x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Seattle and Shanghai new routes from UAE

Both Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline made route announcements yesterday, improving links to the US West Coast and China.

Both of the UAE's major airlines made route announcements yesterday, improving links to the US west coast and China.

The first direct flight between the Middle East and the Pacific north-west of the US was launched by Emirates Airlines. And Etihad Airways commenced scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai,

The Emirates flight will operate daily between Dubai International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state.

The service, to be operated by a Boeing 777, will depart Dubai daily at 09.50 and arrive in Seattle at 13.10 local time. The return flight will depart Seattle at 17.10 local time, arriving in Dubai at 19.40 the following day.

On board the inaugural Emirates flight from Dubai was Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group.

"Emirates has looked forward to the day when we would connect Seattle to our home hub in Dubai, on flights operated by state-of-the-art, Seattle-built aircraft," he said. "This new service is the latest step in Emirates' strategic programme of expansion across the United States."

The arrival time of the Emirates service from Seattle to Dubai will offer connections to Bangkok, Delhi, Bangalore, Doha, Chennai, Islamabad, Lahore, Kuwait, Mumbai and Hyderabad, all less than three hours away.

Emirates' non-stop flights will also offer a 15-tonne freight capacity.

Etihad's service will initially operate five days a week to Shanghai's main international airport, Pudong, before going to a daily schedule from April 15. The airline will operate an Airbus A330-300.

James Hogan, the president and chief executive of Etihad, said the new route was the first non-stop commercial passenger flight between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.

"Shanghai is today the most populous city in China with an estimated 23 million inhabitants and is a powerhouse economy [that] will be the world's epicentre of financial and international trade," Mr Hogan said.

dblack@thenational.ae

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