Etihad Airways was founded in July 2003, by virtue of a royal decree issued by Sheikh Khalifa, the President of UAE. The services of the airline commenced on November 5, 2003, with a ceremonial flight to Al Ain. It launched services to Beirut on November 12, 2008, marking the beginning of its commercial operations.
Etihad Airways is the national airline of United Arab Emirates, offering air travel within as well as outside the country. It is based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. The airline has a cargo division as well, under the name of Etihad Crystal cargo, which started operations in 2004. The airline has its main base at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Etihad Airways has been honored with over 30 awards since its inauguration in 2003. It holds a four star rating by Skytrax, the UK-based airline consultancy service. Etihad Airways is run by a Board of Directors.
Etihad Airways has a fleet of Airbus A319-100, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A330-200, Airbus A340-500, Airbus A340-600, and Boeing 777-300ER. Etihad Crystal Cargo Fleet also has few aircrafts like Airbus A300-600RF and McDonnell Douglas MD-11F and also Airbus A330-200F which was added later.
Besides the domestic services, Etihad Airways maintains an extensive international route network, covering U.S, Canada and Australia, apart from European destinations like Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, U.K, Ireland, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and Belarus. In Asia, it serves India, China, Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Cyprus, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Kazakhstan. The air service caters to Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Africa, and Sudan in the African continent.