Etihad set to add capacity on Dublin route

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Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has announced plans to increase capacity on its Dublin flights from July.

The carrier said in a statement that it will deploy a Boeing 777-300ER on the route from July 2.

It will operate on the six EY045 flights out of Abu Dhabi each week, increasing capacity on the route by 34 percent.

The increase will provide an additional 900 seats each week compared to the current schedule. An Airbus A330-200 will continue to operate on the four remaining EY041 flights.

James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO, said: "Dublin is one of our most successful routes and this increase in capacity is indicative of the confidence we have that demand, especially in the premium cabin, will continue to grow."

Etihad Airways carried more than 215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin in 2012, with the route in the airline's top 10 most popular.

Hogan added: "Ireland is an important market and country for Etihad Airways and this can be seen in our investments which include our line maintenance facility at Dublin Airport, the opening of a premium lounge at Terminal 2 in 2011, as well as cultural partnerships with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and The Gathering Ireland 2013."

Etihad Airways launched its 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 10 flights per week in March 2010.

The airline said th increase in capacity was a reflection of the strong demand from Irish customers for the route to Abu Dhabi.

Last month, Etihad said it has surpassed its target of carrying 10 million passengers in 2012 and is set to achieve a 22 percent increase on the total of 8.41 million passengers for 2011.

The increase in passenger numbers - up to a total of 10.29 million - represents an extra 1.88 million passengers travelling on the carrier’s global network that now covers 87 of its own passenger and cargo destinations, and 245 codeshare destinations.

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