Travel And Tour World’s Editor Apratim Ghoshal engages in an upfront conversation with Edward Fotheringham, Vice President Europe & Americas Etihad Airways at ITB Berlin 2023. Fotheringham sheds light on Etihad’s new ventures in the aviation industry.
ITB Berlin 2023: Talks with Edward Fotheringham, Vice President- Europe & Americas, Etihad Airways
Travel And Tour World: How are you doing today?
Edward Fotheringham: I am doing brilliantly. It’s the first time in four years that we are back in the ITB Berlin 2023 welcoming our customers to the beautiful Etihad Airways stand; our great product and meeting the rest of the Abu Dhabi family here on the TCT stand.
Travel And Tour World: Tell us more about your network?
Edward Fotheringham: Yes, we look after the west region which is basically all of the Americas and all of Europe. We have got some fantastic opportunities we have just announced. We are flying more to Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Lisbon. We are bringing back our A380 back in London to bring that product back so the people can experience the fantastic A380 but also because we are in Germany going back to Dusseldorf which will be an amazing opportunity for German clientele. Travel And Tour World: With Dusseldorf how many connection do you have from Germany? Edward Fotheringham: Dusseldorf will fly three times a week and connect to Abu Dhabi and will connect a vast majority of our connections beyond the Indian subcontinent, Seychelles, Japan nor the rest of Asia or even China. There are many opportunity from customers here in Germany to connect from Dusseldorf. They can go from Munich and from Frankfurt as well.
Travel And Tour World: When someone from the US is flying to the Far East the main concern is connectivity or the transit time. Can you elaborate on this?
Edward Fotheringham: We have a fantastic airport in Abu Dhabi which people can connect from east coast America and Abu Dhabi airport is a great connection experience. The time depends on where they are connecting to. But also, if they are travelling in the Business classes they have access to the Etihad lounges in Abu Dhabi that are some of the best lounges in the world.
Travel And Tour World: Tell us something about your miles and frequent flyer program that customer can register on board or online.
Edward Fotheringham: Yes they can do at either place- the Etihad Guest is the Etihad Loyalty Program. But there is something very specific with Etihad Guest we’re the most sustainable Loyalty Program. So we have conscious choices where customers can make a conscious choice to be greener and therefore they earn more loyalty. A little example, if they bring a lighter hand luggage, it means less carbon is emitted. We will reward them for making that conscious choice to do something better for the environment.
Travel And Tour World: Do you also partner with hotels and spas etc where your customers can use the miles?
Edward Fotheringham: Yes, we have a full partnership program where customers can earn miles in different locations depending on the country or where they are spending the miles. We have some great opportunities where retail, wellness, leisure or buying additional flights. Travel And Tour World: Can you share something about Etihad’s A380? Edward Fotheringham: It comes back on 15th of July into London. We bring three of them back into service and it means our customers connect full range of Etihad Airways products including our first class apartments. I am looking forward to being in London on 15th of July to see the delighted faces of all our customers.
Travel And Tour World: Can we expect to see more networks in the European subcontinent?
Edward Fotheringham: Everyone hopes so. We see an additional announcement around the exhibition of Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Lisbon and Frankfurt. Filling that extra capacity is one of my team’s primary jobs. We make more people understand the value that Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi from business and leisure travel perspective to really understand the attractions in Abu Dhabi.