Etihad Airways’ fleet of aircraft takes on a new look from 1 September with the arrival of the airline’s first narrow body aircraft. Three Airbus A320s will join the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s fleet in September and October, with a further three narrow body aircraft expected by the end of the first quarter in 2008.
The addition of the 140 seater, single aisle aircraft will enable Etihad to increase the number of flights to its Gulf destinations and improves transfer times to its global network.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Narrow-body aircraft are ideally suited to our growing Middle East and short-haul network and it will allow us to redeploy the wide body aircraft, currently in use on these routes, to our long haul destinations.”
Etihad’s first A320 will have two passenger cabins with 120 seats in economy and 20 in business class. Tehran will be the first city to be served on 1 September from Abu Dhabi.
A further two A320s will arrive in October. Once in service the new aircraft will operate on Etihad’s routes to Beirut, Dammam, Karachi, Muscat, Bahrain, Cairo, Doha, Kuwait, Amman, Damascus and Tehran.
Etihad currently has a fleet of 27 wide-body aircraft and it placed a US$2.2 billion order with Airbus for 12 new wide-body aircraft in June. The order includes four A340-600s, five A330 passenger aircraft and three A330 freighters.
Etihad was recently named ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline,’ ‘Middle East’s Leading First Class Airline’ and ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline Website’ at the inaugural regional World Travel Awards, Middle East & Africa ceremony, that took place at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
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