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April 16, 2008

Etihad helps drive economic growth in UAE

A major new study by a leading UK think tank shows that Etihad is set to support the creation of more than 100,000 jobs in the UAE during the next 10 years. 


The report states that the airline is playing a crucial role in driving economic growth and supporting and driving tourism, business and investment.


Chief executive James Hogan said: “This study is important because, for the first time, it starts to quantify the very significant and growing contribution our airline is making to the economic growth of Abu Dhabi.


“The figures are all the more impressive when you consider that Etihad has only been operating for four years. Etihad is clearly a key infrastructure asset, vital to facilitating growth in tourism and trade.”


The study by Oxford Economics Group says that Etihad is playing a vital role in driving export-orientated business, especially those linking Abu Dhabi with the fast-growing markets of the Indian sub-continent and the Far East.


The study was commissioned to quantify the overall economic contribution of Etihad to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi today and in the future.


Research examined economic contribution at four levels: direct (within Etihad), indirect (suppliers to Etihad), induced (spending of direct and indirect employees) and catalytic (impacts on other industries).


According to the findings, Etihad is already making a significant contribution to Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product (GDP).


Overall, the airline contributed AED 10,824 million (6.6 per cent) of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP (2.7 per cent of total GDP) in 2007, and helped generate or support a total of 48,813 (or five per cent) of non-oil jobs throughout the Emirate.


Of this total, the airline made a direct economic contribution of AED 2,827 million (1.7 per cent) of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP in 2007, employing 4,107 people within the Emirate.


Etihad made a further indirect economic contribution of AED 1,336 million (0.8 per cent of GDP) and supported an additional 7,467 jobs in 2007, when taking into account money spent by the airline through business with a wide range of suppliers.


An additional GDP contribution of AED 1,370 million and 7,656 additional jobs can be attributed to money spent during 2007 by Etihad staff and suppliers.


The report acknowledges the positive role that Etihad is playing in improving air links between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the rest of the global economy, concluding that the airline’s expanding network is now a key factor for many businesses in encouraging them to invest in the Emirate.


Oxford Economics estimates that a 10 per cent rise in the number of connections offered by Etihad will boost long-term GDP by 1.1 per cent.


In 2007, Etihad expanded its flying schedule by 29 percent and, in doing so, increased significantly access for Abu Dhabi businesses to the global marketplace.


Based on the airline’s current growth projections, Etihad’s total economic contribution to Abu Dhabi’s GDP will increase by 67 per cent to AED 18.1 billion by 2011, helping to support 84,254 jobs in the Emirate.


By 2016 this GDP figure is set to increase to AED 28 billion, supporting 140,565 jobs.


The new report acknowledges the ambitious plans Abu Dhabi is executing to emerge as a premier global tourism destination.


The next three years will see major investment in airport infrastructure in Abu Dhabi.


The opening of a new, third passenger terminal later this year – dedicated exclusively to Etihad - and a new, second runway in 2009, will help increase the capacity of the airport from seven million to 20 million passengers a year by 2011.

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