Etihad Teases Big Announcement: Here’s My Guess

Etihad Teases Big Announcement: Here’s My Guess

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Update: The announcement has been made early, and it’s not nearly as exciting as many of us expected.

Etihad Airways is gearing up to make some sort of an announcement tomorrow (Wednesday), and I’m not sure what exactly to make of it. The first clue was dropped a couple of weeks ago, a second clue was dropped a few days ago, and now Etihad has dropped yet another clue. The clues are about as clear as mud, and all seem to point at different things.

Etihad’s cryptic social media teaser posts

On October 4, 2022, Etihad posted a picture to Instagram, with the following caption:

“There’s more than what meets the eye… #comingsoon”

The photo seems to be of the Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi, which is a tribute to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

However, that memorial has been open for years, so I suspect that’s not actually what the announcement is about.

Etihad’s Instagram post

Then on October 13, 2022, Etihad posted a video to Facebook of some stars over the desert, with the following caption:

“We trust the stars to define our journey.
A new constellation will soon adorn the skies.
#Comingsoon
19.10.2022″

Etihad’s Facebook post

Now on October 18, 2022, Etihad posted a video to Instagram of someone opening the door of what looks like a business class suite, with the following caption:

“Fai come se fossi a casa tua.
Something is about to change. We feel it in the air…”

For what it’s worth, that Italian quote translates to “do as if you were at home.”

Etihad’s Instagram post

What is Etihad going to announce?

I appreciate when airlines get creative with teasing announcements in advance, as it’s a fun way to engage avgeeks. For example, this is something that United does a great job with, as United typically drops some cool clues a day ahead of route announcements.

However, in the case of Etihad I can’t figure out if this is actually a major announcement, or if the airline is just going to release some more NFTs, or something. At this point I’m actually just sort of convinced the airline is screwing with us when it comes to these clues.

Broadly speaking (unrelated to these specific clues), there are a few potential announcements I could see Etihad making at some point:

The way I view it, the first clue didn’t tell us much at all.

The second clue sure makes it sound like the announcement could be Etihad joining the Star Alliance. I mean, the caption “we trust the stars to define our journey,” and “a new constellation will soon adorn the skies,” seems pretty clear.

However, I’ve tried to poke around and ask a few savvy industry contacts if they’ve heard anything, and not a single one indicated hearing anything, which makes me skeptical (in fairness, sometimes they know this kind of stuff in advance, sometimes they don’t). Also, if this were happening, there are usually media invites on behalf of the Star Alliance, etc., and we haven’t seen any of that yet.

The timing would also be a bit strange, with United and Emirates recently launching a partnership. That’s not to say United couldn’t have a partnership with both Emirates and Etihad, but still, the timing would all be a bit strange, especially with Etihad’s current CEO on his way out.

Then there’s the third clue, which throws us for a loop once again. There’s nothing about that clue that suggests to me that Etihad will join Star Alliance. I only have two real thoughts based on that last clue.

First, I assume the quote in Italian isn’t a coincidence, so what’s the connection to Italy? I mean, Etihad already bought an Italian airline (Alitalia), and we saw how that ended up. Second, is that door just supposed to be Etihad’s A350 business class, or is there another product reveal coming up?

I wish Etihad’s Airbus A380 would make a comeback!

My best guess of what Etihad is announcing

Since the announcement is being made tomorrow, let me just go on record with my best guess. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s the best I can come up with.

Personally I’d be shocked if this were a truly major announcement involving other brands (like joining Star Alliance), since I think it would have leaked already. At this point my best guess is that Etihad is announcing some sort of a product refresh, or further investment in its passenger experience. That’s the only common thing I can see with these clues:

  • Something about the new branding or products could involve stars
  • Maybe Etihad is committing to installing its new A350 business class suites on Boeing 787s, hence the Instagram video showing a door opening
  • As part of a product refresh, maybe Etihad has collaborated with Italian luxury brands for some of the amenities, hence the quote in Italian; maybe we’ll see Frette bedding, or something?

Etihad hasn’t really had a proper brand vision or campaign since it stopped lighting billions of dollars per year on fire under the leadership of James Hogan, so I think it might be time for that?

Is Etihad making a product announcement?

Anyway, I doubt I’m right, but that’s the best I can come up with.

Bottom line

Etihad Airways has a major announcement coming this Wednesday (October 19). At first it sure sounded to me like Etihad was hinting at joining the Star Alliance, based on being told that “there’s more than what meets the eye,” “we trust the stars to define our journey,” and “a new constellation will soon adorn the skies.” But the latest clue has a quote in Italian, and seems to point in a different direction.

C’mon, collectively OMAAT readers are really smart and savvy. I can’t take the suspense anymore. So can someone please guess what this is, or can someone who actually knows just tell me, already? Please?!? 🙂

If we find out tomorrow that all of these clues were actually connected and hinted at what’s being announced, I’ll be very impressed. If Etihad has just been messing with us all along with random messages that have nothing to do with the announcement, I’ll be disappointed.

Anyone want to guess what Etihad is announcing tomorrow?

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  1. Nevis Guest

    Given the posted image and recent new partnerships, I’m guessing they will be joining Star Alliance…

  2. Danielle Nay Guest

    The Founder’s Memorial is actually called The Constellation, so that’s it’s connection with the second clue. Pretty obscure for international audiences.

    Perhaps Etihad is going into space!

  3. skedguy Guest

    Star Alliance anyone? EY also has code share and FFP reciprocation with AC who have the same arrangement in place with EK so its been done with a STAR carrier already.

  4. Jaymes Guest

    so basically you guessed all the possibilities so you can't be wrong

  5. Donna Diamond

    Your translation of the Italian is literally correct, however, it is a common expression and the real meaning is “Make Yourself Comfortable.” That said, I don’t have a clue about the announcement but whatever it is, it’s probably overblown as most of these teases are.

  6. Talent Hacker Guest

    Everyone here literally was trippin.,. The announcement is nothing but partnership with Armani and the elevated business class experience lmao

    1. Jaymes Guest

      i wonder how many people were injured when they were "literally" trippin

  7. Ned Guest

    I'll come back to say it again, it's Starlink. The most recent clue makes it even more clear. "Do as you would a home" means surf the internet, stream content, use your device however you please without the bandwidth caps and latency inherent in geosynchronous satellite systems.

  8. Lars Guest

    They will join Star Alliance. It as sure by now.

    1. Talent Hacker Guest

      My A$$ star Alliance

  9. Mike C Diamond

    Wow, this is amazing! I can hardly wait to fly Etihad now!

  10. Clem Diamond

    It's new Armani service items in business class (plates, silverware, bedding etc). Heh.

  11. John T Guest

    Yawn. Some new plates and cushions.

  12. AA70 Diamond

    It's none of these, peep @zachhonig Instagram

    It's a refreshed soft product and new Armani partnership...

  13. Lieflat19 Member

    Most likely merging with Emirates is word on the street...

  14. JC Guest

    Return of flights to LAX - Hollywood references with "things not what they seem" and "constellations" (stars)

  15. Kiwi Guest

    With all the talk of SpaceX testing starlink with airlines the last few months wouldn’t be surprised if this was an announcement of the services launch

  16. JP Guest

    Sponsorship of either the London Eye or one in Abu Dhabi.

  17. Brandon Biden Guest

    Building a SpeakEasy inside the lavatories of their long haul aircraft, drinks are handed through a window disguised as mirror. Brilliant.

  18. Brylle Guest

    1. The return of the Airbus A380, given that it has been grounded by the airline and probably retired, though a final decision allegedly still hasn’t been made

    2. The opening of the Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Concourse, which has seemingly had construction stalled

    3. The appointment of a new CEO, as Etihad’s current CEO is allegedly resigning, and moving to Saudi Arabia’s startup airline

    4. The introduction of a new partnership, or Etihad possibly...

    1. The return of the Airbus A380, given that it has been grounded by the airline and probably retired, though a final decision allegedly still hasn’t been made

    2. The opening of the Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Concourse, which has seemingly had construction stalled

    3. The appointment of a new CEO, as Etihad’s current CEO is allegedly resigning, and moving to Saudi Arabia’s startup airline

    4. The introduction of a new partnership, or Etihad possibly joining an alliance; for years there have been rumors of Etihad joining the Star Alliance, but up until now nothing has come of it

    I don't think any of these might happened
    1. Etihad's CEO is still very adamant about the A380

    2. The Midfield Terminal has never been mentioned by Etihad in a long time

    3. Pretty off brand from the teaser

    4. United's new partnership with Emirates and then Etihad joining Star Alliance seems way to unlikely

  19. Tim Dunn Diamond

    I am not sure I see the value in Etihad joining either Star because of UA's recent partnership with Emirates or oneworld given AA's relationship with Qatar.
    The reason why Etihad has struggled is because of much larger carriers around it - Emirates and Qatar as well as Turkish. being in a relationship with carriers that also have relationships with those two carriers will only magnify Etihad's problems rather than helping solve them..... but we will see.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Makes far more sense than joining Star...

      ...seeing as both of DL's partners in the region are worthless to N.Am transfer traffic; and the new relationship between EK and UA.

      Doubt DL would do it without some manner of equity stake though, and I'm not sure how health EY's books are now, as they continue to try to shrink to profitability (or at least, sustainability).

    2. Icarus Guest

      They also partner with Air France and KLM, and so that makes sense, however I doubt it’s alliance related.

  20. Ned Guest

    I'll throw out a wildcard and suggest that they're launching a SpaceX Starlink terminal for IFE. Satellites form constellations, and the chain-looking things at the monument remind me both of a stack of Starlink satellites inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing as well as the train of satellites in LEO when they begin to space out.

  21. Julian C. Guest

    New livery seems honestly much more likely than joining *A, especially given the first teaser.

    1. Brylle Guest

      I don't think a new livery is possible, no new orders aside from the A350 which has the current livery. Having a new livery on the 777x is not sensible considering they only have 1 on order

  22. Andy Guest

    Etihad branded Credit Card.......

  23. Jonny C Guest

    Might be able to help you with that as I’m here for the reveal…

  24. Funtravels Guest

    A380 refurbished and flying to my local airport to collect me
    Alternatively joining an alliance

    1. Bill n DC Gold

      This would be a change for me. My home international airport is IAD and I really enjoy seat 2K on flights home. But also cool going any distance in Apartment 4A or 4K :-)

  25. tipsyinmadras Diamond

    “With social media having become so popular nowadays”

    Dear lord Ben, writing for the AARP crowd? My parents - who are both over 75 - wouldn’t say “nowadays” (and my dad still occasionally refers to Asia as “the Orient”). Social media has been a popular platform for announcements for at least the past 10 years. Not a recent development.

    1. Robert D Guest

      Ben loves the term “nowadays”. I’ve never seen anyone use it so much.

  26. John Guest

    Wouldn't shock me if they joined Star Alliance. Their award availability on American has all but disappeared unless you're flying out of London. In the past I'd always see lots of options directly out of ORD and JFK via American award. Lately, almost nothing. Wondering if its a precursor to parting ways from OneWorld partnership?

  27. frrp Member

    Theyve converted one of their a380s into a Transformer?

  28. MFB123 Guest

    The picture and the statement makes me think it may have something to do with a lounge announcement…but It’s really a shot-in-the-dark guess.

  29. Jordan Gold

    Guesses:

    Easiest one - The A380 is ready, and with a slight reconfig?

    New Midfield

    Joining an alliance - Oneworld is better than Skyteam, even though Qatar and Oman are in the region. Perhaps it takes 3 ME carriers to take on EK?

    1. Zain Guest

      Joining star Alliance makes little sense as, they'd go from competing for traffic with Qatar on one world to competing with Turkish and to a more limited extent air India on star alliance. If they want to join an alliance honestly there is no one grabbing that traffic to the ME and South Asia on skyteam. It's the largest hole on the skyteam map- no one is going to rely on Saudia for that flight.

    2. InceptionCat New Member

      While Skyteam would make sense from passenger's point of view it is going to be Star Alliance. Etihad already works closely with Lufthansa and even uses the LH terminal (2) at Munich with codeshares etc. If Etihad is joining one of the alliances then its Star.

      Turkish while in Star doesn't really have a close relationship to other members and you can be sure LH and the rest would rather channel pax through Etihad than Turkish.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      @InceptionCat you make a lot of declarative statements, issued without much corroboration to back them up....

      So what if EY works closely with LH. EK works closely with UA. Now what?
      LH doesn't have any greater veto or sponsorship capability than UA, as they're both founding members.

      Also, the only thing people can "be sure" about, is that LH would rather transfer pax on the airline that allows LH to share in a joint...

      @InceptionCat you make a lot of declarative statements, issued without much corroboration to back them up....

      So what if EY works closely with LH. EK works closely with UA. Now what?
      LH doesn't have any greater veto or sponsorship capability than UA, as they're both founding members.

      Also, the only thing people can "be sure" about, is that LH would rather transfer pax on the airline that allows LH to share in a joint revenue. Right now, that's not the case with TK. If another carrier in the region did, that's with whom LH would more closely partner.

    4. Bill n DC Gold

      With ConcordeBoy

      Why would ‘for sure’ LH prefer Etihad over Turkey ? Not ‘at all’ apparent to me

    5. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "Why would ‘for sure’ LH prefer Etihad over Turkey ?"

      BETTER QUESTION: why are you asking me that, when that's not a claim I've made at any point?

  30. SullyofDoha Guest

    To my eyes, it is the outline of the FIFA World Cup. Etihad is not an official sponsor so they would have to tread lightly with any suggestion that they are affiliated with the 2022 World Cup aside from running shuttle flights between AUH and DOH.

  31. Mantis Guest

    I think the shape in the lights means something. I was kind of seeing an elephant on the left, was thinking maybe they were launching a new route to somewhere in Thailand.
    I think they already have bkk and hkt, so maybe to Chiang Mai? Or the shape could be a coastline somewhere that I don't recognize.

  32. Trey Guest

    rolling out Premium Economy? (I know it has nothing to do with the clues, if there was supposed to be any)

  33. Yasser Guest

    New Valentino amenity kits

  34. Bennett Guest

    Following on from John T, I think they will join Star. Rumour from Virgin Australia is they are looking to join and this makes sense with the recent UA tie-up. The only thing to hinder this is Air NZ to veto Virgin joining however United may pressure Air NZ as this would also help their alliance.

    1. Kiwi Guest

      I’m pretty sure only the founding carriers of star alliance have veto rights. NZ was in the first expansion

  35. Eskimo Guest

    UAE Airlines, EY+EK merger then moving to DWC?

    1. John Guest

      You admitted to not being a millionaire. With analytical 'skills' like that, why does not surprise?

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Wealth has nothing to do with this.
      My stalking fanclub used to be a relevant troll. You're falling behind.
      You want me to keep feeding the John, you need to do better.

      What's the point if both of us isn't having fun anymore.

  36. Eric C Guest

    Maybe they will take over from Emirates and sponsor the London Eye?

  37. John T Guest

    Joining Star Alliance was my first thought.

    1. Orus Guest

      Exactly. The image seems to resemble a bunch of stars that are together - an alliance of stars.

  38. Lee Guest

    With respect to the monument itself, it's a forest versus trees illusion. The trick is to not look too hard and you will see it. But, there IS something there. And, once you see it you will say AHA! Whether this is suggesting the city is more than what meets the eye or augurs for some announcement is anyone's guess.

    1. AmsterdamFlyer Guest

      Nothing to see here - it’s just a simple instagram post to create content. The Founders Monument is an illusion as the Sheikh’s face becomes visible when you look from the right angle - so it’s more than initially meets the eye. I’m not sure why anyone would think this is the precursor to a big announcement.

      On an unrelated issue I have really enjoyed my recent EY flights - if you ask me...

      Nothing to see here - it’s just a simple instagram post to create content. The Founders Monument is an illusion as the Sheikh’s face becomes visible when you look from the right angle - so it’s more than initially meets the eye. I’m not sure why anyone would think this is the precursor to a big announcement.

      On an unrelated issue I have really enjoyed my recent EY flights - if you ask me the ship has been stabilised and the airline is on the right path. It’s a very competitive business class seat and product, just wish they would do something with the nearly completed terminal.

    2. Bill n DC Gold

      I had a wonderful ride home in July on Etihad B787-9 seat 2K.
      I’m hoping for A380 restart. Love my Apartment in Row 4 :-)

  39. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Maybe something to do with Abu Dhabi relaxing face mask requirements, all we can see really when we wear a mask is our eyes.

  40. Kendall Guest

    Etihad is ceasing all airline operations and venturing into designer eyewear

    1. John Guest

      Don't quit your day job, Kendall. Comedy requires some skill.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Ouch, careful who you stalk John, some bites back.

    3. John Guest

      @Eskimoo

      That was supposed to be a 'bite'??
      LOL

  41. Ben Guest

    The actual phrase is 'more than meets the eye' without the 'what'. Perhaps that's a clue? Bit of an odd mistake to make otherwise.

  42. Jerry Diamond

    I really don't think there's a need for expansion right now at AUH. I was there a few weeks ago, and outside of the overnight bank, the airport is largely a ghost town. It's awesome to basically have the lounge to yourself in the middle of the day, but if they opened up more gates, you'd just be doing a lot of unnecessary walking.

  43. Mark Guest

    They just flew the Milwaukee Bucks MKE-AUH yesterday so probably some promotion video around basketball

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jaymes Guest

i wonder how many people were injured when they were "literally" trippin

1
Tom Guest

Etihad merging with Emirates perhaps?

1
Tim Dunn Diamond

I am not sure I see the value in Etihad joining either Star because of UA's recent partnership with Emirates or oneworld given AA's relationship with Qatar. The reason why Etihad has struggled is because of much larger carriers around it - Emirates and Qatar as well as Turkish. being in a relationship with carriers that also have relationships with those two carriers will only magnify Etihad's problems rather than helping solve them..... but we will see.

1
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