Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is boosting its services to Morocco and Egypt through the introduction of a Boeing 787 on its Casablanca route and an expanded codeshare deal with EgyptAir.
The carrier said its three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner would be introduced on a daily service from Abu Dhabi to the Moroccan city of Casablanca from May 1.
The aircraft offers eight first class, 28 business class and 199 economy class seats and will operate new revised schedule that maintains the previous early morning arrival but changes the mid-morning return time to cater to connecting passengers.
Etihad is also operating a third weekly flight to Rabat on Saturdays until May 12 and then from June 30 to September 29 to meet summer demand using a three-class A330-300.
Meanwhile, the carrier has also announced an expansion of its previous codeshare deal with EgyptAir to cover more destinations in Africa, North Asia and Australia.
The initial phase began in March 2017 and saw the two airlines place each other’s codes on flights between Abu Dhabi and Cairo.
A second phase will now see Etihad place its EY code on EgyptAir flights from Cairo to Ndjamena in Chad, Nairobi in Kenya, Khartoum in Sudan, Entebbe in Uganda, Johannesburg in South Africa and, subject to government approvals, flights to Nigeria, Eritrea and Tanzania.
In return EgyptAir will place its MS code on flights from Abu Dhabi to Seoul, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and, subject to government approvals, flights to China.
Etihad introduced a fifth daily flight to Cairo in October. EgyptAir flies up to three times a day between Abu Dhabi and Cairo.
“The forging of closer codeshare ties between our two airlines means unprecedented access to many new gateways for Etihad’s customers while bolstering our services to markets we already serve, such as Kenya and Tanzania, by connecting easily through Cairo onto EgyptAir’s African network,” said Etihad Airways CEO Peter Baumgartner.
Etihad confirmed last week it would be suspending flights to Edinburgh, UK and Perth, Australia as part of a wider review designed to improve profitability after it posted a $1.87bn loss in 2016.