05 May 2013 14:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will bring greater capacity to its daily flights between Abu Dhabi and New York with a Wi-Fi-enabled Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the route from June 1, 2013.
The three-class aircraft will
offer a total 328 seats, representing a 36.6 per cent increase in capacity
compared with the Airbus A340-500 currently used on the route. The aircraft
will be configured with eight Diamond First class, 40 Pearl Business class and
280 Coral Economy class seats.
Since launching flights between
New York and Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, in October 2006, Etihad Airways
has flown more than 800,000 passengers on the route, including a record 155,000
passengers in 2012 alone.
The aircraft change also makes it
possible for the airline to offer “Etihad Wi-Fly” inflight connectivity on
every flight to and from New York.
Internet connectivity is offered
to guests at a nominal cost for Coral Economy and Pearl Business Class guests
and on a complimentary basis for Etihad Airways’ Diamond First Class guests.
Mobile telephone usage will be charged based on the international roaming rates
of guests’ mobile network providers.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways
President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are responding to passenger
demand by continuously investing in our fleet and upgrading routes where we see
a need for more capacity. The change to the Boeing-777 aircraft, the largest three-class
aircraft in our fleet, on the New York route is a demonstration of our
commitment to expand our services in the US.
“New York was our first point of
entry into America and we have seen it continue to grow year-on-year,
strengthened by our relationship with American Airlines. Beyond our direct
daily services to New York, Chicago and recently-launched Washington, D.C., our
partnership with American Airlines allows us to codeshare and connect our
guests to more than 65 cities across the US.
“The point-to-point premium
traffic between New York and Abu Dhabi has been particularly strong,
representing increasing commercial and trade ties between the USA and UAE.
“The success of the route has
also been bolstered by our ongoing expansion in connecting markets. Many of our
guests are traveling over Abu Dhabi, onwards to destinations across the Middle
East, Indian Subcontinent and Asia, regions in which our capacity is also
“India, for example, has become
our largest single market in terms of destinations, with direct services to
nine cities. With our recent acquisition of a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways
of India, we will certainly be growing our presence in the region to meet the
increasing demand for travel to and from the Indian Subcontinent.”
The airline currently
operates 14 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft across its network and will take delivery
of a further four this year, enabling the aircraft change on the New York