Basically, the acronym SWOT stands for strengths (S), weaknesses (W) which are internal factors while on the other hand the external environmental factors are regarded as either opportunities (O) or threats (T). SWOT analysis is based on the assumption that an effective strategy derives from a good fit between an organisation’s resource capabilities and its external situation (Thompson & Strickland 2001 as cited in Rossouw & Kruger 2003:17). In this case, a good fit will mean that the weaknesses of an organisation and the threats of the environment are minimised while the organisation makes the best of the strengths within it and the opportunities in the environment.
The major strength for Etihad Airways is that it has skilled employees who come from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is imperative that the organisation should harness on this strength since it is concerned with expanding its operations to different geographical locations. Employees with a diverse cultural background can positively respond to the needs and interests of those who also hail from different parts of the globe where they also have their own cultural values. The other strength is that Etihad has got an already established market especially in the United Arab Emirates and this gives it a competitive advantage in that it only seeks to strengthen its operations from an already established market. Penetrating new markets will not be that challenging given that this is an established entity in the airline industry.
However, noble as the idea of expansion may sound, the main weakness confronting Etihad Airways is that it often does not have enough working capital to meet its requirements. In order to avoid the competitors to gain an advantage, Etihad ought to improve on creating enough capital in order to sustain its initiative to expand its operations. New planes would need to be bought so as to effectively increase route utility which is