The US airline industry is at an all-time high for employment. US airlines are making a plurality of the world airline profits. Yet Delta, United, and American feel so threatened that they want the US government to protect them from competition by Emirates, Etihad and Qatar — raising prices on US consumers and reducing flight convenience and choice.
Delta’s CEO is very encouraged by Donald Trump because Trump campaigned as a protectionist — though he ought to be persuadable of the importance of tourism jobs created by Gulf carrier traffic, by the jobs at Alaska and JetBlue which benefit from interlining, and for Fedex which operates a Gulf hub.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, citing “an increasingly competitive landscape,” says it is making an unspecified number of layoffs.
…An Etihad statement described the layoffs as “a measured reduction of headcount in some parts of the business.”
Etihad spokesman Updesh Kapur declined to offer any specifics, though the company’s statement described the layoffs as coming “in a fair, structured and transparent way.”
‘Declining to provide specifics’ of course is the opposite of proceeding in a ‘transparent way.’
Just as the Houston market has been hurt by declining energy prices, so has the Gulf travel market. And Etihad has seen its international investments designed to drive traffic through its Abu Dhabi hub falter. Alitalia and airberlin have been money losers. Some control of Jet Airways has appeared to shift back to India.
From a customer perspective, of course, Eithad, Emirates, and Qatar all offer fantastic connectivity to India, Pakistan, and the surrounding region serving a myriad of destinations not covered by any US airline or even directly by most European ones. And they’ve developed reputations for a quality product, though I’ve long argued that American’s seats are far better than Emirates’ and Etihad’s (though Qatar’s newest business product is among the best in the world, just seek out their 787s and A350s and avoid their six-across Airbus and Boeing 777s).
Etihad Airbus A380 First Apartment