Etihad to boost European frequency

Etihad Airways will boost frequencies on five key European routes in 2011, and increase capacity on a range of other routes, adding depth to its network and improved connectivity through its Abu Dhabi hub as it takes delivery of new aircraft.

The European capacity increases, effective between June and August 2011, include Paris, Manchester, Geneva, Milan, and Brussels.

Etihad will also move from five to daily flights on its Beijing services; Schedule a capacity increase to Bangalore which commenced on January 1 with four flights a week, and will move to a daily operation in summer 2011; and operate a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with capacity to carry 412 passengers, to Chicago The enhancements to the schedule mean that by October 2011, 74 per cent of Etihad's flight network of 66 destinations will be served by at least daily flights.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer, said: "The new schedule will help us offer greatly improved connections across the network, making transiting via Abu Dhabi much more convenient for business and leisure travellers. In fact, our sub-four hour connections will increase by 50 per cent".

"We will continue to look at the best ways of deploying our aircraft, looking at the optimum use of our three-class, two-class and all-economy aircraft to ensure we have the right mix of capacity and product for each of our 66 destinations", he added.

Hogan said the increase in flight frequencies would be supported by the delivery of five new wide-body passenger aircraft - three A330-300s and two B777-300ERs - during summer 2011.

By the third quarter of 2011, Etihad will have 62 passenger and cargo aircraft in operation.

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