Lindsay White, Etihad Airways’ Vice President, Eastern Region (APAC and ISC), shares details about what the airline has been doing to make their corporate passengers feel safe before boarding & during their flight
What are your views on corporate travel and M!CE sectors picking up this year from and into India?
The situation is dynamic, and no one has a crystal ball to predict what the travel landscape will look like as countries are likely to open their borders at different times. While travel restrictions are still in place, we have been working closely with the UAE government and global aviation authorities to ensure we gradually grow our network. We’ve expanded our network even further in July and August, and plan to operate to more than 58 worldwide destinations across Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America, Asia and Australia as well as the Indian sub-continent.
Are you engaging with the trade in India, especially those who pick up corporate and business travel?
Our trade partners have been cooperative, and we are thankful for their continued support. We understand that the situation is dynamic and one that none of us have experienced before, leading to a lot of uncertainty and apprehensions among people. To provide maximum support to our trade partners, our teams have been working around the clock to make sure they are the first ones to know about our new policies, updated global network, procedures and other developments. We have also been regularly engaging in knowledge sharing sessions and have conducted various webinars to build industry confidence and keep our trade partners updated.
Is there any new product offering for business class or corporate passengers on Etihad?
Last month, we launched ‘Etihad Wellness’, acomprehensive health and hygiene programme and customer guide. This is championed by the introduction of specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who will provide essential travel health information and care, from pre-flight and at the airport as well as on-board. All our Wellness Ambassadors, a multi-lingual and dedicated team, undergo special training at the airline’s training facilities in Abu Dhabi. They are available 24/7 and guests can reach out to them via e-mail. They will also be available at Abu Dhabi International Airport as well as on-board to ensure guests are assisted at every point of their journey.
Is Etihad looking to make any changes/tweaks to its loyalty programme?
The pandemic has impacted every industry, and every business will have to restrategise and adapt. For our Etihad Guest, we have initiated multiple activities to support our loyalty members across the globe. We have adapted our programme to introduce new ways for guests to earn and redeem their miles. We offered members 40 per cent more bonus miles when transferring loyalty points into Etihad Guest Miles for the first time from a range of partner programmes across banking, telecommunications and hotels.
Flexibility is the new currency in air travel. Are you looking to further extend flexibility on bookings made on Etihad, particularly to your corporate and business travellers?
Etihad has introduced a range of travel waivers, solutions and benefits to help ease the burden and
provide maximum flexibility. In March this year, Etihad Airways introduced Etihad Credit, giving guests the freedom to delay their travel by permitting free cancellation and offering original value of their booking to be used as credittowards their next trip.
If guests are scheduled to fly with Etihad Airways before November 30, 2020, they can rebook their flight for free, or use the value of their ticket as credit towards their next trip. Tickets must have been issued before August 31, 2020 to be eligible, and standard fare rules will apply
stats We offered members 40% more bonus miles when transferring loyalty points into Guest Miles
Earlier this month, Etihad Airways announced its partnership with Travelfusion for its New Distribution Capability (NDC) strategy launched earlier this year, providing access for travel agents & corporate clients to the airline’s content and enhancing the sales distribution of tickets and ancillaries.