Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced it will fly daily between Abu Dhabi and Istanbul from January 1, 2013.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline launched services to Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, with four non-stop flights a week in June 2009, increasing to five services per week later that same year.
The daily service will support traffic growth between Abu Dhabi and Turkey and connecting traffic to onward destinations across the GCC, Indian Subcontinent, North Asia and Australia.
To date, Etihad Airways has flown more than 200,000 guests on the route.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President & Chief Executive Officer, said the move to daily services was motivated by strong performance and the potential for further growth.
“Since launching, we have observed a high point-to-point traffic flow between Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, accounting for the largest share of travellers on the route. This is indicative of the thriving trade and commercial relationship between these two countries, as well as world-class tourism programs.
“A significant number of passengers on the route travel between Turkey and Northeast Asia and Australasia. Further supporting this traffic is Etihad Airways’ ongoing growth in Asia. Tokyo, for example, will increase from five services per week to daily in April 2013 and we also commenced Shanghai and Chengdu services in the last year, enhancing connections to China.
“We continue to look at ways to enhance our codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines in order to develop our presence in Turkey. By putting our EY-code on their four times weekly flights to Abu Dhabi, in addition to their TK-coding on our flights on the route, we bring strong feeds onto our network and theirs, generating significant revenue for the Istanbul-Abu Dhabi route.”
The daily flights to Istanbul will be operated by a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, configured with 16 Pearl Business class and 120 Coral Economy class seats.