Etihad’s struggles are just beginning

“A very unprofitable airline in serious trouble”: Aviation Week
Following Air Berlin’s bankruptcy, the consequences for its once largest shareholder, Etihad Airways, have so far been ignored but are now becoming clearer, Aviation Week writes.
The deeply negative impact on Etihad’s global role could be felt for a long time.
Etihad’s strategy of buying into secondary or seriously troubled airlines including Alitalia, Air Serbia, Darwin Airline, Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia, was doomed to fail and became a huge waste of money.
CEO James Hogan promised his board it would generate synergies or feeder traffic for the Abu Dhabi hub, but it didn’t. Hogan is now gone and Alitalia and Air Berlin are in bankruptcy, while Darwin has been sold.
The new, as yet unnamed Etihad chief executive has the task of “stabilizing and redefining a very unprofitable airline in serious trouble”, Aviation Week writes. Meanwhile, Etihad’s reputation in Europe is damaged and many thousands of jobs at the airlines it invested in are under threat.
An old idea may soon be re-floated – an alliance or even a merger with one of the other major Middle Eastern carriers. But Emirates, the more likely candidate, is busy with its own problems of over-capacity, and is currently joining forces with FlyDubai.
Aviation Week


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