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.
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.