Etihad airline appoints first UK marketer

Rapidly growing Middle Eastern airline Etihad Airways has named Savoy Group CRM manager Helen Cahill as its first UK marketer.

Cahill has been appointed marketing manager, reporting to UK general manager Peter Duncan and Abu Dhabi-based marketing director Richard Bate.

Etihad, which only began flying from Heathrow in March, generated considerable national press coverage when it ordered 24 long-haul aircraft last week. It plans to start flying from Gatwick this month.

The airline used PMA Marketing for a direct marketing campaign at its launch, but Cahill confirms the airline will be searching for an advertising agency soon.

She says Etihad takes marketing “very seriously” and wants to position its brand as a high-quality flying experience that treats customers as guests, rather than passengers.

Airlines based in the Gulf region, such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Gulf Air, are increasing the number of flights from Europe, putting pressure on established carriers serving the Asia-Pacific market. Emirates, launched in 1985, has 100 aircraft on order.

Etihad, launched last year with the backing of the United Arab Emirates government, plans to have a fleet of 50 aircraft, flying to 65 destinations, by the end of the decade.

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