x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Etihad to offer daily flights to Washington

Etihad Airways yesterday announced the launch of its first non-stop daily flight from Abu Dhabi to Washington as it seeks to add codeshare agreements and acquisitions.

Etihad Airways yesterday announced the launch of its first non-stop daily flight from Abu Dhabi to Washington as it seeks to add codeshare agreements and acquisitions.

"No other UAE carrier is offering nonstop services between [Washington] and the UAE, so this capital-to-capital link is a huge opportunity for Etihad Airways," said James Hogan, the president and chief executive of Etihad Airways.

The route will be the airline's fourth destination in North America, and is due to begin operating from March 31 next year, subject to regulatory approvals in the US.

"The point-to-point traffic between [Washington] and Abu Dhabi is expected to contribute significantly to overall loads on the route," Mr Hogan said.

"The schedule also allows maximum connectivity to key markets in the GCC, Indian subcontinent and South East Asia.

"The Washington … metropolitan area ranks as one of the strongest-performing economies in the country. Demand for premium cabins from the market is significantly higher than from other potential US destinations."

The direct flights will be operated by three A340-500 aircraft. Each flight will offer 12 Diamond First class, 28 Pearl Business class and 200 Coral Economy seats, for a total 3,360 seats per week.

Etihad Cargo will offer cargo capacity on services to Washington, with an anticipated load of 140 tonnes per week.

The route will complement existing online and connecting interline cargo services to and from North America.

The airline this week met with bankers in New York and London as part of a financial roadshow aimed at keeping the financial industry up to date on the carrier's progress.

"We will continue to build the business through a combination of organic network growth, an expansion of our codeshare partnerships and targeted acquisitions and investments," said Mr Hogan in a statement.

dblack@thenational.ae

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