Etihad to commence limited passenger services from May 1
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Etihad to commence limited passenger services from May 1

Etihad to commence limited passenger services from May 1

The announcement is subject to the UAE government’s decision to lift passenger travel restrictions

Gulf Business

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways intends to operate a select network of scheduled passenger services from May 1 to June 30, with the aim to return to a fuller schedule, it announced on April 16.

This announcement is subject to the UAE government lifting its restrictions on passenger travel.

Meanwhile, Etihad is operating an increasing schedule of special passenger flights for outbound foreign nationals and to carry essential belly-hold cargo such as perishables, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies.

To date, the airline has also repatriated almost 600 UAE nationals on return services.

“While the intention is to assume a ‘business as usual’ approach to the restart of our operations, the aviation landscape has changed, and how it will look month by month is difficult to predict. This has necessitated a fundamental shift in focus for us. However, the cumulative gains achieved by our ongoing transformation, and the unwavering support of our shareholder, has left us in a relatively strong position to withstand any instability. We will pivot on this and act with agility to seize opportunities we may not have previously considered,” said Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group.

“We are implementing a series of network-wide route and fleet efficiencies, while conducting an extensive brand study and trialing new service concepts in our guest experience proposition. We are also using this time to drive further internal improvements in the efficient use of automation and technology across all areas of the business, while maintaining productivity, creativity and quality.”

Network and fleet
Etihad is engaging 22 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 777-300ER passenger aircraft, with five more ready for service, to complement its operational fleet of five 777-200F freighters to extent scheduled and special passenger and belly-hold cargo services to several destinations.

Starting March 25, approximately 500 special passenger, freighter and cargo flights have been operated destinations including Amsterdam, Bogota, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Jakarta, London Heathrow, Manila, Melbourne, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Seoul Incheon, Singapore, Tokyo Narita, Washington, DC, and Zurich, with other destinations planned.

Etihad has revised the launch date of its inaugural flight to Vienna from May 22 to July 1.

Etihad Cargo is now operating up to 100 turnaround flights per week to 32 destinations on five continents.

In addition to normal scheduled cargo services, special freighter and humanitarian flights have been flown to Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Beijing, Bogota, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Chennai, Cochin, Dublin, Frankfurt, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Karachi, Khartoum, Kiev, Milan, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tbilisi, Wuhan, and Zagreb, with more expected in the coming weeks.

Etihad has also launched travel waivers, solutions and benefits for customers to help ease the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Customers who booked directly with the airline before August 31 have greater flexibility to change their bookings or to utilise Etihad Credit where possible. The credit will provide each customer with the value of their current unused ticket and up to $400, plus up to 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles, for future travel.

Additionally, for tickets purchased directly from Etihad within Europe or the United States, a refund is also available if requested.


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