Etihad Australia History

One of the leading national carriers of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Australia Airways, is a rapidly growing conglomerate which also controls Etihad Australia Holidays and Australia Etihad Cargo. Based out of Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi (near the Abu Dhabi airport), Etihad Airways has become the third largest airline in the Middle East.

The History of Etihad Australia 

Founded in 2003, Etihad Airways was established by Royal (Amiri) Decree issued by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in July of that year. The company is managed by a governing board of seven members, an elected President CEO, and an executive team.The airline’s maiden flight to Al Ain, Abu Dhabi took place on November 5, with commercial operations to Beirut, Lebanon commencing the following week.

Etihad, the Arabic word for “union”, was given to the airline with the company’s goal of providing hospitality to both the East and West in the 21st century. Less than a year after its founding, the airline made a multi-million dollar aircraft order of five Boeing 777-300ERs and 24 Airbus models (which included 4 A380-800s). In 2008, the largest recorded aircraft order in commercial aviation history was made of over 200 aircraft.

After experiencing million-dollar profit margins and massive growth in the first decade of operations, Etihad Airlines invested with the following airlines in partnership: Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, AirBerlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, and Virgin Australia. The result of these airline partnerships is a global network of over 325 travel destinations from the airlines’ Abu Dhabi hub.

Products & Services Offered by Etihad Airways

Etihad Australia Airways operates over 1000 flights weekly to six continents (Africa, Asia, North & South America, Europe, and Australia) with a fleet of over 120 aircraft models by Airbus and Boeing and nearly 200 more on order. Five cabin classes are available for passengers on Etihad flights to choose from in all service routes (including those in the Etihad Australia network), comfort and efficiency are provided to passengers at below-market prices.

  • The Residence (Airbus a380 flights only) – The ONLY three-room airline suite currently in existence for commercial travel; a high-end luxury cabin with a living room (reclining sofa, two dining tables, cabinet, & 32” TV), bathroom (shower, sink, toilet), and bedroom (double bed with Egyptian cotton bedding), in-flight butler and gourmet services included
  • The First Apartment (Airbus a380 flights only) – A revamp of the former first-class accommodations, this studio apartment-style has a convertible recliner chair bed, 24” TV, cabinet, and wardrobe unit; first-class amenities preflight include lounge access with five-star dining, chauffeur and concierge services, and spa services
  • First Class Suite (Boeing 787-9 flights only) – Specially designed for narrower aircraft, this suits has a smaller recliner chair bed, dining table, 24” TV, cabinet, and wardrobe; first-class amenities preflight are the same as those for the First Apartment
  • Business Studio – With both comfort and functionality in mind, this cabin has a reclining chair bed and 18” TV; business-class preflight amenities include lounge access, chauffeur services, buffet meals, and snacks (additional amenities offered at the Abu Dhabi hub)
  • Economy Smart Seat – Extra-wide reclining seats, 11” touch screen monitor with entertainment system, fixed wing headrest for additional ergonomic support; amenities kit (dental care products, earplugs, eye mask, and footwear); menus with main course entrees and cafe service; Flying Nanny (assist with the needs of small children)

Special services offered that are unique to Etihad Australia Airways make it a worldwide leader in commercial passenger lines, including in-flight entertainment (state-of-the-art technology with Plug-and-Play and USB, broadband and WiFi, live TV), fine dining with wine selections and special meal options, U.S preclearance through ESTA (electronic system for travel authorization) which includes Etihad Australia service. On certain aircraft models. in-flight telephone facilities are also onboard.

The Etihad Guest Loyalty Program

Etihad Australia Airlines offers a four-tier frequent flier program for travelers with rewards and points redemption options which may be used with its 25 airline partners. Signup is easy through the airline website, and tier status is based on participation.

  • Etihad Guest (Basic level) – Offered to all new guest members; includes family membership, guest miles with airline partners, online redemption, waitlist priority, upgrade options, chauffeur service for business and first-class travelers
  • Etihad Guest Silver – All services offered with Etihad Guest but with a 25% tier bonus, guaranteed economy seat option (with 48-hr. booking advance), lounge access, excess baggage allowance
  • Etihad Guest Gold – All services offered with Etihad Guest Silver, but with a 50% tier bonus, guaranteed economy seat option (with 24-hr. booking advance), priority check-in and boarding, fast-track immigration and baggage processing, 3rd party nomination
  • Etihad Guest Platinum – All services offered with Etihad Guest Gold, but with a 75% tier bonus, special online redemption access, guaranteed economy seat option (with 12-hr. booking advance), guaranteed business seat option (with 48-hr. booking advance, first-class lounge access and check-in counter, gold discretionary nomination for one (1) guest

Customers are able to access their rewards profiles 24 hours a day for transaction details, account updates, booking information on Etihad flights, mileage claims, and other program-relevant information. Wallet Plus, a reloadable prepaid VISA card, is offered to UAE residents who are Etihad Guest Silver, Gold, or Platinum members.

Award-Winning Travel with Etihad

Etihad Airways has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions because of its top-notch customer and flight services, and its corporate sponsorship of several world-renowned events and organizations like Manchester City F.C. and the Washington Wizards. Included in the over 30 awards received are:

  • The World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2015 (number 6 position)
  • World’s Leading Airline (2009 through 2013)
  • World Best First Class (2010, 2013)


One thought on “Etihad Australia History

  1. I recently travelled with Etihad. I had just purchased brand-new expensive Antler suitcases. On only my first trip using my new luggage, travelling with Etihad, my new suitcase was torn right down the center due to the way the baggage was handled during the flight to my destination.

    I have already sent an email to baggage claims, with the description of the issue, including photos of the bag damage, receipt of purchase of the new suitcases, and a photo of my itinerary, showing the destination i was travelling to, when the bag was torn.

    This email was sent 2 months ago, and i have still not received any response about being reimbursed for this brand-new suitcase.

    I am contactable on this email. Could someone please get back to me soon, as i am planning another trip soon, and need to have my suitcase resolved.


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