Etihad Airways, which claims to be the world's fastest growing long haul airline, is to increase its flying programme this summer by 18%. Already announced is a service to Sydney, with direct links through Abu Dhabi”s fine small terminal to and from the UK.
Also now announced are flights to Dublin, in August, and joining the network in September is Milan's Malpensa Airport.
Etihad's summer flying programme will be boosted with an additional 40 weekly flights added to its current schedule from Abu Dhabi to the Indian Sub Continent (six extra), the Middle East and Gulf region (15 extra), Europe (five extra), the Far East (eight extra) and Africa (six extra), bringing its total up to 258 services a week.
Four new three-class Airbus A330 jets and two new three-class Airbus A340-600 aircraft will join the airline”s growing fleet throughout the summer months to cope with demand.
Etihad Airways chairman Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nayhan said: ”These are exciting times for both Etihad and Abu Dhabi. No long haul airline has grown as quickly from conception as we have and the airline has made great strides in just over three years.
”And we”re not going to stop here. We have more aircraft deliveries later this year and we”re actively pursuing opportunities in the winter from Abu Dhabi to the Middle East, Europe and Asia.”
The airline's chief executive James Hogan added: ”But running a successful airline isn't just about buying planes and flying to new cities. The board of directors has now endorsed the company's development plan for the next three years and the summer flight programme shows us continuing to develop the business on commercial principles.
”We've switched flight timings to offer better connections at Abu Dhabi for our customers and introduced extra frequencies on existing routes. This makes us, again, more attractive to the flying public and more viable as a business."