x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dh18 billion target for Etihad as Abu Dhabi airline reaches for the skies

Etihad Airways is targeting US$5 billion in revenues this year and is on the look out for further buying opportunities, says chief executive James Hogan.

Etihad Airways is targeting revenue of $US5 billion this year. ( Paulo Vecina/The National )
Etihad Airways is targeting revenue of $US5 billion this year. ( Paulo Vecina/The National )

James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad Airways, is targeting revenue of Dh18 billion (US$5bn) for the airline this year after reiterating expansion plans by buying stakes in other major airlines.

Mr Hogan laid out the Abu Dhabi-based carrier's growth ambitions today at an aviation conference in the capital.

"We see further equity investments only if its the right opportunity, right partner, right market and right price," he was quoted by saying by Reuters in a speech at the World Route Development Forum.

Etihad has already snapped up minority equity stakes in Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus in recent months after hitting the acquisition trail. It has also upped its existing shareholding in Air Berlin and Air Seychelles.

Further acquisitions would fall along the same lines, he said. The airline was not interested in majority ownership, Mr Hogan added.

"Our equity model is about growth, not control," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"Through partners, we stretch our reach and it gives us the ability to compete with our immediate neighbours."

Etihad's revenue this year would cross a record $5bn this year, despite pressures squeezing the industry from the global economic slowdown and higher fuel prices, he said.

Revenues reached $4.1bn last year and revenues from partnerships hit $281 million in the first half of this year, Mr Hogan said.

tarnold@thenational.ae