KARACHI: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will launch six new routes in the first half of 2015, offering even more choice and improved connections to travellers worldwide.
Daily flights will commence to the European capitals of Madrid (Spain) and Edinburgh (Scotland) next year, together with the historic state capital of Kolkata (India) and one of the most important business and government centres in East Africa, Entebbe (Uganda).
The airline will also operate four flights a week to the world-class tourism and economic hub, Hong Kong, and three flights a week to Algeria’s vibrant capital and largest city, Algiers.
In addition, Etihad Airways’ existing daily flights to Brisbane (Australia), currently operated via Singapore, will become a direct service from June 2015, offering the first non-stop connection between the city and Abu Dhabi. The route will be operated using a three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with the airline’s brand new First Suite, Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat.
Further service upgrades in June 2015 include the introduction of a three-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft on daily flights to Singapore, and a three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on daytime flights to Moscow, marking the debut of First Class cabins on both of the existing routes.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Our global network development in the first half of 2015 supports a long-term vision to provide travellers with an extensive range of destinations and connections over Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub. These new destinations have been selected to expand our coverage and strengthen our customer proposition in the strategically important markets of Europe, Asia and Africa.
“The expansion will also create new opportunities to enhance our codeshare agreements and align operations with key airline partners, such as Virgin Australia, Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, Air Europa and Kenya Airways. Between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong, for instance, our four weekly flights will combine with Air Seychelles’ three weekly flights to provide a daily frequency.”
Etihad Airways’ global passenger and cargo network will increase to 107 destinations following the route expansion in the first half of 2015. The total includes five new routes already launched this year to Medina, Jaipur, Zurich, Los Angeles and Yerevan, together with four upcoming services to Perth, Rome, Phuket and Dallas, which commence over the remainder of 2014.
The airline will also continue to increase frequencies on existing services in H1 2015, providing travellers with even more comprehensive travel choices. Network depth will be added to important markets across the North America, Middle East and Indian subcontinent regions.
As part of the Etihad Airways’ ongoing fleet development, nine aircraft are scheduled for delivery in the first half of next year, comprising three Airbus A380s, three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and three A320 family aircraft. The airline currently has 102 aircraft in its fleet, with over 210 additional aircraft on firm order, plus options and purchase rights for 81 further aircraft.