Etihad Airways is projecting a return to peak 2017 passenger numbers by late next year or early 2025.
The forecast culminates in a target of 33 million passengers by 2030 compared with 13 million over the past 12 months – itself a 30% annual increase.
The UAE’s national airline outlined its ‘Journey 2030’ growth plans over the next seven years at the Dubai Airshow.
Etihad’s network will extend to more than 125 destinations by capitalising on its strategic geographical advantage connecting Asia and Europe.
The fleet will double to more than 160 aircraft, focusing on connecting short and medium-haul destinations in the Gulf region, India and Asia with long-haul destinations in Europe and North America.
Core elements of the network strategy include introducing new destinations, providing more options and increasing frequencies to key international markets.
The plan targets attracting 10 million travellers to Abu Dhabi by 2030, catalysing economic growth, creating job opportunities, and solidifying its status as a premier global travel hub.
The airline has added 12 new destinations this year, with further new routes in India, as well as Boston and Nairobi to start shortly, as well as introducing 16 new aircraft to the fleet.
Neves said: “As we mark Etihad’s 20th anniversary, we are excited about what’s next. Journey 2030 is the guiding plan that propels Etihad into the future.
“Etihad has solidified its global presence and successfully navigated challenges. Now, with strong shareholder support and a strategic plan in place, the airline is poised for sustainable, profitable growth.”
He added: “Our mandate is clear: to deliver extraordinary customer service and sustainable profitability, as the foundation for Etihad’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s aspirations.
“The opening of our new home airport Terminal A is a perfect springboard for our growth and will provide the capacity and the quality we need to cater for our guests.
“Twenty years ago, the leaders of the UAE launched a remarkable airline which has established a global reputation.
“Our rich past is the perfect starting point for our next chapter. Journey 2030 will ensure we continue to delight our customers, our people and our nation in the years to come and be the airline everyone wants to fly.”