Etihad Airways keeps the United Arab Emirates (UAE) connected with the world's big cities. As a commercial airline based in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways serves about 50 destinations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; destinations include London, Moscow, Mumbai, Damascus, Kuwait, and Islamabad. The airline also offers North American services in New York and Toronto. Etihad Airways' fleet consists of more than 40 Airbus aircraft, including 14 wide-body A330s and eight medium-range A320s. Etihad Airways also operates a cargo services division. The airline was founded in 2003 by a royal decree issued by a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family.
Since its founding, Etihad has been slowly growing its fleet by securing funding from banks for the purchase of new aircraft. In 2008, it received $210 million in funding from three regional banks to add two wide-body A340-600 aircraft to the fleet.
In early 2009 Etihad formed a code-sharing agreement with Qantas Airways, sharing passengers on routes from Australia to Europe via the Middle East. The move allows Etihad to grow into international markets and helps Qantas fend off Emirates, which has ratcheted up competition in Australia by recently expanding its Dubai-Sydney service. In 2010 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave preliminary approval for Virgin Blue and Etihad Airways to start a marketing joint venture for joint pricing and scheduling across the two company's networks.
Etihad has expressed interest in acquiring a stake in low-fare German carrier Air Berlin. The move would enable Etihad to expand its German operations and offer additional European destinations.
Etihad hopes to increase its worldwide destinations to more than 70 by the year 2010.
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