Etihad Pitches Asian Links To European Airlines

Etihad Airways is pitching improved Asian links to major European carriers as it seeks tie-ups in the region, chief executive officer James Hogan said in an interview.

“European airlines are retreating from the Middle East, they’re retreating from Southeast Asia, so we will also give them outstanding connectivity over our hub to the east and to the Indian subcontinent,” Hogan told Bloomberg Television.

France is particularly attractive and a “key market of Europe,” though any accord with Air France-KLM Group would be restricted to code-sharing, in which carriers sell tickets on each other’s services, the CEO said to Bloomberg.

Etihad should be profitable again this year after posting net income of $14 million (Dh51.4 million) in 2011, its first-ever positive result, he said.