Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will accommodate close to 60 per cent more passengers from Manchester Airport from today, with the introduction of a Boeing 777 aircraft on the route.
The Boeing 777, with 28 Pearl Business class and 384 Coral Economy class seats, replaces the two-class Airbus A330 from Manchester to the airline’s home hub in Abu Dhabi for the summer schedule. The capacity increase will see more than 2,100 extra seats available each week this summer.
Etihad currently operates a daily flight between Manchester and Abu Dhabi, with connections to Etihad’s global network including popular destinations Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Cape Town, Sydney, Hyderabad and Beijing.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The decision to offer a significant capacity increase during the summer months comes from a heightened demand for leisure travel, while our growing commitment to Manchester and the North West continues to boost business traffic. We look forward to further developing the links between the region and our home hub in Abu Dhabi.”
Etihad will further improve services at Manchester later this year with the opening of a dedicated Etihad Airways premium lounge – the third outside of Abu Dhabi. The lounge offers five-star dining, a family room, and a business centre among its range of services.
Andrew Cornish, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: “After a difficult period this year with the volcanic ash cloud, it’s great to have Etihad show its commitment to Manchester by increasing capacity by an extra 2,100 seats per week and opening its own premium lounge. It’s a genuine sign of commitment to our region and to Manchester Airport so we welcome the new aircraft and very much look forward to working with Etihad far into the future.”
Etihad’s services to Manchester have been performing very strongly since the airline launched the route in 2006. Etihad’s reach extends beyond the city through two codeshares: bmi connecting Manchester to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow; and Flybe connecting to the Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Inverness.
Etihad Airways reinforced its commitment to Manchester in 2009, when it signed a three-year shirt sponsorship of Manchester City Football Club. This is one of the airline’s most important sponsorships, and allows the airline to build even stronger relationships between the two regions, including team tours to the United Arab Emirates, as well as community-based schemes in the UAE and Manchester such as the hugely successful soccer schools.
Etihad’s Manchester services offer the airline’s award winning flat beds in Pearl Business class, and the innovative Inspired Service concept now available in Coral Economy class, ensuring optimum passenger comfort and satisfaction on board.