Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, is introducing its first “all economy” class aircraft into its fleet in October 2010.
The launch aims to help the fast-growing carrier deliver an even more competitive product on key short-haul routes, which have high demand for economy traffic and low demand for premium traffic.
The two Airbus A320s will be configured to carry 162 economy class passengers, an increase of 42 from the current economy capacity. These will initially operate to Alexandria, Calicut, Colombo, Damascus, Doha and Thiruvananthapuram from Etihad’s Abu Dhabi base.
(James Hogan, CEO, Etihad Airways)
Plans are in place to expand the all-economy fleet to 10 A320 aircraft which will enable the airline to launch new short-haul destinations which have low demand for premium travel and also to existing Etihad destinations.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Etihad has grown at a remarkable pace during the past six and a half years. We have built a strong brand and a robust business, and it is the right time to challenge the way we serve our various markets and segments.
(Hareb Al Muhairy, Vice President Corporate Communications, and James Hogan show off six titles won at the World Travel Awards 2010 Middle East Ceremony)
“Our all economy aircraft will allow us to offer a more competitive product in key point-to-point markets in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, while maintaining the high standards of service we have become known for.”
Customers travelling on the new all-economy aircraft will receive the same award-winning, world-class service and product that is featured on its current narrow body fleet, such as seat back in-flight entertainment screens and hot and cold meals and beverages. Each seat has a 32 inch pitch.
(In a class of its own - Etihad’s first class)
Etihad triumphed at the World Travel Awards Middle East Ceremony 2010 in May when it picked up a host of top awards including “Middle’s East Leading Airline”, as well as “Middle East’s Leading Airline Economy Class”, “Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class” and “Middle East’s Leading Airline Inflight”. And last November Etihad was voted “World’s Leading Airline” at the World Travel Awards Grand Final in London.