Etihad unveils summer growth plans

Etihad Airways is to increase its flying programme this summer by 18 percent. New routes will be launched by the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, extra flights will be added to existing services and six new wide bodied long haul jets will be introduced to boost the airline’s expanding global network.

Non stop flights from the carrier’s Abu Dhabi base will take off in March for the first time to Sydney in Australia, in August the Irish capital Dublin will be added to the airline’s network and flights will begin in September to Milan’s Malpensa airport.

Etihad’s summer flying programme will be boosted with an additional 40 weekly flights added to its current schedule from Abu Dhabi to the Indian Sub Continent (six extra), the Middle East and GCC (15 extra), Europe (five extra), the Far East (eight extra) and Africa (six extra), bringing its total up to 258 services a week.

Four new three class Airbus A330 jets and two new three class Airbus A340-600 aircraft will join the airline’s growing fleet throughout the summer months to cope with demand.

Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nayhan, Etihad Airways’ chairman, said: ‘These are exciting times for both Etihad and Abu Dhabi. No long haul airline has grown as quickly from conception as we have and the airline has made great strides in just over three years.


‘And we’re not going to stop here. We have more aircraft deliveries later this year and we’re actively pursuing opportunities in the winter from Abu Dhabi to the Middle East, Europe and Asia.’

James Hogan, the airline’s chief executive, added:

‘But running a successful airline isn’t just about buying planes and flying to new cities. The board of directors has now endorsed the company’s development plan for the next three years and the summer flight programme shows us continuing to develop the business on commercial principles.”

‘We’ve switched flight timings to offer better connections at Abu Dhabi for our customers and introduced extra frequencies on existing routes. This makes us, again, more attractive to the flying public and more viable as a business.

‘As well as flying smarter we’ll work hard at Etihad Airways to address our cost base, our financial well-being, our brand, our future fleet plans and our service, both in the air and on the ground.

‘And the changes at the airline will mirror the ambitious programme of change now underway in Abu Dhabi.

‘The forward thinking emirate of Abu Dhabi is intrinsic to our development. It will be the home to a staggering investment of $136 billion in the next nine years as it grows and matures as a centre of excellence in both business and leisure.

‘The recently announced plan to stage an Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009 strongly demonstrates this ambition and it is our aim to be a pivotal player in Abu Dhabi’s success story.’

Highlights of Etihad Airways’ summer 2007 flying schedule are:

1. New destinations

March 26

Abu Dhabi to Sydney non-stop three times a week

June 29

Abu Dhabi to Sydney non-stop seven days a week

August 3

Abu Dhabi to Dublin non-stop four times a week

September 1

Abu Dhabi to Milan non-stop three times a week

2. Weekly flight increases from Abu Dhabi to existing destinations

March 26

Karachi from seven to 10

Khartoum from three to four

Cairo from seven to 10

Beirut from five to eight

Dhaka from five to six

Islamabad from six to seven

Doha from six to seven

London Heathrow from 12 to 14 (As a result of the Heathrow service moving to twice daily, the airline will suspend its daily Gatwick operation, also on March 26)

June 1

Bahrain from 10 to 14

Brussels and Toronto are ‘de-linked’ - the flight currently flies Abu Dhabi-Brussels-Toronto - enabling non-stop flights three times a week from Abu Dhabi to Toronto and non-stop flights three times a week from Abu Dhabi to Brussels

July 1

Beirut from eight to 11

August 1

Karachi from 10 to 11

Johannesburg from two to seven

Jakarta from six to seven

September 1

Paris Charles De Gaulle from seven to 10

Damascus from four to five

3. New aircraft deliveries

Six new aircraft join the Etihad Airways fleet throughout summer 2007. Four Airbus three class A330-200s enter service in June, July, August and September and two three class Airbus A340-600s join the fleet for the first time in August and September.

4. Flight number range changes

New flight number ranges will be introduced from March 26. For example, flight numbers 001-099 will be used on flights to and from Europe

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