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08 Apr 2013 08:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has received approval from the United States (US) Department of Transportation to put its ‘EY’ flight code on Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services out of Dublin, Ireland. 

From today Etihad Airways will offer ten weekly codeshare flights via Dublin to Boston, eight to Chicago, 12 to New York and bookings can now be made.

One of the unique advantages of the new transatlantic codeshare services to both New York and Chicago* will be the ability to pre-clear US Customs and Border Protection in Dublin, meaning Etihad Airways’ guests will effectively arrive into the US as domestic passengers.

US regulatory approval follows last July’s announcement of a historic interline and codeshare agreement between the respective national carriers.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “Our strategic partnership with Aer Lingus continues to flourish and, as a result of US regulatory approval for transatlantic services, air travellers in the UAE and beyond now have greater access to the American market via Dublin.

“Enhancing connectivity, making the journey easier and more enjoyable, increasing choice, and seamlessly integrating our operations with those of codeshare partners underpin our strategy for building our global network.”

Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Customers connecting from Etihad Airways’ network onto Aer Lingus flights at Dublin will enjoy a seamless transfer and will be able to avail of Dublin’s US pre-clearance facilities. We look forward to welcoming Etihad Airways’ customers on board our transatlantic flights.”

Etihad Airways already places its ‘EY’ flight code on Aer Lingus flights between Dublin and Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Kerry, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Manchester and Stockholm.  In addition, the airline offers codeshare flights on Aer Lingus services from London and Manchester to Dublin, Cork and Shannon, from London to Belfast and from Cork to Amsterdam.

In return, Aer Lingus has placed its ‘EI’ flight code on services operated by Etihad Airways between Abu Dhabi and Dublin, Bahrain, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manchester, Melbourne, Muscat and Sydney.
Etihad Airways and Aer Lingus continue to discuss additional commercial and cost opportunities.

Etihad Airways holds a 2.987 per cent equity stake in Aer Lingus.
The UAE carrier launched services to Ireland in July 2007 with an initial four flights per week, increasing to six and then moving to a daily service in March 2008. This was further increased to the current service of ten flights per week in March 2010.  From July 2013, capacity will be boosted by more than one third, with the introduction of a 412-seat Boeing 777-300ER on six of the ten weekly Abu Dhabi-Dublin flights.

Etihad Airways carried more than 215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin in 2012, with the route once again in the airline’s top 10 most popular.  In addition to a premium lounge at Dublin airport, the airline operates an aircraft maintenance facility.

* Etihad Airways codeshare flights EY 7799 and EY 7996 from Dublin to New York, and flight EY 7795 from Dublin to Chicago can use the US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facilities at Dublin airport.  The flights are operated by Aer Lingus.

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