Etihad Airways is to launch flights from its Abu Dhabi home base to the Chinese capital of Beijing on 30 March 2008.The four flights a week service will be Etihad’s first destination in China and marks a new chapter in the airline’s history as it enters one of the world’s fastest growing air travel markets.
Beijing will be Etihad’s eighth destination in its rapidly expanding flight network in the Asia Pacific region which already includes services to Brisbane, Sydney, Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said, “Beijing has established itself as one of the world’s fastest growing and most popular destinations and we anticipate tremendous demand for this new Etihad service from customers across our global network.”
“There is a huge appetite from business and leisure travellers for flights to Beijing, especially ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games, and we look forward to bringing the UAE and China closer together.”
Etihad’s flights to Beijing will operate every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with EY888 departing from Abu Dhabi at 11.45pm and arriving in the Chinese capital at 11.30am the next day.
Return flight EY889 will depart Beijing every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7.10pm arriving in Abu Dhabi at 00.20am the next day.
The flight times connect conveniently with many of Etihad’s other services from the Middle East and Europe including London Heathrow, Dublin, Bahrain, Beirut and Jeddah allowing customers to fly long-haul to Beijing via Abu Dhabi.
Mr Hogan added: “Etihad is committed to offering its customers living outside the UAE convenient connections to our most popular destinations. The flight times for our new Beijing services mean that customers can fly with Etihad from Heathrow, with only an hour stop-over in Abu Dhabi, before flying on to the Chinese capital.”
Etihad will operate a two class Airbus A330-200 on the route configured to carry 262 passengers with 22 in business class and 240 in economy class. The A330-200 aircraft is able to carry 11 tonnes of cargo with full passenger load.