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Etihad Airlines: growth through successful strategic partnerships

Hamad A. Al Ali (Supreme Petroleum Council – Finance Division, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Syed Zamberi Ahmad (Syed Zamberi Ahmad is based at Management Department, College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Publication date: 10 October 2014


Subject area

International business and/or strategic management.

Study level/applicability

This case is useful for undergraduate and postgraduate level students majoring in international business management and/or strategic management.

Case overview

Etihad Airways was established in 2003, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the UAE government as sole owner. It is the national carrier of UAE with Abu Dhabi as its centre of operations. Etihad is recognized as a fast-growing player in the aviation industry, and has become one of the dominant international players in the industry in a relatively short time. Etihad's fleet now contains more than 67 planes, with more than 1,300 flights per week to diverse destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. The company describes its business strategy as “sustainable growth”. Looking through a practitioner's lens, strategic partnerships have been the critical activities through which Etihad has delivered its strategy. The purpose of this case study is therefore to elaborate on its major and successful partnerships and the critical benefits of these. Secondary data were collected from credible sources including academic studies, relevant Etihad publications and industry reports published by official aviation associations.

Expected learning outcomes

Students will be able to understand the theory of strategic partnerships, their roles and benefits and critically evaluate the pre-staging “requirements” of such partnerships. In this case, the specific learning outcome of it is to help students to understand the importance of successful strategic partnerships for Etihad Airlines and how partnership strategies can improve the performance of Etihad Airlines.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



Al Ali, H.A. and Ahmad, S.Z. (2014), "Etihad Airlines: growth through successful strategic partnerships", , Vol. 4 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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