Etihad’s A380s to remain grounded as demand fails to take-off

Etihad’s A380s to remain grounded as demand fails to take-off

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Abu Dhabi: Etihad airways on Sunday confirmed that its A380s will remain grounded unless demand grows and there is “sufficient appetite to reassess their viability.”

“As Etihad continues to focus on recovery and rebuilding our global network, we will continue to rely on the efficiencies and advantages of our twin engine wide-body aircraft,” an airline spokesperson told Gulf News. “As always we continue to focus on the wellness and safety of our guests, while providing the world class service they deserve and have come to expect from Etihad.”

Last week, Etihad announced a management overhaul aimed at transforming the company into a “mid-size, full-service” carrier with a “leaner, flatter and scale-able” structure. “After our best-ever Q1 performance, none of us could have predicted the challenges that lay ahead in the remainder of this year,” said Tony Douglas, Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, in a statement.

The airline reported operating losses of $758 million in the first six months of 2020 with revenues hit due to the closure of international borders, and the suspension of flights to halt the spread of the virus.

Prior to the pandemic, Etihad operated flights to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations with a fleet of 102 aircraft.

UAE airlines have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has decimated global travel demand. Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) lowered its 2020 passenger traffic forecast for the Middle East to reflect a “weaker-than-expected” recovery.

Last Thursday, Dubai-based Emirates Group recorded a half-year loss for the first time in over 30 years. UAE’s largest airline slipped into a loss of Dh14.1 billion for the first six months of its 2020-21 financial year.

20200221101654 Etihad’s A380s to remain grounded as demand fails to take-off
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