Etihad Airways is considered as one of the youngest airlines in the world, yet it managed to seize a leading place within the aviation industry. Etihad Airways received the 2008 Marketing Award of the “Airline Strategy Awards”, one of the most recognized awards in the industry, just five years after starting commercial operations, followed by many international awards. This early success can be attributed to the marketing strategy employed by Etihad, which resulted in creating a strong brand associated with a high quality service. Etihad’s marketing strategy focused on creating new innovative services in every touch point with the customers. This report will focus on Etihad’s marketing strategy, which enabled the airlines to achieve what other carriers achieved in a much longer time.
Etihad Airways was established in July 2003 by a royal decree as the national carrier of United Arab Emirates, commercial operations started on November the same year, and since then Etihad managed to add at least one new route every month. Etihad today is considered as one of the most rapid growing airlines, with a fleet of 57 aircrafts operating about 1000 flights a week to 66 destination in 44 countries from its’ hub in Abu Dhabi. As the national airline of the UAE, Etihad always looked for reflecting the Arabian hospitality and culture, as well as trying to promote Abu Dhabi as an attractive business centre in the Middle East. With international air transportation as its’ main business, Etihad also runs Etihad Crystal Cargo, which offers cargo services throughout its’ global network, and Etihad holidays, which offers a wide range of holiday programs. Etihad is constantly working hard to provide guests with an incredible travel experience, through upgrading its’ aircraft, in Business Class, Economy Class, and First Class cabins, as well as offering some ground services such as limousine pick-up in 19 destinations, and high quality lounges in Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, Manchester, Dublin, and London. With less than 8 years in operation Etihad Airways received many global awards such as “World’s Leading Airline” at the World Travel Award sin 2009 and 2010.
A. 4Ps: Products, Prices, Places, Promotions
Products: Etihad’s core product is air transportation; with some supplementary services. This service is divided into three main classes and two subclasses. The main idea is to provide each target segment the value that suits them in-flight and on ground, in parallel with achieving the company’s future goals. Therefore, by differentiating product strategy Etihad Airways with its heterogeneous fleet has to differentiate the services for each segment. The airline targets the business travelers who are willing to pay such a price for quality service and also the last minute flyers, and long haul travelers. Diamond First class: Comprises of “Diamond first class (Suite) and Diamond first class” In order to differentiate its’ service, Etihad sought to introduce this luxurious class with complete complementary services in August 2009, taking into consideration the individuals personal space, for this segment of business travelers who are willing to maintain their lifestyle in air as they used to on ground. Therefore, Etihad Airways tends to empower travelers to decide their enjoyment level and the way to be served prior the journey, by giving them the access to diamond first class lounges in airports, that includes ‘six senses’ relaxation spa, refreshing showers, champagne bars and cigar lounges. Etihad also considered the family entertaining aspect, through family rooms with unlimited usage for a wide range of TV shows and internet. On board, different tactics are used to deliver the value proposition, therefore, Etihad unveiled the diamond first class that includes private suite with sliding Arabian styled doors, luxurious extended ‘Poltrona Frau’ seats, built-in socket power for any electronic device, wardrobe and own marble...