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Old Sep 19, 08, 11:35 am   #1
 
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Emirates vs. Etihad

I'm trying to figure out the differences between Emirates and Etihad. Both appear to be ultra-premium, and both are based out of UAE. The only difference I can tell is that one is based in Abu Dhabi whereas one is in Dubai. Is that correct?

Are they related in any way?
Is one better than the other?

TIA!
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Old Sep 19, 08, 12:40 pm   #2
 
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The Emirates-Etihad Story

Aahh...you've hit a sore spot there, trojanman I'll do my best to explain:
During the 1980s, the main airline of the Gulf region was Gulf Air, owned by several Gulf nations and by far the largest airline out of Dubai (DXB) and Abu Dhabi (AUH). DXB at the time wanted to pursue open skies so Gulf was left unprotected. So the Dubai government went ahead and formed Emirates (EK). Their growth initially was limited, it was only during the 1990s that they began to rise, and that Dubai became an international world center that it is now. EK soon came to epitomize world-class service, premium customer service, and everything that oil money would buy. It would also reflect the astranomical rise to fame, mirroring Dubai's rags to riches story.
Soon, it became a prestige thing. Etihad Airways was launched with great fanfare in 2003/2004 and very soon was offering London-Sydney with one stop. Although it very clearly mirrors Emirates rapid expansionism while combining the luxurious travel experience a la Singapore Airlines. The truth is that Etihad's expansionism is only possible due to the Abu Dhabi government spending billions on it, while Emirates spent a very long time accumulating wealth before entering its rapid expansion phase.

You ask which one is better-well Emirates built itself from nothing while Etihad had a very able airline to emulate. Emirates was regarded as a top-notch airline that is now falling in standards and truth be told is being eclipsed by Etihad, mainly due to EK's inability to control quality as it is growing to fast. Well, Etihad is growing too fast so personally I think it will have the same problem very soon.
Emirates has huge global brand awareness. If you go to a city like London, you'll see so many people wearing Fly Emirates t-shirts. That's an achievement that has taken years to achieve, and it remains to be seen if Etihad will every achieve that.
In my opinion, the Gulf aviation market is small and tends to overlap. Whether it will be able to hold 3 mega-sized airlines (Qatar, Etihad, Emirates and possibly Gulf Air) remains to be seen.
A big long but it's a rather boring Friday and I had nothing else to do...
Hope this helps
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Old Sep 19, 08, 12:42 pm   #3
 
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they are VERY BITTER rivals. You are right in that one is based in Dxb and the other in AUH.

Overall they are both ramping up their services and both do offer similar services. However in some ways, i think Emirates has the upper hand, especially since Etihad is much younger and less experienced.

Personally, I live in Dubai but prefare to fly Etihad, as they usually have cheaper rates, with just as new aircraft and the AUH airport has a lot less walking (though the AUH airport is much older and really needs a makeover) The good news is, it is getting the makeover as I type, and a few regional destinations have started flying out of the new terminal.

Generally I wud say the food, and FA' tend to be better on Emirates, but they are not so much better that the prices deserve the premium Emirates charges.

Again, I fly Etihad 75% of the time, and Emirates 25%.
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Old Sep 19, 08, 11:26 pm   #4
 
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What improvements can we find at the Emirates lounges at the new terminal?

Back to Emirates vs Etihad? How do the seats compare between the two airlines in the premium cabins? Any inputs will be appreciated as I have never flown with Eithad.

I think in recent times, the quality of service on EK has been patchy. I get the feeling some cabin crew are very fresh and are still not adequately trained or don't have enough experience. On the other hand, I've had some excellent service too. It's just such a mixed bag without any consistency.

Food and wine - average to good on EK(again mixed bag). Can't compare with Jet Airways or Singapore who definitely set the bar IMHO.

I think EK scores very high on the entertainment especially with the big screen monitors.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 2:17 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari_7 View Post
Back to Emirates vs Etihad? How do the seats compare between the two airlines in the premium cabins? Any inputs will be appreciated as I have never flown with Eithad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EK_Flyer View Post
Here's a comparison between EY & EK by Mr Hawi or Ronerone


http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ad.main/122389
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Old Sep 20, 08, 3:34 am   #6
 
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Should have been flying to JFK with EK a few weeks back but the trip was postponed. Should be flying in the next 7 - 10 days so after reading this post will give EY a try. Price for the J class EK itinerary is AED23,260 and for EY is AED17,540. These are flights departing 29/08 and returning 05/10. At these prices (US$1500 cheaper) it would be crazy not to even if the A380 is back in service.
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Old Sep 22, 08, 10:06 am   #7
 
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wow thanks for the detailed comparison guys!
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Old Sep 22, 08, 11:17 am   #8
 
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The relationship is very bitter indeed. AFAIK, Etihad has a complimentary coach service from downtown to Dubai to AUH! (featuring a complimentary comfort kit with mints in it!

Essentially, Emirates was born into what it is now in the 90's having trundled along from it's birth in 1985. Fleets of A330-200s & the (then) state of the art B777 were ordered. Emirates cottoned on early to the -300ER variant & the A380 for it's potential within the network. Looking at the network & schedules, Emirates has attempted to build a very powerful hub operation with phrases of traffic aimed at different markets. Etihad can only dream of developing a hub to rival Emirates partly due to infrastructure limitations (Emirates gets new terminal so Etihad gets new terminal...Emirates now gets massive airport, EY top trumped!) & partly because when EY gets to where EK is now, Emirates will already be leaps ahead...

The quality issue is down to personal opinion. EY have been successful in introducing a common range of products across it's fleet whereas Emirates has dozens of variations on F J & Y...

None the less, both are incredible airlines & together with Qatar are positioned at what could be said is the crossroads of the world. Dubai is pretty much central to everywhere in the globe, being on the opposite side of the world to the pacific which has very little of aviation interest...

Last edited by flyboy777; Sep 27, 08 at 6:40 am.. Reason: cockup
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Old Sep 22, 08, 2:22 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by flyboy777 View Post
None the less, both are incredible airlines & together with Qatar are positioned at what could be said is the crossroads of the world. Dubai is pretty much central to everywhere in the globe, being on the opposite side of the world to the equator which has very little of aviation interest...

Sorry, you lost me there. Opposite side of the world to the equator?
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Old Sep 23, 08, 12:14 am   #10
 
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the fares for etihad are much more reasonable than emirates.. two things to comment about their mileage program..

the miles to redeem upgrades are much higher, iirc, etihad is 75k for one way upgrade from dxb to jfk.. while emirates is 45k. but then again.. with etihad there are no blackouts or limited upgradeable seats.

i hear the service is a little better on etihad and a little more room..but i can't confirm since i haven't flown.. look forward to though!

also etihad purchased a large number of 787s.. i think they're trying to transition away from the hub approach emirates is taking and offering destination to destination flights.
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Old Sep 23, 08, 7:18 am   #11
 
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Now would be a good time to add that Emirates has been consistently profitable since its launch and does not need subsidies to manage, while Qatar and Etihad have yet to break even.
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Old Sep 25, 08, 10:49 pm   #12
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I wish one of them would join an alliance. then all the others in that region would line up.
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Old Sep 26, 08, 1:41 pm   #13
 
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I wish one of them would join an alliance. then all the others in that region would line up.
Emirates has always been a no-alliance airline. It's amazing how they're the biggest airline without being in an alliance. Currently the Big Four are all torn between all three alliances though.
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Old Sep 26, 08, 2:08 pm   #14
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Emirates has always been a no-alliance airline. It's amazing how they're the biggest airline without being in an alliance. Currently the Big Four are all torn between all three alliances though.
I hope MS and RJ have some effect.
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Old Sep 27, 08, 7:38 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Sorry, you lost me there. Opposite side of the world to the equator?
sorry, edited post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
also etihad purchased a large number of 787s.. i think they're trying to transition away from the hub approach emirates is taking and offering destination to destination flights.
Why does the purchase of Dreamliners mean EY is changing it's network modeling. Simply because it was promoted as point-to-point by Boeing in light market fragmentation doesn't mean the airlines will use it such. EY need a small widebody...

Quote:
Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
I wish one of them would join an alliance. then all the others in that region would line up.
Emirates seem to only care for themselves. Indeed partnering with an alliancee would greatly benefit an alliance, but the shared resources could be to EK's disadvantage not to meantion the route overlaps that are otherwise profitable.
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