Etihad Airways president and chief executive, James Hogan, has highlighted the importance of consumer choice and innovation as the fundamental drivers of competition in the international airline industry.
He was speaking at the Global Business Travel Association convention in Orlando against a backdrop of US airlines accusing their Gulf rivals of receiving unfair subsidies.
The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies coalition of Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United, is urging the US government to open consultations with the UAE and Qatar to “address the flow of subsidised capacity into the US”.
In a discussion on emerging opportunities and challenges in the global aviation industry, Hogan noted that travellers are demanding, and should rightly expect, choices in network, schedules, product and services, loyalty rewards, convenience and price.
“What we bring to the market is competition; we bring fantastic choice in regard to product and services,” he said.
“We see strong demand in premium and we’re very focused on the business traveller – when you look at our lounges, when you look at the services that we provide – to ensure that the trip is as seamless as it can be.”
Hogan highlighted the impact of rapidly-growing markets like China, India and Southeast Asia on international traffic flows and traditional international hubs.
He also emphasised Etihad’s approach to constantly innovating in order to better serve customers.
An Etihad Airbus A380 will make its debut in the US on December 1 when the airline deploys the superjumbo on its New York to Abu Dhabi route.
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