By Staff writer
Abu Dhabi airline to deploy larger 299-seat Boeing 787 aircraft amid growing demand from passengers
Etihad Airways announced on Tuesday that it will deploy a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on one of its twice-daily scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh from October 30.
The upgrade from a single aisle Airbus A321 aircraft will cater to strong demand to and from the capital of the Gulf kingdom, the airline said in a statement.
Together with the other daily Riyadh service operated by a Boeing 777, Etihad Airways will have more than 8,700 weekly seats on the route, it added.
Flight EY317 will be operated with a B787 and will offer 299 seats, configured in two classes with 28 seats in Business and 271 in Economy.
Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways chief strategy and planning officer, said: “The Boeing 787 is playing a key role in Etihad Airways’ fleet expansion with routes carefully selected on which to deploy this unique aircraft. We are delighted that Riyadh will soon join our 787 cities giving guests a different experience to and from Abu Dhabi, and with convenient connections to destinations across our diverse worldwide network.
“The aircraft also provides significantly more cargo capacity to facilitate the movement of a greater number of goods to and from the Saudi capital. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very important market for Etihad Airways, supporting our global expansion since the launch of services 13 years ago.”
On the Riyadh route alone, Etihad Airways has flown more than 2.5 million guests since 2004.
Riyadh becomes Etihad Airways’ newest B787 destination following the induction of the aircraft on flights to Perth, Dusseldorf and Shanghai, with Abu Dhabi – Johannesburg set to become a Dreamliner route on November 1. Etihad Airways’ current fleet of nine B787s also operates to Singapore, Washington DC, Brisbane and Zurich.