James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “No other UAE carrier is offering nonstop services between D.C. and the UAE, so this capital-to-capital link is a huge opportunity for Etihad Airways.” The new service will further strengthen the political and economic ties between the National Capital Region and the UAE. In addition to strong economic ties between the US and UAE, the two countries also have significant mutual investment in educational, technological and cultural sectors.
Mr Hogan added: “The point-to-point traffic between D.C. andAbu Dhabiis expected to contribute significantly to overall loads on the route. The schedule also allows maximum connectivity to key markets likePakistan. Demand for premium cabins from the market is significantly higher than from other potential US destinations, so we forecast that our award-winning Diamond First class and Pearl Business class will be very popular.
John E. Potter, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We congratulate Etihad Airways on this announcement. We are looking forward to welcoming them to our region, and we thank them for recognizing Washington Dulles International Airport as an integral part of the global aviation system.”
The direct flights will be operated by a three class A340-500 aircraft. Each flight will offer 12 Diamond First class, 28 Pearl Business class and 200 Coral Economy seats, for a total 3,360 seats per week which will seamlessly connect onwards to and from Pakistan. Etihad currently operates 23 weekly flights to Abu Dhabi, with daily flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and twice weekly from Peshawar.