in 2004 to nearly 10,000 in 2023. Notable developments include significant growth in the Etihad Guest loyalty programme, an expansion of the aircraft fleet to 79 aircraft, and an increase in global markets served to over 70 destinations around the world.
On this special occasion, Antonoaldo Neves, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: ” We wish to express our profound pride in Etihad as we turn 20, and what could be more fitting than commemorating our journey on the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Our journey so far has been about more than flights, it has been about bringing people and cultures together, creating strong connections, and making Abu Dhabi a key travel hub.
“Looking ahead, we have big plans. By 2030, we aim to double our fleet and welcome three times as many guests, reaching 33 million people each year. We will increase visitors to our home Abu Dhabi and continue to connect travelers across the globe through our growing network.
Etihad has prepared a series of guest experience enhancements to celebrate its 20th milestone throughout November, including a new inflight culinary menu featuring dishes inspired by the airline’s home, the UAE, as well as customised items reflecting the destinations Etihad flies to.
The airline will also unveil a touch of nostalgia with its retro-inspired amenity range in First and Business class. Inspired by the iconic 2003 aircraft livery, the amenity bags contain travel-size beauty products from the renowned skincare label ESPA.
Economy guests on medium and long-haul flights are in for a treat with limited-edition, complimentary amenity tote bags, available in two stylish designs. These foldable shopping-style bags come with in-flight essentials, including blankets, Beekman hand cream, themed eye shades, earplugs, and toothbrush kits, ensuring a comfortable journey for all.
The 20th anniversary coincides with Etihad’s move to its new home, Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which it is transitioning to between 9 and 14 November. Earlier this week, Etihad unveiled stunning new lounges at Terminal A spanning three floors of dining and relaxation space, including the signature ‘Constellation Bar’ and Liwan Global Dining restaurant.
On this special occasion, the airline is offering discounted rates to many destinations across its network in both its award-winning economy and business class. The sale is live now until 12 November, for travel between 4 December 2023 and 15 March 2024, and is available on etihad.com.