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Ethad plans to carry 25 million passengers by 2020


Abu Dhabi : Etihad Airways has set its sights on flying 25 million passengers a year by 2020, according to the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s chief executive, James Hogan.

It is also envisages doubling the number of cities served from 50 to 100.

Hogan announced the ambitious targets when addressing the American media in New York, one of the legs of a special visit he conducted recently to the US and Canada.

In addition to the flight network growth, which supports the order of 100 Airbus and Boeing aircraft that was made at the Farnborough International Airshow 2008, Etihad’s workforce could also grow to 27,000 by 2020, from its current 6,600, with most of the jobs based in Abu Dhabi.

Hogan said: “Etihad is already a substantial business and we signalled our intentions for the future by making recently one of the largest ever commercial aircraft orders. Our projections to 2020 reflect that order and the scale of our ambitions, closely aligned to the growth of Abu Dhabi as an economic and tourism powerhouse.”

Etihad recently released figures which showed that the carrier enjoyed its busiest summer period in its four-year history with a total of more than 1.6 million passengers flying during June, July and August.

The record performance during the summer months was underlined further on Aug 1 when 20,721 passengers flew with Etihad making it the airline’s busiest day.

The summer also saw Etihad flights operate at an average of 83 per cent capacity, an increase of 46 per cent on the same period in 2007.

Etihad has now flown more than four million passengers across its network of 48 destinations in 2008 and is on track to achieve its target of carrying six million passengers by the end of the year.