Are Etihad Airways’ air fares set to rocket?

Etihad Airways has indicated that some fare increases could be in the pipeline now that the airline has established itself in the UAE market.

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By  Gemma Hornett Published  September 2, 2006

Etihad Airways has indicated that some fare increases could be in the pipeline now that the airline has established itself in the UAE market. “We entered the market with fares that were quite low, but we now have to be at the same level as our competition,” said Geert Boven, acting CEO, Etihad Airways. “With the product we are now offering we are able to ask for premium pricing. People in this part of the world want a product and there is a price they are willing to pay for that product. Boven was speaking at a recent press conference to celebrate the arrival of an Etihad-branded Airbus A380 at Abu Dhabi airport following hot weather testing in Al Ain. Boven revealed that once delivered, Etihad’s four Airbus A380s would offer larger seat pitches in all three classes than currently offered on aircraft already in operation. The seat pitch on the new A340-500 for example, is 34-inches in Coral Zone, which Boven said was one-inch more than Etihad’s competitors. “The emphasis will be on comfort, service and hospitality,” he said. “We will definitely create something special. On the upper deck people will be able to roam around and do different things. There will be facilities on board that no airline at this time has,” he added. Boven said the Airbus A380 would serve destinations that were “slot restrictive” such as London, Paris, Frankfurt and London. “These are destinations where it is difficult to increase capacity by adding extra flights because there are no slot times left [for take-off and landing],” he explained.

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