Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will increase capacity on its Dublin flights, deploying a Boeing 777-300ER on the route from 2 July 2013.
The B777-300ER offers Etihad Airways’ new Pearl Business Class product. It is configured to carry 412 passengers, with 28 seats in Pearl Business Class and 384 in Coral Economy Class.
It will operate on the six EY045 flights out of Abu Dhabi each week, increasing capacity on the route by 34 per cent.
The increase will provide an additional 900 seats each week compared to the current schedule, with an extra 36 in the award winning Pearl Business class and 864 in Coral Economy. An Airbus A330-200 will continue to operate on the four remaining EY041 flights.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Dublin is one of our most successful routes and this increase in capacity is indicative of the confidence we have that demand, especially in the premium cabin, will continue to grow.
Etihad Airways carried more than 215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin in 2012, with the route once again in the airline’s top 10 most popular.
Mr Hogan added: “Ireland is an important market and country for Etihad Airways and this can be seen in our investments which include our line maintenance facility at Dublin Airport, the opening of a premium lounge at Terminal 2 in 2011, as well as cultural partnerships with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and The Gathering Ireland 2013.”
Etihad Airways is involved with a number of activities during The Gathering Ireland 2013, which includes bringing teams from the Arabian Gulf, Asia and Australia to Ireland in September to take part in the International Hurling Festival.
Etihad Airways launched its services to Ireland in July 2007 with an initial four flights per week, increasing to six and then moving to a daily service in March 2008. This was further increased to the current service of 10 flights per week in March 2010.
The increase in capacity is a reflection of the strong demand from Irish customers for the route to Abu Dhabi and allows travellers to connect with Etihad Airways global network with Australia, Thailand and India as some of the most popular onward destinations.
The quality of Etihad Airways Irish service has been recognised, once again, with two awards at last month’s Irish Travel Trade News Awards, winning “Best Long Haul Airline” and “Best Premium Class Airline”.
Also in December Etihad Airways was again voted “World’s Leading Airline” for the fourth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards. The airline is a finalist in the Best Long Haul Airline category at the Irish Travel Industry Awards which will be announced this Thursday, 24 January.