‘Everyone must re-strategise’

Lindsay White, Etihad Airways’ Vice President, Eastern Region (APAC and ISC), shares details about what the  airline has been doing to make their corporate passengers feel safe not just before boarding but also during their flight. Their teams have been working round the clock to ensure agents also stay updated on the latest developments.

Hazel Jain

Q Are you engaging with the trade in India, especially those who pick up business travel?

Our trade partners have been cooperative, and we are thankful for their continued support. We understand that the situation is dynamic and one that none of us have experienced before, leading to a lot of uncertainty and apprehensions among people. To provide maximum support to our trade partners, our teams have been working round the clock to make sure they are the first to know about our new policies, updated global network, procedures and other developments. We have also been regularly engaging in knowledge sharing sessions and have conducted various webinars to build industry confidence and keep our trade partners updated.

Q Is there any new product offering for Business Class or corporate passengers?

Last month, we launched ‘Etihad Wellness’, a comprehensive health and hygiene programme and customer guide. This is championed by the introduction of specially trained Wellness Ambassadors, a first in the industry, who will provide essential travel health information and care, from pre-flight and at the airport as well as on board. All our Wellness Ambassadors, a multi-lingual and dedicated team, undergo special training at the airline’s training facilities in Abu Dhabi. They are available 24×7 and guests can reach out to them via e-mail. They will also be available at Abu Dhabi International Airport as well as on-board to ensure guests are assisted at every point of their journey.

Q How do you think loyalty programmes will change?

The pandemic has impacted every industry, and every business will have to re-strategise and adapt. For our Etihad Guest, we have initiated multiple activities to support our loyalty members across the globe. We offered members 40 per cent more bonus miles when transferring loyalty points into Etihad Guest Miles for the first time from a range of partner programmes across banking, telecommunications and hotels. Holders of any of the Etihad Guest co-branded Visa payment cards across India can continue earning miles on every purchase through their card.

Q Are you looking to extend flexibility on bookings?

Etihad has introduced travel waivers, solutions and benefits to help ease the burden and provide maximum flexibility. In March, Etihad Airways introduced Etihad Credit, giving guests the freedom to delay their travel by permitting free cancellation and offering the original value of their booking to be used as credit towards their next trip.

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