By Andy Sambidge
Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam will be added to global network of Abu Dhabi-based carrier
Etihad Airways announced on Sunday it will add Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam to its global network in the second half of 2015.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said in a statement that the new routes will increase the total number of new destinations it has announced for next year to nine.
The fast-growing Caucasus region will be a major focus area for the airline next year, with a new service to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, being operated four times a week from October 1 2015, while Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, will be served three times a week from October 2.
Etihad Airways will also launch a daily service to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, from December 1 2015, providing access to one of East Africa’s most important economic and government centres.
The launch of Dar es Salaam flights supports Etihad Airways’ continued expansion in Africa, representing its 11th destination in the continent, the airline added.
Flights to all three destinations will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration, with a total of 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.
James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, said: “Seven new routes have already been introduced this year and three more will follow by the end of 2014, strengthening our operations in the United States, Europe, GCC, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia.
“The development of Etihad Airways’ network will be accelerated in 2015, supporting a long-term vision to position Abu Dhabi as a leading international travel hub, with extensive connections across the globe.”
During the first half of 2015, daily flights will commence to the European capitals of Madrid and Edinburgh, together with the historic state capital of Kolkata, India and Entebbe, Uganda.
The airline will also operate four flights a week to Hong Kong, and three flights a week to Algeria’s largest city, Algiers.
Etihad said 14 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2015, comprising four Airbus A380s, three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and seven A320 family aircraft.
The airline currently has a total of 104 aircraft in its fleet, with over 200 additional aircraft on firm order, plus options and purchase rights for 81 further aircraft.