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Etihad Airways sets out expansion plans for 2015

Etihad Airways sets out expansion plans for 2015

Etihad Airways will expand its global route network with the addition of Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam in the second half of 2015, increasing the total number of new destinations it has announced for next year to nine.

The fast-growing Caucasus region will be a major focus area for the airline next year, with a new service to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, being operated four times a week from October 1st, while Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, will be served three times a week from October 2nd.

Both cities are famed for their warm hospitality and natural beauty, offering a breath-taking range of botanic gardens and parks, as well as historic attractions, museums and galleries.

Etihad Airways – considered the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards - will also commence a daily service to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, from December 1st 2015, providing access to one of East Africa’s most important economic and government centres, and the country’s many tourist attractions, including pristine beaches, wildlife safaris, and the world’s highest free-standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

The launch of Dar es Salaam flights supports Etihad Airways’ continued expansion in Africa, representing its 11th destination in the continent.

It is also the airline’s fourth destination in East Africa and will facilitate an increasing flow of passenger and cargo traffic between the area and the United Arab Emirates, as well as key markets across Etihad Airways’ North Asian network.

Flights to all three destinations will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration, with a total of 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.

Etihad president James Hogan said: “As a fast growing international airline, our network is constantly being enhanced to better serve travellers, either by adding depth to existing markets or expanding into new markets.

“Seven new routes have already been introduced this year and three more will follow by the end of 2014, strengthening our operations in the United States, Europe, GCC, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia.

“The development of Etihad Airways’ network will be accelerated in 2015, supporting a long-term vision to position Abu Dhabi as a leading international travel hub, with extensive connections across the globe.

“We have announced nine new destinations so far for next year, including Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam, and we look forward to aligning operations and enhancing codeshare agreements with our strategic airline partners on these upcoming routes.”

The three latest additions are part of a major international expansion of Etihad Airways’ global route network.

As previously announced, the airline will commence services to Phuket (Thailand), as well as San Francisco and Dallas (United States) over the remainder of 2014.

During the first half of 2015, daily flights will commence to the European capitals of Madrid (Spain) and Edinburgh (Scotland), together with the historic state capital of Kolkata (India) and one of the most important business and government centres in East Africa, Entebbe (Uganda).

The airline will also operate four flights a week to the world-class tourism and economic hub, Hong Kong, and three flights a week to Algeria’s vibrant capital and largest city, Algiers.

In addition, Etihad Airways’ existing daily flights to Brisbane (Australia), currently operated via Singapore, will become a direct service from June 2015, offering the first non-stop connection between the city and Abu Dhabi.

The route will be operated using a three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with the airline’s brand new First Suite, Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat.

Etihad Airways’ global passenger and cargo network will increase to 110 destinations following the network expansion.

The airline will also continue to increase frequencies on a number of existing services next year, providing guests with even more comprehensive travel choices across Europe, the Middle East, Gulf region, Indian subcontinent, Africa and North America.

As part of Etihad Airways’ ongoing fleet development, 14 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2015, comprising four Airbus A380s, three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and seven A320 family aircraft.

The airline currently has a total of 104 aircraft in its fleet, with over 200 additional aircraft on firm order, plus options and purchase rights for 81 further aircraft.