By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi carrier says daily Washington flights will meet demand for gov't, business travel
Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it has launched non-stop daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Washington, DC to meet strong demand for government and business travel.
The new route is the first direct air link between the two capital cities, Etihad said in a statement.
"Government and corporate customers in both markets have given us strong indication that the Abu Dhabi - Washington route can support a daily service from day one," said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways.
"We have confidently responded by committing 3,360 seats per week and already our forward bookings on the route are very encouraging in both directions," Hogan said.
"In addition, we will open a $6.8m premium lounge this week in Terminal A at Dulles Airport to benefit our Diamond First and Pearl Business Class passengers."
The Washington DC flight is the fourth North American destination for Etihad Airways after New York, Chicago and Toronto.
To date, Etihad has carried almost two million passengers between Abu Dhabi and North America, achieving 12.6 percent growth in passenger numbers last year.
The new services will provide yet another international connection to Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is growing as an international air transport hub for passengers and cargo.
As part of its global hub strategy, Abu Dhabi Airport will open a new terminal in 2017 increasing the annual passenger capacity from the current 12.5 million to 30 million.
Provision is also being made for further expansion to accommodate up to 60 million passengers per year.For all the latest travel 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.
New taxes on foriegn long haul airlines should keep them in check. The speical tax on A380s will be very effective .