Emirates vs Etihad: Which One Is The Better Airline In 2024 & Why?

Emirates vs Etihad

When it comes to airlines from the Middle East, two airlines shine at the top- Emirates vs Etihad. Their super premium services, cabins, and route network became the talk of the town.

Emirates vs Etihad

This is the point where people face the greatest dilemma. Which one is the better airline- Emirates or Etihad? Go through this write-up and you will find out soon!

(A) Emirates vs Etihad: Businesswise Comparison

AspectsEmirates Etihad
FoundedMarch 1985July 2003
FounderAhmed bin Saeed AI MaktoumAhmed bin Saif Al Nahyan,
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Khalifa City
(Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Parent CompanyThe Emirates GroupEtihad Aviation Group
Market Capitalization$5 billion$9.80 billion
Revenue$32.6 billion$2.7 billion
Fleet Size26090
Emirates vs Etihad: Businesswise Comparison

Emirates and Etihad are two prominent airlines based in the United Arab Emirates. Emirates was founded in March 1985 by Ahmed bin Saeed AI Maktoum and has its headquarters in Garhoud, Dubai. It operates under the parent company, The Emirates Group, and boasts a substantial revenue of $32.6 billion with a vast workforce of 102,379 employees. Emirates also maintains a substantial fleet of 260 aircraft and serves 133 destinations.

On the other hand, Etihad, founded in July 2003, has its roots associated with Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan and Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The airline’s headquarters are situated in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi. Etihad operates under the Etihad Aviation Group and has a revenue of $2.7 billion, with 18,510 employees. Its fleet size is 90 aircraft, and it serves 130 destinations.

While both airlines are significant players in the aviation industry, Emirates stands out with a larger fleet, revenue, and a broader range of destinations, whereas Etihad offers its services with a focus on Abu Dhabi.

(B) Emirates vs Etihad: Features Comparison

Type of FleetLong Fleet
(A380 & B777)
Modern Fleet
(A380, B787, B777, A320, and A330)
Eye Shade,
socks, and
Dental Kit and eyeshades on request,
Option to purchase
Christian Lacroix sleepwear ($35),
and Kit Bags ($22)
on ultra-long haul fights.
Bid for upgrade or
Neighbour-Free Seat service
Feature coming soonPresent
Choose a standard seat for freeAt check-in, up to 48 hours
before your flight
24 hours in advance
Family Friendly FeaturesKids movies,
Television shows,
games, and amenity packs
Sky Nanny provided free,
Kids’ movies,
TV & and games,
and activity packs for children
Baby MealsOn requestOn request
TV Screen Size13.3 inches11 inches
(Economy Smart Seat)
WiFiFree up to 20 MB, rest chargeableAvailable from $4.95
Emirates vs Etihad: Features Comparison

Let’s dive into the details-

(B.1) Routes

Emirates and Etihad, two renowned airlines, offer different route options. Emirates stands out with an extensive network of 339 routes, providing passengers with a vast array of destinations to choose from. In contrast, Etihad offers 160 routes, which, while still substantial, is notably fewer than Emirates.

(B.2) Type of Fleet

Both airlines have distinct fleet types. Emirates operates a long fleet, including iconic aircraft like the A380 and B777. In contrast, Etihad maintains a modern fleet, which includes the A380, B787, B777, A320, and A330, giving passengers a wider variety of aircraft options to experience during their journeys.

(B.3) Amenity

In terms of in-flight amenities, Emirates and Etihad have different offerings. Emirates provides passengers with a standard set of amenities that include a toothbrush, toothpaste, eye shade, socks, and earplugs. Etihad offers a dental kit and eyeshades upon request. Notably, on ultra-long-haul flights, Etihad passengers have the option to purchase premium amenities like Christian Lacroix sleepwear and Kit Bags.

(B.4) Upgrade and Seat Services

Both airlines offer unique services for passengers seeking upgrades or more comfortable seating options. Emirates allows passengers to bid for upgrades or utilize their Neighbour-Free Seat service. In contrast, Etihad currently provides the Neighbour-Free Seat service.

(B.5) Seat Selection

Emirates and Etihad both provide passengers with the flexibility to choose their seats. However, the timing for seat selection differs. Emirates allows seat selection at check-in or up to 48 hours before the flight, while Etihad offers this service 24 hours in advance.

(B.6) Family-Friendly Features

Both airlines cater to passengers traveling with children. Emirates offers kids’ movies, television shows, games, and amenity packs. Etihad goes a step further by providing a Sky Nanny service and activity packs for children to ensure a pleasant family travel experience.

(B.7) Baby Meals

Both airlines accommodate passengers with infants by offering baby meals on request, ensuring that the youngest travelers are well taken care of during the journey.

(B.8) Television Screen Size

In-flight entertainment options vary when it comes to TV screen sizes. Emirates provides passengers with larger 13.3-inch screens, offering a more immersive viewing experience. Etihad, on the other hand, offers 11-inch screens for passengers in Economy Smart Seats.

(B.9) WiFi Access

Emirates and Etihad offer different Wi-Fi access options. Emirates provides passengers with up to 20 MB of free Wi-Fi, with additional data available for purchase. Etihad offers Wi-Fi starting at $4.95, ensuring that passengers can stay connected during their flights based on their preferences and needs. 

Note: We have a well-detailed comparison analysis of two famous airlines- “British Airways vs Virgin Atlantic.” On one side, we have British Airways, a well-known airline, and on the other side, there’s Virgin Atlantic, another famous one. These airlines offer different experiences, like choosing between traditional and modern. Visit the article for depth information.

(C) Conclusion of Emirates vs Etihad: Which one is better?

Emirates vs Etihad (Conclusion)

In the Emirates vs Etihad comparison, determining the “better” airline depends on your specific needs and priorities. Emirates shines with its extensive route network, luxurious long-haul fleet, and generous in-flight amenities. 

If you value a wide range of destinations and top-tier amenities, Emirates might be your go-to choice. On the other hand, Etihad offers a modern fleet, family-friendly services, and competitive pricing for in-flight Wi-Fi. If you seek a more modern travel experience and prioritize family-oriented features, Etihad could be your preferred option. 

Ultimately, it’s a matter of what aspects of air travel matter most to you – whether it’s routes, amenities, family-friendliness, or affordability.

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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