Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today celebrated another milestone with the first anniversary of its services to Athens, as flight EY91 from Abu Dhabi touched down at Athens International Airport.
During its first year of operation to Athens, the Abu-Dhabi based airline has performed strongly, despite challenges in the market, with average seat factors of more than 70 per cent, which is expected to rise during the summer period to reach over 90 per cent.
Etihad commenced services between Abu Dhabi and Athens in June last year operating three flights per week, and as a result of its success on the route, quickly increased to five flights per week in November and to a daily service in January.
Dimitris Karagkioules, Country Manager of Etihad Airways in Greece, said: “Our first year of operations has been extremely important to us as we position ourselves for success in the Greek market. We are very pleased at the performance of our flights and the impressive passenger numbers are a strong reflection that the airline is meeting the needs of the market in Greece.
“Our daily flights connect seamlessly with many cities on Etihad’s global network, and we are pleased to help connect Athens with Greek communities throughout the world, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.
“Our aim moving forward is to build our presence in Greece and to ensure that even more passengers travel with us and experience the award-winning product and service for which Etihad is renowned.
“I would also like to thank our partners at Athens International Airport for their tremendous support of our operations during the past 12 months.”
Etihad Airways’ goal is to provide convenient flights with strong connections to its passengers in Athens, and to strengthen the breadth and depth of its network through the implementation of codeshare agreements to respond to the growing demand of passengers who wish to travel to and from Greece through Abu Dhabi.
As an example of this, Etihad recently commenced a codeshare agreement with Olympic Air, which means Etihad Airways customers around the world are now able to fly to two of Greece’s leading holiday destinations, Rhodes and Thessaloniki, as well as Romania and Bulgaria for the first time.
Etihad also operates a codeshare service with Sri Lankan Airlines, providing passengers in Athens with connections from Abu Dhabi to Colombo and Male (Maldives).
Etihad offers a superior product and service experience to its Greek passengers and to all guests travelling to Greece. The airline has recently introduced its ‘Inspired Service’ concept in Economy class as well as in its premium classes, which seeks to provide all customers with service individually tailored to their needs.
In both cabins, Etihad offers its customers state-of-the-art, on-demand entertainment systems, allowing customers to enjoy the latest movies, TV shows, music and interactive games as well as recharge laptop computers and mobile devices.
Etihad operates two-class A320 aircraft to Athens, configured to carry 140 passengers with 20 seats in Business class and 120 in Economy class. Flight EY091 departs Abu Dhabi at 9.40am and arrives in Athens at 1.30pm. Flight EY090 departs Athens at 2.30pm and arrives in Abu Dhabi at 8.00pm.
Etihad, which began flying less than seven years ago, was awarded three titles at the recent 2010 Skytrax awards: World’s Best First Class; Best First Class Airline Seat; and Best First Class Onboard Catering. This win built upon its success at the 2009 Skytrax awards where it won the Best Business Class and Best Business Class Catering categories. It also won the title of the World’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards (WTA) in November 2009, as well as six Middle East awards at the WTAs in May 2010.