Etihad Airways has started transferring major routes to the new Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, with flights including London, Bangkok, Manchester and Paris departing from there today. The flights mark the second phase of a five-stage plan to move most of the airline's network to the Dh1.1 billion (US$300 million) terminal, making room for Etihad's expansion after outgrowing Terminal 1. Etihad and its Dubai-based competitor, Emirates Airline, are forging ahead with fleet expansion even as they join the global trend of offering discounts and promotions to deal with slowing demand for air travel. Dubai airport opened its own Terminal 3 in October, bringing overall capacity to 60 million passengers a year. The gradual transfer at Abu Dhabi airport follows three months of testing baggage systems and other processes at the terminal. Terminal 3 lifts the capacity of the airport from seven million to 12 million passengers a year, and features eight new contact gates located next to Terminal 1. "Terminal 1 has served us well, but Terminal 3 is needed for Etihad's growth, and this now takes us nicely to the development of the Midfield Terminal [which will be completed] from 2012," said Iain Burns, the vice president of corporate communications at Etihad Airways. The Midfield Terminal is the centrepiece of a Dh25bn plan to revitalise the airport and make Abu Dhabi a global centre for air travel. It will initially handle 20 million passengers a year. Mr Burns said that to prevent any confusion, the airline was calling customers booked for flights set to depart from Terminal 3, and Abu Dhabi Airports Company had contracted a company to supply customer service staff along the kerbside and in car parks to meet and direct customers. But some flights, including those bound for Lahore and Islamabad, will remain at Terminal 1. The first phase for moving to the new terminal began on Feb 2 with flights to Almaty, Minsk, Moscow, Singapore, Manila and Brisbane. Today's transfers represent a much more serious test for Terminal 3, with three flights a day departing for London, and two a day for Bangkok. On March 9, a third set of flights will be moved including those to Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Milan, Munich, Sydney and Toronto. Phase four will take place on March 16 for departures to Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait, Muscat and Riyadh. The final stage is scheduled for March 23 for Beijing, Delhi, Johannesburg, Melbourne and Mumbai flights. Etihad plans to double its number of destinations to 100 by 2020 and placed an order for up to 205 new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing last July. This year it will receive 11 new aircraft and has announced five new destinations to date including Melbourne, Athens, Istanbul, Chicago and Lagos. email@example.com
- The art of transforming Dubai metro stations into art galleries
- Personalised courses available for disabled drivers
- Roll-out of electric car charge stations first step towards cleaner transport
- Ministry of Social Affairs launches guidelines to help disabled drivers
- Abu Dhabi commuters feel the heat as air-con bus shelters fall into disrepair
- Al Ain police seize 152 driving licences in March
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- UAE labourers rely on labour camp TVs to catch IPL cricket action
- Mothers ‘risking lives’ by choosing to have repeat C-sections
- Burj Khalifa stars in HD video from space
- Four new cases of Mers discovered in the UAE, says World Health Organisation
- Thousands of Christians gather for Good Friday services in the capital
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- History shines light on the true borders of Palestine
- Reduce speed limit buffer on UAE roads, experts urge
- American ‘has UAE Embassy documents’ to back up medicinal marijuana claim
- Nakheel to sell plots for hotels and resorts on Dubai’s Deira Islands
- UAE’s healthcare system must grant equitable access to all
Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd
At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.
Tyrese reunited with Fazza
Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab
Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.
In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living
A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.
Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban
A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll
Region in focus - April 18, 2014
The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.