Abu Dhabi’s Etihad will survive coronavirus crisis, says CEO

Etihad Airways Airbus A340-600 plane is seen parked at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 20 March 2020

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad will survive coronavirus crisis, says CEO

  • Etihad has canceled dozens of flights and asked some staff to bring forward paid leave as it tackles the crisis

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways will survive the coronavirus epidemic, it’s chief executive said in a video released on Friday, a day after the industry’s largest body warned that Middle East airlines were in crisis.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday said Middle East airlines are facing a liquidity crisis and hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region were at risk and urged for state intervention.
“We want to reassure ... (that) afterwards when we all want to get back to our normal lives, we want to travel, Etihad will still be there to make sure it’s the best possible way that you can enjoy that experience,” Tony Douglas said in the video posted on the airline’s Twitter account.

Etihad has canceled dozens of flights and asked some staff to bring forward paid leave as it tackles the crisis that has shattered global travel demand.
“These are unprecedented times,” Douglas said in the video, in which he also described the situation as difficult.
The state-owned carrier this month reported an $870 million loss for 2019, its fourth consecutive annual loss.
Etihad, which has lost $5.6 billion since 2016, is now focused on point-to-point traffic.


India to invest $1.46 trillion to lift virus-hit economy

Updated 15 August 2020

India to invest $1.46 trillion to lift virus-hit economy

  • Modi announced a national digital heath plan under which every Indian will get an identity card containing all health-related information
  • Modi said the government has identified 7,000 infrastructure projects to offset the economic impact of the pandemic
NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister said Saturday his country has done well in containing the coronavirus pandemic and announced $1.46 trillion infrastructure projects to boost the sagging economy.
The key lesson India learnt from the pandemic is to become self-reliant in manufacturing and developing itself as a key supply chain destination for international companies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
“The coronavirus epidemic is a big crisis, but it can’t stall India’s economic progress,’’ Modi said in a speech from New Delhi’s 17th century Mughal-era Red Fort to mark 74 years of the country’s independence from British rule. He wore an orange and white turban with a long scarf around his neck.
He also said that three vaccines are in different phases of testing in India and it will start mass production as soon as it got a green light from scientists. “Detailed plans are in place for large-scale production of corona vaccine and making it available to every Indian,” he said.
India’s coronavirus death toll overtook Britain’s this week to become the fourth-highest in the world as the country reported over 2.5 million confirmed cases, just behind the US and Brazil.
Modi also announced a national digital heath plan under which every Indian will get an identity card containing all health-related information.
The celebrations were curtailed on Saturday because of the pandemic, with invitations going only to 4,000 guests instead of normal 20,000, media reports said.
The International Monetary Fund projected a contraction of 4.5 percent for the Indian economy in 2020, a “historic low,” but said the country is expected to bounce back in 2021.
Modi said the government has identified 7,000 infrastructure projects to offset the economic impact of the pandemic.
“Infrastructure will not be created in silos anymore. All infrastructure has to be comprehensive, integrated and linked to each other. Multi-modal connectivity infrastructure is the way forward,” he said.
He said that India saw a record 18 percent jump in foreign direct investment in the past year, a signal that the international companies are looking at the country.
Modi didn’t refer to China directly, but India is trying to capitalize on its rival’s rising production costs and deteriorating ties with the United States and European nations to become a replacement home for large multinationals.
Referring to border tensions with China in the Ladakh area, he said Indian forces had given a befitting response in the mountainous region where thousands of soldiers from the two countries remain in a tense standoff since May. India said 20 of its troops died in hand combat with Chinese troops on June 15.
“Whether it’s terrorism or expansionism, India is fighting the challenges bravely,” Modi said in apparent references to threats from neighboring Pakistan and China.