Etihad is ready for country’s flight suspension says CEO

Tony Douglas says the airline can endure the commercial and operational impact of the freeze

Tony Douglas
Tony Douglas

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has said it is prepared to endure the UAE’s two week long passenger flight suspension.

Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas assured: “As the national airline, we stand in full support of the UAE government’s decision, and are confident that we’re well prepared to weather the commercial and operational impact this suspension will have on our services.”

Etihad’s operations from the UAE capital will freeze at 11:59pm on Wednesday according to sister publication Arabian Business. The freeze has been enforced to protect the people of the UAE and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Douglas added: “We stand with our loyal customers, who are having to endure disruption and inconvenience to their travel and their daily lives, and we dedicate all our efforts and resources to ensuring we do all we can to assist them with their travel planning during this challenging period.”

Like Etihad, Emirates Airline heads have voiced their confidence that the airline can survive through a period of reduced flights or suspensions. Emirates Group CEO and chairman H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum explained: “Emirates Group has a strong balance sheet, and substantial cash liquidity, and we can, and will, with appropriate and timely action, survive through a prolonged period of reduced flight schedules, so that we are adequately prepared for the return to normality.”

Airlines in the Middle East have so far lost more than $7 billion in revenue due to flight restrictions and travel bans according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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