Etihad Unveils 2015 Expansion Plans

Etihad Airways has revealed its growth plans for 2015, announcing 6 new routes and equipment adjustments on several existing services. The national airline of the UAE will begin passenger flights between its Abu Dhabi base and Algiers, Edinburgh, Entebbe, Hong Kong, Kolkata and Madrid in the first half of next year, while also serving Brisbane nonstop with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.


Abu Dhabi – Algiers

Commencing on 17 June 2015, flight EY 625 will depart Abu Dhabi at 0240 hrs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, arriving in Algiers at 0730 hrs before returning as flight EY 626 at 1015 hrs, landing back at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 1930 hrs.


The capital-to-capital link will be operated with a 3-class Airbus A330-300 jet, configured with 8 First, 32 Business and 191 Economy Class seats. Etihad will also be looking to boost freight carriage on the route, with just over 72 tonnes of belly hold capacity weekly to facilitate trade between Algeria, Abu Dhabi and beyond.


Abu Dhabi – Edinburgh

Marking the airline’s debut in Scotland will be a nonstop daily service between Abu Dhabi and Edinburgh. From 8 June 2015, flight EY 027 will depart Abu Dhabi International Airport at 0240 hrs, arriving in Edinburgh at 0740 hrs. The return leg, EY 028, takes off from the Scottish capital at 0915 hrs for a 1945 hrs arrival back in Abu Dhabi.


The route will be flown with a 2-class A330-200 with 22 Business and 240 Economy Class seats and will be Etihad’s third destination in the UK after London and Manchester. The airline has plans to further grow in Scotland, eyeing a second destination in 5 years time.


Abu Dhabi – Entebbe

Building on the success of its cargo operations, Etihad will launch passenger flights to Entebbe from 1 May 2015. Providing a direct connection between East Africa and Abu Dhabi, the flights will also connect with onward services to the Gulf region, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia.


Operated by a 2-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats, flight EY 645 will take off from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 0820 hrs daily, landing in Entebbe at 1245 hrs. The return flight, EY 646, departs the Ugandan capital at 1345 hrs and arrives back in Abu Dhabi at 2015 hrs.


Abu Dhabi – Hong Kong

Operating 4 times weekly from 15 June 2015, flight EY 854 will depart Abu Dhabi at 2140 hrs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, flying east overnight to arrive in Hong Kong at 0940 hrs the next morning. Return service EY 855 will take off from Hong Kong International Airport at 1920 hrs every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, landing back in Abu Dhabi at 2350 hrs.


The airline will operate a two-class A330-200, configured with 22 seats in Business and 240 seats in Economy Class, on the route. The flights will complement existing services by codeshare partner Air Seychelles, providing a daily frequency between both cities and the schedule will benefit corporate travellers with a business-friendly morning arrival to the territory and evening departure that allows for connections to 34 destinations across the Gulf, Europe and Africa after arrival in Abu Dhabi.


Abu Dhabi – Kolkata

With India a key market for the airline, Etihad will expand its operations in the subcontinent with the addition of Kolkata as its eleventh destination in the country following a major frequency upgrade to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Kozhikode.


From 15 February 2015, flight EY 256 will depart Abu Dhabi at 1110 hrs to arrive in Kolkata at 1650 hrs. The return flight, EY 255, takes off from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at 1830 hrs, landing back at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2230 hrs. Flying a 2-class Airbus A320 jet, the service builds on existing codeshare flights operated by network partner Jet Airways from Bangalore and Mumbai.


Abu Dhabi – Madrid

Etihad will also fly to Spain for the first time when it launches services to Madrid on 29 March 2015. An Airbus A330-200 jet will be used to fly to its 20th European destination, with flight EY 075 taking off from Abu Dhabi at 0230 hrs and landing at Madrid Barajas Airport at 0840 hrs. Return service EY 076 departs Madrid at 1015 hrs for a 1935 hrs arrival back in the emirate.


More than 60.6 million international tourists visited Spain in 2013, with its capital and largest city, Madrid, placed at the heart of the country’s tourism industry. Etihad will be looking to take advantage of the tourist interest in the country, offering convenient connections from the Gulf region, Africa, Asia and Australia.


Brisbane to be Served Nonstop with Dreamliner, First Class for Singapore

In a much-awaited move, Etihad will replace its current Abu Dhabi – Singapore – Brisbane service from 1 June 2014 with nonstop flights for both cities. The Brisbane route receives a further boost from being served by the airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, featuring the groundbreaking next-generation First Suite, Business Studio and Economy Smart products. Flight EY 484 will depart Abu Dhabi at 2200 hrs daily, arriving in Brisbane at 1815 hrs the next day, while the return flight, EY 485, takes off from Brisbane at 2150 hrs for a 0600 hrs landing the next morning in Abu Dhabi.


When the changes take effect, Singapore will receive an equipment upgrade in the form of a 3-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft, introducing Etihad’s First Class cabin to the route for the first time since its launch in September 2007. Flight timings will be revised to allow for more connections at the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub, with the outbound EY 470 departing the emirate at 2200 hrs for a 1005 hrs arrival the next day in Singapore and the inbound EY 473 service taking off from Changi International Airport at 2020 hrs to land at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2345 hrs.


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