The airline was led by James Hogan (formerly CEO of Gulf Air) who was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer on 10 September 2006.Etihad's equity alliance is composed of airlines in which Etihad has minority shareholdings: The sponsorship also includes renaming the East Stand at the Twickenham Stoop (the home of Harlequins) to the Etihad Stand.In June 2004, the airline placed an US-billion aircraft order for five Boeing 777-300ERs and 24 Airbus aircraft, including four Airbus A380s. On 1 August 2013, the President of the company, James Hogan, signed a deal with Aleksandar Vučić, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, in Belgrade, giving Etihad a 49% stake in the Serbian national carrier Jat Airways.

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Because the team was purchased by the chairman of another airline (Vijay Mallya, of India's Kingfisher Airlines), Etihad switched to Scuderia Ferrari.

Etihad Airways has received over 30 awards since its inauguration in 2003.

In 2013, Etihad Airways received all three First Class category awards at the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards – "Best First Class", "Best First Class Seats" and "Best First Class Catering".

Etihad Cargo, formerly Etihad Crystal Cargo, operates five Boeing B777Fs.

Booking for these airlines is consolidated under one network.

As of 12 October 2016, Etihad Airways is rated as one of a small number of 5-star airlines by Skytrax.

In May 2017, a week after Alitalia collapsed into administration, Etihad Aviation Group suddenly announced that James Hogan, CEO and James Rigney, CFO would leave the group on 1 July 2017.

As an interim measure the board of directors appointed Ray Gammell as CEO (previously Chief People and Performance Officer) while searching for a permanent replacement.

In November 2013, Etihad Airways won the "World's Leading Airline - First Class 2013" World Travel Awards.