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Airfares to rise in 2010: Etihad CEO

James Hogan (SUPPLIED)

By Shweta Jain

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways expects fares to be revised upwards this year, according to the airline's chief executive.

"I do expect airlines to increase their prices this year. It would be unfair for me to say the percentage, because every airline is in a different space. But I would expect the industry to move their pricing responsibly," James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, told Emirates Business.

He added that pricing "needs to move back to the 2008 levels" for both passengers and cargo airlines. On an average, most Gulf carriers (and those operating in the region), cut airfares by about 30 per cent in 2009 – including Emirates, Jet Airways, Air Arabia – in order to boost the load factor in financially difficult times.

For instance, earlier last year, Emirates cut fares to as many as 85 destinations. Lower fuel led the airline to revise airfares for the third time since October 2008.

Globally, too, airlines cut fares to unrealistic levels, resulting in sharp drop in yields.


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