Etihad Airways will be hiring around 1000 people year-on-year for the next seven years.

This was revealed on Day 2 of the Dubai Airshow by Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, who shed light on the national careers expansion plans in the near future.

Talking about how the sector is bouncing back post Covid with the airline even looking at new recruitments, he said: “We're going to be hiring 800 to 1000 people every year for the next seven years. The plan is to double the size of the fleet in the next seven years. We believe that this is going to create a lot of value for the company.”

“The industry is in good shape and I'm really happy to see how the sector recovered from Covid. The fact is that in many regions of the world, we are flying at or above Covid levels which is just remarkable. We love to serve, and we love to deliver great customer experiences.”

10 new destinations next year

Meanwhile, the UAE’s national airline which marks 20 years of flying as it participates at the Airshow this week, is also showcasing its newest Boeing 787-9 which is one of four new Dreamliners to join the fleet, following the arrival of a new 787-10 in October.

The new aircraft will fuel Etihad’s growth plans as the airline has added 12 new destinations this year and its expansion plan entails a 10 per cent year-on-year growth.

In the coming months, the airline intends to begin operations on new routes in India, as well as Boston and Nairobi.

The carrier, which has grown by 35 per cent this year, has recently expanded its operations in multiple markets, with additional flight frequencies and improved connectivity across the network.

“This year we added 12 new destinations, next year we will add 10 new destinations.”

'I need the planes'

Shedding light on the challenges that the aviation industry and the airline is experiencing in particular, he said: “Any airline that is willing to grow 10 per cent per a year has a lot of challenges. It's a huge task. But this is not our biggest challenge because we have great execution capabilities.”

“The biggest challenge that I think we have as an industry is on the supply chain side. Planes are late. Everyone knows about that. The supply of planes in the market right now is not that great because we have some engine issues in the market. We don't have that problem though.

“It's getting really hard to find planes. That has a consequence in the entire supply chain… for seats, for parts, among others.”

“How can I address the supply chain problem that we have in the world and it's going to last for another two or three years…because there is a lot of demand for airplanes. I need the planes. I would love to fly this plane (referring to the new Boeing 787-900) but it’s not delivered yet,” he added.

Airline foraying into new terminal

Talking about Abu Dhabi’s next-level aviation hub, the Midfield terminal which is already witnessing around 28 airline transitioning into the terminal, Neves said: “We are moving the bulk of the operation to the new terminal. It’s going very well. It is, in my view, one of the best terminals in the world. We could not deliver our growth plan without that terminal. We are going to do 17 million passengers next year and 33 million passengers in the next seven years.”

Spanning three floors amid Piers C and D of the new terminal on the northern side, there exists a First and Business Class Etihad lounge, offering travellers a plethora of top-notch amenities to optimize their pre-flight experience.

“So, we're going to be taking two thirds or a little more than 70 per cent of the terminal capacity. It's crucial to us and we need it. It’s perfect timing,” added Neves.

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