Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is to increase its flying programme to Dublin following the success of its services to Ireland’s capital city, moving from its current daily service to 10 flights per week from March 28, 2010.
Etihad launched its Irish service in July 2007 with an initial four flights a week, increasing to six and then moving to a daily service in March 2008.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer, said: “Dublin has been one of our most successful ever destination launches, with more than 300,000 people flying on these services since launch and an average seat factor of 80 per cent.
“We have steadily increased frequencies on the route in line with demand not only on the Dublin-Abu Dhabi route, but also via Abu Dhabi to and from our destinations in the Far East, such as Bangkok and Sydney.
“The latest increase in our Irish flying is indicative of the huge confidence we have in this important market.”
Supporting this increase in services, Etihad is planning a new lounge at Dublin airport, which is set to open in 2010.
The new lounge will offer Etihad’s premium customers a range of top quality facilities and services, including workstations, a prayer room, a relaxing seating area with Italian leather chairs, a selection of foods from around the world and luxurious bathroom and shower facilities.
Commenting on Etihad’s announcement this afternoon Dublin Airport Authority Chief Executive, Declan Collier said: “Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is delighted that Etihad has decided to expand its services into Dublin from next March and we look forward to welcoming them to our new T2 facility. Etihad’s decision to expand its flight schedule is also an endorsement of the facilities and good value available to airline customers at Dublin Airport.”
Etihad Airways provides a complimentary limousine service for its business class passengers flying into and out of Dublin airport.
The quality of Etihad’s Irish service has been recognised with two industry awards – ‘Best Business Class Airline’ at the 2008 & 2009 Irish Travel Trade News Awards and the ‘Global Business Airline 2010’ by the Institute of Transport Management.
These awards were followed by Etihad Airways taking the top award at the recent World Travel Awards (WTA), having been voted World’s Leading Airline by more than 180,000 travel industry professionals from over 175 countries.
The World Travel Awards recognise the very best airline, hospitality and tourism brands in the world, with industry experts vetting nominations for their customer relations, creativity, quality of service, product innovation and business acumen.
The airline has been a lead sponsor of the GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship since 2008.
Etihad operates a two cabin A330-200 to Dublin, configured to carry 262 passengers, with 22 in business class and 240 in economy class.
In addition to its own services to Dublin, Etihad Airways offers services on its code share partner airline Aer Arann between Dublin and Cork, Galway and the Isle of Man.
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