Etihad strengthens its bonds

Etihad Airways will add three weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney

Etihad Airways will add three weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney to operate a double-daily schedule from February 6 next year.

The morning departure from Abu Dhabi – EY450 – and the afternoon departure from Sydney – EY451 – will increase from four to seven flights per week.

This enhancement to the airline’s Sydney schedule comes with the move by strategic partner Virgin Australia to shift its Australia to Abu Dhabi operation from Sydney to Perth from June 9, 2017.

Expanding the codeshare agreement, Etihad Airways will add its EY code to Virgin Australia’s new three weekly Perth-Abu Dhabi flights.

The combined impact of the additional Sydney capacity and new codeshare with Virgin Australia is an increase in the UAE flag carrier’s Australian footprint from a total of 42 to 45 weekly flights.

To maintain schedule continuity, Etihad Airways will operate its three new weekly Sydney services at the same timings as Virgin Australia’s current Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights, on which Etihad Airways has placed its EY code since they began in February 2011.

Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer Peter Baumgartner said: 'Australia is a critical part of our network, and we will continue to add capacity in order to meet the growing two-way demand for business and leisure travel.

'The allocation of our newest equipment, the A380 and B787, to all four Australian gateways, and investment of our next-generation product and service offering demonstrate our commitment to this highly competitive market.'

Baumgartner also highlighted the benefits for travellers of the new codeshare with Virgin Australia and capacity increase on the Perth route.

'From mid-2017, business and leisure travellers on the Perth route will enjoy the convenience of 10 weekly non-stop flights to our Abu Dhabi hub and seamless connectivity to more than 55 cities across Etihad Airways’ global network.'

Among the new two-way connected markets for Perth are Athens, Beirut, Geneva, Istanbul, and a number of African destinations including Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Khartoum and Nairobi.

The additional Sydney flights will be operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER, the aircraft type operating the current EY450/451 pattern. The aircraft is configured with eight seats in First Class, 40 in Business Class and 280 in Economy Class.

Tourism Australia deal

Etihad Airways has signed an agreement with Tourism Australia to be the Official Airline Partner of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards in 2017.

Under the agreement, the airline will fly the world’s best chefs and food media to Australia for the programme, a celebration of the best in global gastronomy.

The events, in Melbourne from April 1-7, will showcase Australia’s outstanding food and wine culture to an international audience of industry professionals and food lovers including world-leading chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, media and influencers.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O'Sullivan said Etihad Airways was a natural fit as airline partner for World's 50 Best Restaurants.


Melbourne lounge named Australasia’s best

ETIHAD Airways’ Premium Lounge at Melbourne Airport has been voted Australasia’s Leading Airport Lounge for 2016, at the 23rd Annual World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia Ceremony in Danang, Vietnam. The award comes just months after the lounge opened in May this year.

The award for Australasia’s Leading Airport Lounge is one of the many the airline has received throughout 2016. Only last month, its new First Class Lounge and Spa at Abu Dhabi Airport was voted the Middle East's Leading Airport Lounge at the Middle East World Travel Awards.

Etihad Airways has a collection of 15 airport lounges worldwide. Its lounges resemble in style and ambience a luxury hotel or private members’ club. Etihad Airways aims to provide a seamless hospitality experience with the same high levels of innovation, care, attention to detail and service delivery guests have come to expect from its people and brand. A natural light-filled space with floor-to-ceiling glass, it offers guests expansive views across the runway and surrounding countryside.

Its features include an intimate 26-seat dining area and a fully equipped kitchen where a team of professional chefs prepares everything on the premises. It also has an exclusive space for guests travelling in The Residence, the world’s only private three-room cabin on a commercial aircraft, available only on Etihad Airways’ A380.