DUBAI: At the Dubai Airshow, Etihad Airways CEO Antonoaldo Neves told CNN’s Richard Quest how the company plans to compete in a region with an ever-growing number of airlines.
Neves said that Etihad will grow by building a strong network, “I believe a lot in networks. So, the growth can only be done because we believe there is space to strengthen the network. So, we’re adding a lot of double-dailies to Europe, a lot of double-dailies to South East Asia. And we believe we can have three to four flights between the GCC and India a day.”
Despite increased competition, Neves said the region could cope with multiple big carriers, “Think about the US, you have four big airlines in the US, why can’t Middle East have four or five big carriers?”
When asked about alliances with other airlines, Neves responded, “Not now.” But he continued, “Right now, we’re dating, we’re dating a lot. Trying to see who are the partners that we’re going to stick to, and then eventually we can join an alliance.”
Neves also said that company was committed to the Israeli market and would continue to fly to Tel Aviv, on a reduced schedule, as long as it remains safe, “We have a commitment to our customers. We won’t stop flying, as long as it’s safe, we’re going to be flying.”
Sources: Houbara Communications