Etihad alliance members speak in praise of partnership
The Etihad Airways worldwide staff conference was just held in Abu Dhabi with more than 500 staff attending from around the world. There was a strong emphasis on Etihad’s equity alliance with CEOs from all partner airlines, including Alitalia and KLM - Air France, speaking at the event. Air Serbia’s CEO, Dane Kondić, drew parallels between the national carrier’s current status and that of Etihad Airways during its early years. “We share the same DNA as Etihad”, he said. “We have also started with a clean sheet of paper and we are focused on replicating the high product and service standards of Etihad to drive our success, after which we will further develop our network connections too”, Mr. Kondić said.
|Delegates were greeted by crew from (left to right) Virgin Australia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, Etihad, Air Serbia and Air Berlin|
Etihad will invest millions into Air Serbia over the next five years. The CEO of the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, James Hogan, spoke of the need to deliver winning performance for passengers, colleagues and the airline’s many partners, especially those in its equity alliance. “Winning matters and it means having a can do attitude in everything we hope to achieve. Winners do not allow silos to develop. Winners cooperate and winners go the extra mile”, Mr. Hogan said. He added, “The clear challenge for Etihad Airways and its partners is to outperform and we have a clear and proven strategy to do so. Our codeshare and equity partners continue to deliver tremendous value, contributing substantial revenue for Etihad Airways”.
According to Etihad’s plans for Air Serbia, the airline has achieved its short term goal of cooperating with Etihad, launching new aircraft and routes, joint procurement, joint training and joint sales and marketing. The Serbian carrier is now set to embark onto the second phase of its development, which will be much more challenging. It involves revenue quality and volume, profitability, cost control disciplines and operational excellence. Etihad has said Air Serbia will make a profit in two years time. “Together, we have shown that these partnerships work. All of the executives understand the benefits of this strategy and they are passionate about building upon our successful track record by developing the partnership even further”, Mr. Hogan concluded.