Etihad sees innovation as key component for drawing and keeping customers

Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan addressed an audience of around four thousand at the 2015 Global Business Travel Association Convention in Orlando, emphasizing consumer choice and innovation as fundamental drivers of competition in the airline industry.

The discussion focused on emerging opportunities and challenges in the international aviation industry. Hogan noted that all travellers are demanding– and that they should be as consumers choose which network, schedules, products and services, they want to pay for.

“What we bring to the market is competition, we bring fantastic choice in regard to product and services,” Hogan said. “We see strong demand in premium and we’re very focused on the business traveler – when you look at our lounges, when you look at the services that we provide – to ensure that the trip is as seamless as it can be.”

Hogan said rapidly growing markets such as China, India and Southeast Asia are changing international traffic flows as well as the traditional international airline hubs. He said Etihad’s approach to flourishing in that environment is to constantly innovate ways to better serve customers.

Since customers have multiple airline options and a world of information– and business reviews– at their fingertips, Hogan said airlines that aim to succeed must transform the customer experience.

“We don’t have passengers, we have guests and that guest experience – whether it’s first class, business class or economy – is fundamental, and treating the guest with respect,” Hogan said.

That company culture, Hogan said, is the key to Etihad’s success.

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