Potter, Hogan and Yousef Al Otaiba,
UAE Ambassador to the US
Etihad plans daily flights to Washington DC
Abu Dhabi, February 23, 2012
Etihad Airways will launch non-stop daily flights to Washington, DC, the airline’s fourth destination in North America, from March 31 2013.
The service will be started subject to regulatory approvals, a statement from the airline said.
The Washington region is home to America’s second largest market flying to the Middle East, after New York. Etihad Airways’ new service will link DC with Abu Dhabi, a vibrant and growing hub for business, culture and tourism.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer, said: “No other UAE carrier is offering non-stop services between DC and the UAE, so this capital-to-capital link is a huge opportunity for Etihad Airways.”
The new service will further strengthen the already strong political and economic ties between the National Capital Region and the UAE. Last week, the US Department of Commerce released data showing that total trade volume between the US and the UAE rose to $18.3 billion in 2011, a 43 per cent increase from the year before.
This increase represents the highest trade volume to date between the US and UAE. It also means that, for the third consecutive year, the UAE is the single largest export market for US goods in the Middle East. The US is the fifth largest trade partner worldwide for the UAE.
Hogan said: “The point-to-point traffic between DC and Abu Dhabi is expected to contribute significantly to overall loads on the route. The schedule also allows maximum connectivity to key markets in the GCC, Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia.
John E Potter, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority president and chief executive officer, said: “We congratulate Etihad Airways on this announcement. We are looking forward to welcoming them to our region, and we thank them for recognising Washington Dulles International Airport as an integral part of the global aviation system.”
The direct flights will be operated by a three-class A340-500 aircraft. Each flight will offer 12 Diamond First class, 28 Pearl Business class and 200 Coral Economy seats, for a total 3,360 seats per week.
Etihad Cargo will offer cargo capacity on services to DC, with an anticipated load of 140 tonnes per week.
Flight EY131 will depart from Abu Dhabi at 10am and arrive in Washington Dulles at 5pm (15 hours) and EY130 will leave Washington at 10.30pm and reach Abu Dhabi at 8pm the next day (13.30 hours). - TradeArabia News Service