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, October 7.

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.

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