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April 17, 2008

Flying Tailor-Made

ABU DHABI - Etihad, the official carrier of GIBTM and national flag carrier of the UAE, is turning its attentions to the business travel market in 2008, with new groups procedures and a focus on tailor-made solutions.

"Business tourism is a key opportunity for Etihad and GIBTM is the best way for us to reach the key conference organisers, incentive designers, meeting planners and exhibition experts," said David Granville, sales opportunities manager, Etihad Airways.

According to Granville, the airline is looking to build relationships and better understand how to tailor its service to market needs.


An Etihad seat

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"How we work with groups depends on whether the group is closed, like an incentive or meeting, or open, like a conference or exhibition where those attending make their own arrangements. We're actually finalising our new groups procedures to take into account the very different needs of these four segments - a challenge to get it right but we're on track," he explained.

"One thing which doesn't appear to be of great value is a straight discount to all people in all classes on all flights - having a tailor-made solution for each event, focusing on the needs of the meeting planner, the exhibitor, incentive buyer, etc., is a much better way forward - and much more like the style of our own service - respectful and personalised," he added.

Etihad is the exclusive official carrier for GIBTM. With over 1,000 delegates flying into Abu Dhabi for the event, the airline has the opportunity to provide a great first impression of Abu Dhabi.

Launched in 2003, Etihad has since become the world's fastest growing airline, and now serves over 40 destinations and carried 4.6 million passengers in 2007.

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