Etihad Airways’ inaugural flight to San Francisco took off from Abu Dhabi International Airport this morning.
The carrier is operating a three-class B777-300ER leased from Jet Airways, with 30 seats in business class and 308 in economy. At 16 hours and 15 minutes, it is one of the world’s longest routes.
Outbound flight EY183 departs Abu Dhabi at 0215 and arrives in San Francisco at 0630, and the return service takes off from San Francisco at 0830 and lands in Abu Dhabi 1240 the next day.
The US west coast city becomes Etihad’s fifth US destination. The airline currently flies double-daily to New York and daily to Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, DC. It will launch three-times weekly services to Dallas in December.
James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, said the US has been placed at the heart of its network development this year and San Francisco provides its first direct link to northern California.
Although the aircraft is operated on a lease agreement with Jet, the flights are operated by Etihad and its crew.