Etihad Airways will start daily non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles from June 1, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Californian city will be Etihad’s fourth US destination, joining Chicago, New York and Washington D.C, and will see the airline provide 28 return flights each week between the UAE and US.
Etihad will operate a three-class B777-200LR on the route with eight Diamond first class suites, 40 Pearl business Class flatbed seats, and 189 Coral economy class seats.
The new operation will strengthen Etihad’s reach into the US. American Airlines places its AA code on all Etihad Airways flights between the US and UAE and this will also take place on the new Los Angeles service – although American Airlines has also forged close links with Qatar Airways, with AAdvantage and Privilege Club loyalty members able to earn and redeem miles on both airlines.
The announcement was made by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, in Los Angeles yesterday.
Etihad will be eyeing business and leisure traffic into Los Angeles and hope to secure Middle East and Subcontinent transfer traffic via Abu Dhabi – although attracting Asian passengers may be a tougher proposition given the west coast city’s Asian gateway status. The Abu Dhabi carrier will compete with Emirates, which is set to deploy an A380 on the route from December.