Comparing Etihad and Emirates Marketing Plan

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Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways 


This paper discusses Etihad Airways, the number 2 airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and compares it to Emirates Airlines, the number 1 airline of the Middle East, and fourth largest airline in the world. The paper provides examples of the 7 P’s of the extended marketing mix for each airline, and provides a detailed marketing plan for Etihad Airways. The marketing plan includes how the plan will meet business objectives and marketing objectives of Etihad Airways as well as an Action Plan that can be used to to monitor and evaluate the company’s progress for meeting its business goals and objectives.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is the 2nd largest airline in the UAE and the second flag carrier airline of the UAE with its HQ in Abu Dhabi and its main hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Founded in 2003, Etihad Airways offers over 1,000 flights every week aboard its fleet of passenger and cargo planes, including Airbus and Boeing jets. It reaches destinations all over the world—America, Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. In 2015, it saw revenues of more than $9 billion and it currently employees more than 20,000 workers (Etihad Airways, 2015).

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued the Royal Decree establishing Etihad Airways as the second flag carrier of the UAE: his purpose was to have an airline for Abu Dhabi. That airline grew immensely over the following decade. It turned its first net profit of $14 million in 2011 in line with corporate guidance. It took a 29% stake in Air Berlin the same year, followed by a 10% stake in Virgin Australia, a 40% stake in Air Seychelles, a 49% stake in Jat Airways, a 51% stake in Air Serbia, a 49% stake in Alitalia.

Toe enhance its visibility, Etihad Airways has sponsored numerous sports teams around the world including the Baltimore Brigade, an arena football team in the U.S.; Manchester City F.C. in the UK which has named its home stadium Etihad Stadium; the Mumbai Indians, a cricket team in India; the Washington Capitals, an NHL team in the U.S., and the Washington Wizards, an NBA team in the U.S. Etihad was the title sponsor of the 2009 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. In 2014, Etihad partnered with Major League Soccer (MLS) in the U.S. to be the Official Airline of the MLS. In 2017, it partnered with IMG Models, to promote fashion shows.

Etihad offers a range of seating options in its new aircraft, including a First Apartment on Airbus A380-800, which is 39 sq. ft., ottoman/bed, 24-in. flat screen TV, vanity cabinet and bar. Its luxurious stylings have made it one of the most appealing first class cabins in the industry. Even more impressive is The Residence, which boasts 125 sq. ft., a private living room, bedroom and bath; a reclining sofa and 32-inch TV. Then there is the Business Studio seat, which is perfect for the executive on the go and provide a cozy but private seating arrangement with TV and leather-bound chair that turns into a bed. Economy seating is also available.

The company’s slogans have included the following over the years:

· From Abu Dhabi to the World

· The World Is Our Home, You Are Our Guest

· Flying Reimagined

· Choose Well

It has a reach of 75 destinations and a fleet size of 116.

Emirates Airlines

Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East with nearly 4,000 flights every week leaving Dubai. Its range extends to 140 cities worldwide, 81 countries and 6 continents. It is the fourth largest airline in the world in terms of numbers of passengers flown. Like Etihad, Emirates’ fleet consists of Airbus and Boeing jets. It has more than 100 Airbus A380s and more than 150 Boeing 777s.

Emirates employees more than 60,000 workers and has revenues of more than $24 billion annually. Since its founding in 1985, the airline increased the number of passengers flown every year. To help increase its growth and visibility, Emirates has sponsored Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, England. It is a sponsor of Cricket Australia, the Pro Arch Tournament and Lord’s Traverners. It has been a sponsor of FIFA and FIFA World Cup. It is also a sponsor of the football club Real Madrid. In the U.S., it has sponsored the U.S. Open and is the official airline of the MLB team the Los Angeles Dodgers. It has even had Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston star in two commercials for the airline (Emirates, 2018).

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The company’s slogans have included:

· So be good to yourself, Fly Emirates

· From Dubai to destinations around the world.

· Fly Emirates, Keep Discovering 

· Hello Tomorrow 

· Fly Better

It has a reach of 180 cities and a fleet size of 258.

The 7 P’s of Marketing

Ries and Trout (2009) state that “marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perception” (p. 23). To help shape the perception of the consumer, the marketing mix gives a company a way to think about how consumers are impacted by the 7 P’s. The 7 P’s of marketing are: 1) product, 2) place, 3) price, 4) promotion, 5) people, 6) processes, and 7) physical evidence. Each of the 7 P’s should be designed to help the company achieve its objectives.



For Etihad, the main objective is to “take a holistic approach to corporate responsibility alongside our efforts to be the world’s best airline” (Our Responsibility, 2018). Etihad states that all of its efforts “are focused around adding value: to our people, our communities and our planet” (Our Responsibility, 2018). It has defined these objectives in the following terms:

· Growing together:

Support for the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.

· Greener together:

Commitment to minimise our environmental impact.

· Working together:

The development and well-being of our diverse employees.

· Giving together:

Contributions to charities and humanitarian relief.

Growth is one of the biggest objectives of Etihad, which defines this objective as “delivering solid performance through increased passenger and cargo volumes” (Our Responsibility, 2018). Thus, while expanding its services, Etihad also wants to enhance its image by showing a commitment to sustainability, caring for the environment by going green, giving back to its communities.


Emirates Airlines has as its main objective the goal of being a leader in the industry, ensuring customer satisfaction and growing every day. The core of this objective consists of the company’s main values:

· Excellence – in everything we do.

· Agility – to move as one with the impact of thousands.

· Innovation – to remain ahead of the game.

· Leadership – we lead the industry and our people with strong example.

· Reliability – count on us to get results (Emirates Group Security, 2018)

By focusing on excellence, agility, innovation, leadership and reliability, Emirates is able to describe the quality of service and products it seeks to offer its clients.


Product is the thing that is being sold to the consumer—a good or a service. In many cases it is also a brand, a concept, a perception—as Ries and Trout (2009) put it. Product also refers to the advantages it can give to a consumer—i.e., what makes it better than other products on the market, or what features of the service make it unique and particularly appealing. Tracy (2004) states that when it comes to product, one should “develop the habit of looking at your product as though you were an outside marketing consultant brought in to help your company decide whether or not it's in the right business at this time.” That means, one should assess a company’s product by analyzing whether it actually works for the company and enables it to meet its business objectives.


First example. The main product Etihad offers is flights out of Abu Dhabi. This meets the company’s main business objective of providing its community the opportunity to grow together. The company’s slogan is “from Abu Dhabi to the world” and that starts with its ability to provide people flying into and out of Abu Dhabi the opportunity to travel with ease and comfort.

Second example. Another product Etihad offers is a range of seating options from economy to business seating. This meets the company’s objective of providing quality to its customers and meeting their needs, whatever they. Whether one is looking for an inexpensive seat or a seat on which they can have a good meal and get some work done or enjoy some rest, Etihad offers what the flyer needs. Its unique seating designs include The Residence Apartment, the First Apartment and the Business Studio—all of which are….....

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Emirates. (2018). Emirates Airlines featuring Jennifer Aniston. Retrieved from

Emirates Group Security. (2018). Vision, mission and values. Retrieved from

Etihad Airways. (2015). Fast facts and figures. Retrieved from

Etihad Airways. (2015). Great ways to enhance your journey. Retrieved from

Our Responsibility. (2018). Etihad: Together. Retrieved from

Ries, A., Trout, J. (2009). The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. NY: Harper Business.

Tracy, B. (2004). The 7 P’s of marketing. Retrieved from

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