As it looks to ramp up operations in the wake of the aviation crisis that saw flights in and out of the UAE halted, Etihad has today announced a wealth of connecting flights. From next week passengers will be able to connect between 20 destinations via Abu Dhabi.
A large part of the big Middle East 3 airlines’ business model is connecting passenger traffic. However, while Qatar Airways has kept vital routes open for the duration of the crisis, both Etihad and Emirates were forced to halt their networks when the UAE government brought in a travel ban. Now that restrictions are starting to be lifted, things are starting to get moving again.
20 cities connected
As part of its resumption of services, Etihad Airways is today launching a network of connecting flights between 20 cities. Via connections in Abu Dhabi, Etihad passengers will be able to travel between 11 cities in Europe, and nine cities in Asia and Australia. Etihad’s network of connecting flights will be effective from June 10th.
Some connections, such as Jakarta to Amsterdam, will operate as little as once a week, while links from Seoul to Milan, Paris, Frankfurt, and London will run daily. The flights will complement the previous connecting service launched by Etihad between London Heathrow and Melbourne.
It’s also important to note that due to the difference in flight times. The connecting flight schedule from Europe to Asia and Australia does not match that of Australia and Asia to Europe. For example, a weekly connection applies to flights from Tokyo to Amsterdam, but flights in the other direction are not possible.
All of Etihad’s previously announced health measures will still apply to these connecting flights. Etihad is now selling tickets for the flights.
Middle East carriers resuming service
The large Middle Eastern carriers, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar, are all slowly ramping up their services following the crisis that brought the aviation industry to its knees.
It seems that Qatar is in the lead. The airline recently announced that it was now the world’s largest carrier. Previously it had stated intentions to operate flights to around 50 destinations by the end of May, and approximately 80 by the end of June. However, out of the three airlines, Qatar is the only one that didn’t suspend operations. At the worst point of the crisis, the airline was still serving some 30 destinations.
We’ve seen Etihad’s resumption of service above, which just leaves Emirates. Emirates seems to be cautiously reopening its network, slightly behind its rivals. While the airline is currently operating connecting flights between London and Australia, its non-connecting network serves just nine destinations to and from Dubai. By contrast, Etihad is serving over 20 destinations for one-way trips to and from Abu Dhabi.
Will you look to travel on one of Etihad’s new connecting routes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.