Etihad Airways will add three weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney to operate a double-daily schedule from February 6 next year.
Etihad said its morning departure from Abu Dhabi (EY450) and the afternoon departure from Sydney (EY451) will increase from four to seven flights per week.
The 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 additional Sydney capacity and new codeshare with Virgin Australia will see the UAE flag carrier increase its Australian footprint from a total of 42 to 45 weekly flights.
To maintain schedule continuity, Etihad Airways said it will operate its three new weekly Sydney services at the same timings as Virgin Australia’s current Sydney-Abu Dhabi flights.
“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," said Etihad Airways’ CEO Peter Baumgartner said.
“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 said travellers on the Perth route will have 10 weekly non-stop flights to its Abu Dhabi hub and connectivity to more than 55 cities across the airline's 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.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.