Etihad Airways in trouble? A blow to the tourism industry in Uganda and Iran…


Etihad Airways had a bad year in 2017. The airline lost their investment partners airberlin and Alitalia. It amounts to a record loss for this airline owned by the UAE government. Luckily the airline is owned by the oil-rich government, what eliminates bankruptcy, but saving money without compromising premium services seems to be on the top agenda for Etihad Airways.  Even premium services may now come with a price tag- but this is routine in the aviation world.

With a new CEO the airline seems to be looking at ways to save money and return to profit. In a surprise move the airline now says no to what they called once lucrative Iran market.  Flights from Abu Dhabi to Tehran currently operating twice a week and on January 24 the route will be eliminated in the Etihad network.

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At the same time, Etihad confirmed that flights from Abu Dhabi to Entebbe, Uganda (and return) will be canceled effective from 25 March 2018. A spokesperson said: “The reason is that we are following the commercial assessments of the routes performances.”
This is definitely a blow to the Uganda tourism industry since Etihad passengers from North America and Europe had easy connections in Abu Dhabi to Uganda.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.