Etihad targets flying 25 mn passengers by 2020

September 21st, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 21 (IANS) Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has set a target of flying 25 million passengers by 2020.The Abu Dhabi-based airline also said in a statement that it was planning to double the number of cities it serves from the current 50 to 100 by that year.

The statement quoted the airline’s chief executive James Hogan as saying in the course of a visit to the US and Canada: “Our projections to 2020 reflect that order and the scale of our ambitions, closely aligned to the growth of Abu Dhabi as an economic and tourism powerhouse.”

To this end, the aircraft placed orders for 100 Airbus and Boeing aircraft at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.

Etihad’s workforce could also grow to 27,000 by 2020 from 6,600 currently, with most of the jobs based in Abu Dhabi, Hogan said.

According to latest figures, Etihad enjoyed its busiest summer period in its four-year history this year with more than 1.6 million passengers flying during June, July and August.

The summer saw Etihad flights operate at an average of 83 percent full, an increase of 46 percent from the same period last year.

The airline flew the highest number of passengers - 20,721 - Aug 1.

“Etihad has flown more than four million passengers across its network of 48 destinations in 2008 and is on track to achieve its target of carrying six million passengers by the end of the year,” the statement said.

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