Etihad launches New York service

Etihad Airways, celebrated the official launch of its daily, non-stop, round-trip service between Abu Dhabi and New York. The launch was heralded by the arrival of an Etihad A340-500 aircraft at JFK airport’s Terminal Four at 9:20pm Thursday.

As the carrier’s second North American destination, after Toronto, the launch of the route to the USA’s key gateway city symbolizes Etihad’s long- awaited entrance into the American market.

James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, commented, “This new route is a significant milestone for Etihad Airways and we are extremely proud to be introducing our innovative approach to in-flight luxury to the American market after only three years in operation.

“The landing of our first flight in New York marks our long-awaited entrance into the American market,” said James Hogan, the newly appointed CEO of Etihad Airways. “We are extremely proud to be introducing our innovative approach to in-flight luxury to the American market after only three years in operation.

“Guests flying between Abu Dhabi and New York will experience the very best Etihad in-flight product. This includes our award winning business-bed in Pearl Zone and revolutionary Diamond Zone seat, which rotates in a 180 degree circle, enabling Guests to meet and dine with one another.”

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“New York,” Hogan continued, “is an exciting city which parallels the cosmopolitan nature of both Abu Dhabi and the Etihad family perfectly. Given Etihad’s strong customer-focused philosophy and the USA’s high standards when it comes to defining service, Etihad is once again demonstrating just how ambitious the airline is. We are therefore confident that this partnership will be well received and very much look forward to helping our new Guests ‘change the way they see the world’ as they travel.”

“The launch of Etihad Airways in the United States further strengthens the relationship between the two countries,” stated Michele J. Sison, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE. “Etihad’s presence in the U.S. offers enhanced economic and cross-cultural opportunities beneficial to both the United States and the United Arab Emirates.”

Guests on the New York route will enjoy the very best Etihad in-flight service in the new purpose-built Airbus 340-500 aircraft, with last month’s delivery of its fourth aircraft in the series, meaning that 80 per cent of the fleet is brand new. Configured with two aisles, the aircraft can carry 240 guests in three distinct zones: 12 in Diamond Zone, 28 in Pearl Zone and 200 guests in Coral Zone.

The Airbus 340-500 is one of Etihad’s first aircrafts to offer the luxurious and revolutionary Diamond Zone seat which transfers into a completely flat bed and can be rotated 180 degrees when in an upright position. The unique product enhancement enables guests to hold meetings, share group meals and converse with one another.

Pearl Zone Guests can experience Etihad’s business bed, which recently won the 2006 World Travel Award for being the world’s leading flat-bed seat.

Etihad’s exceptional levels of hospitality and comfort extend to its entertainment system. Etihad’s new fleet of aircrafts are fitted with the Thales TopSeries i4000 system, which offers more than two weeks of continuous entertainment covering a wealth of languages and cultures, placing the airline amongst the world’s best in-flight entertainment providers.

“Whether it’s our top of the line entertainment system or sophisticated dining experience, we want each Guest to feel truly valued and to enjoy a memorable and relaxing flight,” said Geert Boven, Vice President Commercial at Etihad Airways.

“Being a Guest onboard an Etihad flight is about far more than simply getting from one point to another—our vision is to not only change your experience of flying with us, but to change your experience of flying. From the moment Guests book a ticket with Etihad to the time they reach their chosen destination, we strive to ensure this experience exceeds expectations at every level.”

To celebrate the inaugural U.S. flight, Etihad has included additional benefits within its industry ground breaking loyalty initiative, Etihad Guest program launched worldwide at the end of August. Diamond Zone Guests will now earn more than 150 per cent more bonus miles on the New York route while Pearl Zones Guests will receive a 100 per cent bonus and Coral Zone Guests can accrue 50 per cent more miles.

Additional promotions tied to the New York launch include free flights for children under the age of 12 when flying with an adult in Coral Zone Pearl Zones Guests, meanwhile, are also entitled to a 50 per cent discount off a second round-trip Pearl Zone ticket.

Flight EY 503 will depart Abu Dhabi International Airport daily at 2:15pm, arriving in New York at 9:25pm. The return flight, EY 504, departs at 11:10pm arriving the next day in Abu Dhabi at 8:25pm.

Throughout the last 12 months Etihad has considerably expanded the number of destinations to which it flies, fully supporting Etihad’s proud position as the “world’s leading new airline.”

This breakthrough growth enabled the airline to achieve its goal of launching 35 guest destinations in just 35 months.

New York will join other recently launched Guest routes including Brussels, Casablanca, Dhaka, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Manchester, Manila, Muscat, Paris and Toronto.

Several other new routes including Tehran and Shanghai are scheduled to be launched over the coming months.

Etihad’s route to New York also provides a wealth of new opportunities for Etihad’s cargo and holidays divisions, Crystal Cargo and Etihad Holidays.

The A340-500 has a cargo capacity of 15 tons at full passenger load on its Abu Dhabi - New York route, complete with adjustable heat and air conditioned aircraft holds.

Etihad Holidays will offer guests a multitude of accommodations from which to choose in New York, including such centrally located hotels as the Waldorf Astoria and the Hilton on Times Square.

Etihad Airways has been awarded the titles of the world’s leading new airline in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and the world’s leading flat-bed seat in 2006 by the World Travel Awards.

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