Etihad Airways launches hand baggage-only fares
DUBAI (Gulf News): Etihad Airways is bringing in more changes to its pricing structure. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said on Sunday it has launched a new hand-baggage-only fare, which allows Economy Class passengers to buy lower fares if they have no checked baggage.
The fare includes a complimentary carry-on baggage allowance of seven kilograms, and is available on routes to and from Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Azerbaijan.
The new fare structure is similar to that offered by low-cost carriers where passengers get a complimentary carry-on luggage allowance of 7-10 kilograms and pay for any additional luggage.
The structure also comes as Etihad attempts to turn around its performance after it recorded its second consecutive year of losses in 2017, with $1.52 billion in losses for the year.
The carrier has already introduced other changes including additional food and beverage items that Economy passengers can purchase on-board, and a live auction system to bid for premium seats.
Despite the changes, Etihad says there are no plans to turn the carrier into a low-cost, long-haul business.
In an interview with Bloomberg in early July, Tony Douglas, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer, said the aim is to make the airline “a reinvigorated innovator brand, with an optimised and profitable network.”
And Etihad isn’t the only airline to offer reduced fare options for passengers with no check-in luggage. In 2015, Indian carrier SpiceJet announced discounted fares for passengers with only hand luggage.
In its statement on Sunday, Etihad said that it conducted a trial of its latest fare, the ‘Deal Fare,’ late last year, and that purchasing behaviour showed guests appreciate more choice.
“We are enhancing our product offering to align with customer feedback. Guests travelling for business, weekend getaways, or day trips who like to travel light can now avail cheaper fares,” said Robin Kamark, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer.
Guests buying the Deal Fare can buy extra allowance for check-in baggage either online or at check-in desks.