Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) and its equity partner airlines will support 108,000 jobs across the US in 2016 and make a $10.7 billion contribution to the national economy this year, according to a leading global consultancy.
The Abu Dhabi-based global aviation and travel group has key interests in the US, operating to six gateway cities across the country. Its economic contribution includes capital spending with US-based suppliers that supports tens of thousands of domestic jobs, said the report.
According to the report by Oxford Economics, a UK-based research organization, in 2016 EAG’s core economic contribution to the US economy will be $3.8 billion in gross domestic product (GDP), supporting 30,300 jobs. This consists of the US impact from EAG’s global operations and its capital spending with US-based suppliers, largely due to Etihad Airways’ capital investment in new aircraft, cabin interiors and IT infrastructure. This employment translates to domestic spending, delivering $2.9 billion to the country’s GDP.
In addition, spending by the 280,000 international visitors carried into the US on Etihad Airways’ flights during 2016 will also leave a considerable economic footprint. This is estimated to contribute $1.9 billion in GDP, supporting around 22,400 American jobs, it said.
The US economy is further boosted by the impact of the operations and services of EAG’s equity partner airlines. Together, they will deliver $1.6 billion to the GDP, with a further $3.4 billion tourism contribution. In turn, they will support 13,700 jobs through their core operation, with a further 41,100 jobs supported through the tourism industry.
EAG includes Etihad Airways, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group owns minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.
EAG’s services play a key role in connecting the US to important emerging economies in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia via Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi. In 2016, Etihad Airways will operate over 4,700 flights to and from the US and carry around 1.2 million passengers.
Over the next few years, the figures are set to rise sharply as Etihad Airways and its partner airlines expand capacity worldwide. According to Oxford Economics, EAG and its partners’ core and tourism economic contribution to the US will reach $18.2 billion by 2024 and support 171,400 jobs in the economy.
James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and CEO, said: “The US is one of the world’s leading economies and Etihad Airways, together with its partners within EAG have made great strides to stimulate air travel to and from the US, have created vital air corridors connecting global markets, and have become a key contributor to the US economy.
“Many jobs across the supply chain in hotels, ground transport companies, freight forwarders, catering, manufacturing, and throughout the tourism industry, all benefit from the presence of Etihad Aviation Group, with suppliers in these sectors creating tremendous employment opportunities for Americans.”
Hogan added: “As Etihad Airways expands its US operations, and the importance of Abu Dhabi as a global hub grows, so will our impact on the US economy, in particular the employment landscape with the huge number of jobs supported across the country, both directly and indirectly. The figures from the report clearly show the catalytic incremental effect that the Etihad Aviation Group will have in the job market and on the US economy in the years to come.”
Since opening its first US route 10 years ago with services to New York, Etihad Airways’ has expanded its US operations from Abu Dhabi to a further five gateways. Its network includes twice-daily flights to New York (JFK); daily to Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles and San Francisco; and thrice-weekly to Dallas Fort-Worth.