07 Oct 2013 08:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today announced the launch of direct flights to Los Angeles, California.
The expansion of its US operation will see
the airline commence non-stop daily flights between its Abu Dhabi home-base (AUH)
and Los Angeles (LAX) from June 1, 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Californian city will be Etihad Airways’
fourth US destination, joining Chicago, New York and Washington D.C, and will see
the airline provide 28 return flights each week between the UAE and US.
The announcement was made by James Hogan, Etihad
Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officerin Los Angeles today, Monday,
Mr Hogan said: “We are delighted to add Los
Angeles, a major US and global destination with a significant metropolitan
population and growing economy, to the Etihad Airways’ network in 2014. This
expansion will see Etihad Airways offer air travelers daily flights, from our
Abu Dhabi hub, to four destinations across the US."
The new service will increase Etihad
Airways’ operations in the US market by 33 percent and cater for growing leisure
and business traffic demands in Los Angeles, as well as the considerable catchment
area of the city.
Los Angeles, one of the world’s most iconic,
popular, and multicultural destinations with a metropolitan population area of more
than 18 million people, is the second largest in the US.
It is classified as a ‘global city’ with
strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media,
fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research.
Mr Hogan added: “The expansion of the US
network also will be of considerable benefit to the growing commercial and culturalties
between the US and UAE, with trade between the two countries set to increase
beyond the current annual level of USD 22.5 billion*.
“The new service will also
offer maximum connectivity, via Abu Dhabi, with 25 Etihad Airways destinations across
the Middle East region and Indian Subcontinent, 12 of which are in India, catering
for the demand from Los Angeles’ diverse and multicultural population.”
Etihad Airways, four times voted World’s
Leading Airline**, will deploy a three cabin ultra-long range Boeing 777-200LR on
the Los Angeles operation.
It will be configured to carry 237 guests,
with 8 Diamond First Class suites, 40 Pearl Business Class flatbed seats, and 189 Coral
Economy Class seats.
Flight EY171 will depart daily from Abu
Dhabi at 8.45am and arrive in Los Angeles at 2.15pm the same day. The return
flight, EY170, will the depart Los Angeles at 4.15pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi at
7.35pm the following day.
Etihad Airways’ superior levels of service,
hospitality and product have been popular with US air travelers since it
launched flights to its first US destination, New York, in 2006.
The airline has carried nearly two
million passengers between Abu Dhabi and its destinations in the US in the last seven
years, with 2013 passenger volumes expected to increase by 30 per cent over
passengers carried in 2012.
The airline’s Diamond First Class has its own in-flight
Chef; Pearl Business Class offers a specially trained
Food and Beverage Manager; and families across all three cabins enjoy the benefits
of the recently introduced Flying Nanny.
Etihad Airways and American Airlines have had
an extensive code share agreement in place since September 2009.
Etihad Airways places its EY code on
American flights through its current gateways of Chicago, New York and
Washington DC to more than 70 US cities.
The new operation to Los Angeles will strengthen
further the reach and depth in the US.
American places its AA code on all Etihad
Airways flights between the US and UAE and this will also take place on the new
Los Angeles service.