Etihad’s Cuts Continue, Go Even Deeper With Lounge Spa Closure

Low energy prices have meant a reduction in travel to energy rich nations of the Mideast. As a result the region’s airlines have made service cuts to reduce expenses.

Emirates has apparently slowed its hiring and made some service cuts. They’re monetizing first class lounge access, rather than reserving the experience for first class passengers.

Etihad’s situation is even worse, they’ve lost billions in a strategy to diversify their business around the world, investing in airlines that could drive addition traffic through their Abu Dhabi hub. Alitalia and air berlin were disastrous investments and both carriers are insolvent. They’ve sold off their stake in Darwin Airlines (which had been rebranded Etihad Regional). And they’ve lost much of their influence over Jet Airways to Delta.

Etihad pushed out their CEO amidst the mounting problems in their European airline investments. We’ve also seen layoffs at the airline.

They fly just 6 daily flights to the U.S., having cut their San Francisco service. They cut their car service for premium cabin passengers and are monetizing seat selection.

Now they’re even closing the spa in their First and Business Class Lounge at London Heathrow at the end of the month.

Naturally they spin this as a positive, “we will soon be introducing more areas for you to relax, as well as some new food and drink options” of course more areas to relax means space in which we used to have a spa you’ll be able to just sit in.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Would you say the lounge spa was ever a good business idea? Forgetting for a moment that we as passengers dig it, I’m wondering if anyone ever had to make the business case for the lounge spa on its financial merits.

  2. I was just informed that my flight from Abu Dhabi to SFO on Ethiad was cancelled. That threw a wrench into my plans. Fortunately I was able to find a reasonable replacement on Turkish Air in the even that Ethiad doesn’t come up with an alternate routing for us. Not a fun day.

  3. No Surprise Here…..The Middle East Bubble was bound to Burst. ET was running on borrowed Time and those deep pockets proved they Do have Holes in them.

  4. “Low energy prices have meant a reduction in travel to energy rich nations of the Mideast. As a result the region’s airlines have made service cuts to reduce expenses.”

    I assume you are talking about travel by oil and gas workers and professionals? Otherwise, this wouldn’t make sense as lower oil prices mean lower ticket prices and thus more, and not less people could travel to the Middle East. And the increase in general tourist numbers would far outweigh the decrease in oil industry workers and professionals, no?

  5. Tourists flying economy can’t make up for a loss of business folks in business and first class.

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