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Etihad Airways eyes USA for expansion

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Airline to launch third US route in 2013 to Washington DC

Etihad Airways wants to expand its network in the US, the airline’s president and CEO James Hogan says. The US is among the highest performing regions across the airline’s global network, with an average 81% load factor in 2012. Hogan says that more routes will be added in 2013.
On existing routes – New York and Chicago – a significant portion of premium bookings are for travel to and from Etihad’s Abu Dhabi base, with 72% of first-class passengers and 53% of business-class passengers starting or ending their journeys there. The airline will launch its third US route on 31 March 2013, with daily nonstop flights between Washington DC and Abu Dhabi, to be operated by a three-class Airbus A340-500 aircraft.
The UAE is the single largest export market for US goods in the Middle East. To date, Etihad Airways has flown nearly 1.5 million passengers to and from the US since commencing services to New York in 2006 and Chicago in 2009. But the airline is looking for transfer passengers too.
“The point-to-point market will be supplemented by strong traffic flows over Abu Dhabi onwards to destinations across Asia, particularly the Indian Subcontinent,” Hogan said.
The Wall Street Journal
[pictured: Noora Al Marri, Etihad Airways’ 1,000th Emirati member of staff, with husband Faisal Al Naqbi, an officer cadet; photo courtesy Etihad Airways]

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