To have any chance of success, Etihad Airways had to achieve a size and scale that could compete against the networks of airlines that had not only been operating for years, but had benefited from decades of government investment and infrastructure support.
Our airline was starting decades after our major
competitors – the legacy European airlines, the legacy Asian carriers and the
other Gulf airlines.
up on the many decades head-start held by those airlines would take a bold
strategy and significant investment. There is a very high cost of entry to
become a serious competitor in long haul hub-and-spoke air travel.
airline industry is capital-intensive and requires significant investment in
the obvious items of aircraft and engines; but one which also requires heavy
investment in the less obvious items: people, training, technology, and
infrastructure – everything had to be built from scratch.