By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi carrier launches Chinese route with commitment to upgrade next month
Etihad Airways launched flights between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, China on Thursday with a commitment to expand services from April 15.
The Abu Dhabi airline will initially operate five weekly Airbus A330-300 services to Shanghai's main international airport - Pudong (PVG).
But the service will expand to a daily schedule from April 15, the carrier said in a statement.
James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, said: "The new Shanghai route adds much more than just another destination to the Etihad Airways global network.
"It brings the capital of the UAE and the commercial and financial centre of mainland China closer together and creates new opportunities for government, trade, tourism and cultural exchange."
He added: "Our entry into the Shanghai market is timed to take advantage of these opportunities. We have great confidence that the Shanghai route will contribute to a sustainable future for our passenger and cargo business in China."
In December, Etihad signed its first codeshare agreement in China.
The deal with Hainan Airlines will place its 'HU' code on Etihad Airways flights between Abu Dhabi and the airline's three gateway cities in Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai.