Topic of the Week: Etihad Airways Partners


Etihad is trying to put some real structure behind its group of equity investments. The new Etihad Airways Partners group has been announced. Think of it as an alliance of those airlines in which Etihad has a real interest in seeing succeed. To start, it has Etihad, Aer Berlin, Air Seychelles, Air Serbia, Jet Airways, and Etihad Regional as members. Will this work? Will others join? What do you think?

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11 comments on “Topic of the Week: Etihad Airways Partners

  1. “Will this work” depends on “Will others join”. The partners are good but more bulk is needed. I wouldn’t be surprised if they pick up Garuda, Aer Lingus, and possibly a few more.

    I wonder why Alitalia wasn’t in this round of partners, it seems like they would provide the volume that this partnership needs to work.

  2. It will work depending on what exactly Etihad wants. Middle East carriers bring in a lot of slave labor from India to their countries so Jet Airways is a big plus, to do business in a big power country like Germany to go up against LH they need AB for domestic flights and beyond flights. They must have a reason for Air Seychelles, but I don’t know what it might be.

    If they pick the right carriers for the areas of the world they are targeting, it could work for them.

    1. ‘Slave labors’ Excuse me? I find your comment extremely rude and arrogant.
      India and Middle-east has closer ties for centuries and there are six million of us living and working here, blue collar to white collar and also It is estimated money they sending back home is approximately USD 10 billion per annum.
      Well back to the top I don’t know about others but Etihad’s partnership is working exactly like how about Etihad & Jet Airways wanted. This partnership will benefit both because of the huge Indian population, Most of them travel back to their homes often twice or thrice a year and also a lot of locals tend to travel to India for vacation,business,education etc etc

      1. There have been a number of documentaries done about the working conditions and treatment afforded migrant workers by the gulf states. Conditions that are quite aptly described as slavery. The link below is just one article on the subject. While not every ex-pat working in the Gulf States is treated this way its wrong to ignore that there are large numbers who have been virtually enslaved to make much of the growth in that region possible.

  3. “Partners” does look like an Alliance, all right. But you should also include all code shares, such as AA and Turkish.

  4. I’m skeptical. I have the feeling it will be more like a group-wide mileage program, sort of like LH does with Miles and More for Swiss, Brussels and Austrian in addition to LH itself.

    Unless one of the other alliances splinters, most of the large network carriers in Asia, Europe and USA already belong to one of the three established alliances. So any alliance that EY tries to build will either be very limited or require some big defections.

    1. In fact, in several cases where EY invested, they took equity in the mileage program or maybe even took it over.

  5. They might come in the game too late. Low cost carriers seem to expand quickly in Europe with Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian, Vueliing, Wizz Air, Germanwings and others. Plus all the legacy carriers tied up in alliances like Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels. So it will be very difficult for Etihad. Their actual alliance is with very small airlines except Air Berlin. So time will tell if they can run an effective additionnal alliance in Europe and then in the rest of the world.

  6. Equity partner or not, I find EY tend to mislead their customers by portraying that they provide consistent service throughout their journey although in reality, the service quality is not the same from one equity partner to another. I had the experience of travelling KUL-AUH-ZRH-DUS-AUH-KUL which I bought from EY, but ended up travelling with Etihad, Air Berlin and Jet Airways. Etihad was great, but the standards went down with Air Berlin and gotten worse with Jet Airways.

    Whatever their acquisition strategy is, Etihad has just lost 4 passengers in one family who will not travel with them again. Business strategy numero uno – if you want to grow through acquisition, you must deliver consistent service quality otherwise you’re damaging your brand.

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