10 Jul 2014 09:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced plans to operate daily non-stop flights between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi from 1 June 2015.
The flights will
be operated by Etihad Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring
the airline’s ground-breaking next generation product – First Suite, Business Studio
and Economy Smart Seat. The three-class B787 will enable the airline to offer
First Class on the Brisbane–Abu Dhabi route for the first time ever.
flights will replace the current daily one-stop services which operate via
Singapore with a two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said the introduction of
non-stop flights was a response to strong two-way demand for travel on the
Brisbane-Abu Dhabi sector and beyond to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
“Since we started services between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi in 2007, the
route has gone from strength to strength and we have now carried more than
520,000 passengers on the route.
“The introduction of the first ever daily non-stop service between
Brisbane and Abu Dhabi enables us to build on the route’s robust performance by
offering our strongest customer proposition yet – an enhanced onboard
experience, shorter travel times, and the convenience of one-stop connectivity to
popular destinations in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
“Etihad Airways’ first Boeing 787 will enter the fleet in December 2014
and Queenslanders will be among the first in the world to experience the
aircraft’s next generation product and service offering. The brand new First
Suites, Business Studios and Economy Smart Seats were five years in the making
and I am confident that they will be game-changers for the Brisbane market.”
Campbell Newman said the Queensland Government welcomed the move to introduce
direct flights to Brisbane from Abu Dhabi.
“It is a huge show of confidence by Etihad Airways in the Brisbane and
Queensland market and our ability to attract a growing number of travellers,” Mr. Newman said.
“For the travelling public, both business and tourist, the direct
flights obviously mean a reduction in travel time, allowing them to enjoy more
time in our great state.
“We’re incredibly excited and look forward to working in partnership
with Etihad Airways to grow this important market.”
Mr. Hogan also
highlighted the significant commercial opportunities for Etihad Airways’
partnership with Virgin Australia.
“Through our partnership with Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways already
offers codeshare flights from 15 towns and cities throughout Queensland to our
global network of destinations, via Brisbane. The ability to offer convenient
one-stop travel from Virgin Australia’s regional Queensland network to our Abu
Dhabi hub adds immensely to the appeal and competitiveness of our joint
“Our non-stop flights better position Etihad Airways to contribute to
the economic development of Queensland by offering international travellers
enhanced connectivity to the state’s diverse holiday and business destinations.
“We look forward to working with the Queensland Government and our
industry partners to increase business and leisure tourism and to continue the
Brisbane route’s success.”
codeshares with Virgin Australia to Bundaberg, Cloncurry, Cairns, Emerald,
Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Mount Isa, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Moranbah, Gold Coast,
Hamilton Island, Proserpine, Rockhampton and Townsville. Guests who travel with
Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia are offered the convenience of a single
ticket purchase, through-checked baggage and convenient flight connections.
new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will carry 235 guests – eight in First Class, 28 in
Business Class and 199 in Economy Class. The airline currently operates an
Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the Abu Dhabi-Singapore-Brisbane route which is
configured with 22 seats in Business Class and 240 seats in Economy Class.
commenced three weekly flights to Brisbane and Singapore on 28 September 2007
and increased frequency to daily on 1 February 2013.
The airline has
strong ties with the Queensland Government and its agency, Tourism & Events
Queensland. It has supported major marketing initiatives such as the Million
Dollar Memo, and in 2011 donated $1 million to the Queensland Flood Appeal. Its
shareholder, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, also donated $30 million to the
Government of Queensland to build five category five cyclone shelters for use
as multi-purpose centres year round.
Airways offers 28 flights per week between Australia and Abu Dhabi. This will
increase to 35 flights per week from 15 July will offer 35 flights per week with
start of services between Abu Dhabi and Perth
. It currently employs more than
100 staff in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.