Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced plans to introduce three more destinations to its core international network in 2014.
Continuing the prodigious growth of its first decade, the airline will commence daily services to Rome (Italy) and Jaipur (India), together with four flights per week to Yerevan (Armenia).
The new routes will join a previously announced daily service to Los Angeles and three flights per week to Dallas (United States), plus daily services to Zurich (Switzerland), Perth (Australia) and Medina (Saudi Arabia), all of which are scheduled to commence in 2014.
The eight new routes will increase Etihad Airways’ worldwide network to 102 destinations next year.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “This is part of a measured and strategic growth plan, which will reinforce the future of the national carrier of the UAE and the vital role it plays in the emergence of Abu Dhabi as a global aviation hub.
“Together with our code-share and equity alliance partners, we have created a virtual network of more than 375 destinations. This collaborative model gives us scale and enhanced global market access in constrained regions. But more importantly, it strengthens our customer proposition by offering more choice and better connections across our hub in Abu Dhabi.”
Etihad Airways’ equity alliance airlines presently include airberlin, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Darwin Airline (subject to regulatory approval), Jet Airways and Virgin Australia.
The 2014 network plan also makes provision for increases in frequency and connectivity on existing routes, with more than 20 per cent growth expected in weekly departures.
To support the next phase of its global network expansion, Etihad Airways will receive 20 aircraft deliveries next year, including the much-awaited arrival of its first 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A380s.
The airline will also receive five Boeing 777-200LRs, one Boeing 777-300ER, three Airbus A320s, three Airbus A321s, four Airbus A330-200s and one Airbus A330 Freighter in 2014.
In total, Etihad Airways has over 220 narrow-body and wide-body aircraft on firm order, plus options and purchase rights for a further 81 aircraft. This includes recent orders for 117 Airbus and 82 Boeing aircraft with a combined list price value of US$ 67 billion, as announced at the Dubai Air Show last month.
Mr Hogan added: “With ambitious plans to further accelerate our industry-leading growth in the future, the long-term expansion of our fleet is essential. Our future deliveries will allow us to progressively replace existing, less-efficient aircraft, add capacity in existing markets, and launch flights to more destinations, with over 30 new international routes planned by 2020.”
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