Etihad Airways is advising passengers to book their summer flights as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as the peak summer period approaches.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline, which was voted “Middle East’s Leading Airline” at the 2010 World Travel Awards, has seen a significant increase in bookings to several of its key destinations as customers from the Middle East book their summer travel.
Etihad Airways now offers flights to 63 global destinations across an expanded network that includes the recently launched Japanese destinations Tokyo and Nagoya, and Baghdad and Erbil in Iraq. In addition, Etihad has increased frequencies to Dublin, Manila, Kathmandu and Beirut.
Etihad will operate a total of 1,032 flights a week this summer, a 16 per cent rise on the 888 weekly flights that operated during the same season in 2009.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We expect to see extremely high demand during our summer period, especially as residents across the Middle East region travel to cooler climates in Europe.
“We encourage our passengers to book as quickly as possible to ensure their preferred destinations and travel periods are available.”
Flights to key Etihad cities which are selling fast include Cairo, Beirut, Amman, New York, Toronto, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Geneva, London and Munich.
Etihad also operates services to popular leisure destinations including Athens, Larnaca, Paris and Istanbul, and through Etihad Holidays’ World Deals program, is offering a range of high quality holiday packages to these destinations during summer.
“Many of these destinations are the home cities of UAE expatriate communities, as well as popular holiday destinations in their own right, and we therefore expect these flights will be heavily booked during the summer months,” Mr Hogan said.
Etihad also strengthened its North American network last year with the launch of flights to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, which became a daily non-stop operation on January 1, 2010. Chicago joined Etihad’s established North American routes to New York and Toronto and boosted capacity to the continent by 73 per cent.
To support its drive for a smooth summer period, Etihad has been communicating with its customers about the best ways to save time and hassle when travelling. This includes taking advantage of Etihad’s online booking and check-in facilities, where passengers can select seats up to 24 hours before travelling, and arriving at the airport in plenty of time for their flight.
“We have introduced a range of services to make travelling with Etihad better than ever this summer, and we are committed to making flying with us during the peak season as smooth and convenient as possible,” Mr Hogan said.
Customers are encouraged to visit the airline’s website www.etihadairways.com for special offers and fares during the summer period, as well as accessing features to make planning their journeys even easier, including hotel bookings and insurance.