Etihad Airways has announced it will be expanding its summer services to Alexandria in Egypt and Salalah in Oman next year. Both routes will be served by the Airbus A320.
UAE-based Etihad Airways will be extending its 2020 summer service period for flights to Alexandria and Salalah by an additional three weeks. The airline announced the extension in a press release published on Christmas Eve.
The summer period for both routes will now run from June 25th to September 15th. Both routes will also now get a fifth weekly flight on Fridays. Etihad says the additional services have been added after both routes proved popular with customers last summer.
When will the flights run?
Etihad has already released the full schedule for the Alexandria and Oman flights, so you can start planning ahead if they interest you. The Abu Dhabi to Alexandria route departs at 13:55 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the June 25th to September 15th period.
The return leg of the journey leaves at 16:35 on the same days. Strangely, the Alexandria to Abu Dhabi flight has a listed flight time of 5 hours 50 minutes, which suggests it probably has a stopover in another destination.
The Abu Dhabi to Salalah route leaves Abu Dhabi on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with a flight time of just 1 hour 45 minutes. On the way back from Oman, flight EY 391 leaves at 10:55, also on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
With the addition of these extra flights, Etihad says it will now be operating 33 flights per week to Egypt during the summer period, as well as 26 to Oman.
Etihad’s current situation
Although Etihad’s summer routes to Egypt and Oman are clearly proving popular with its customers, the airline has reportedly been struggling in other areas. Over the past few years, Etihad has posted a series of big losses. In 2016 the airline lost $1.87 billion, in 2017 it lost $1.52 billion and in 2018 it lost $1.28 billion.
As a result of these significant losses, Etihad started a five-year turnaround plan in 2017, aimed at turning the airline into a sustainable business. The plan has involved a number of changes, including capacity cuts, a fleet downsize and also substituting the airline’s massive Airbus A380s for smaller aircraft.
But, even though the airline has been working on its plan to return to profitability since 2017, real results are still not expected for a few more years. Back in October Eithad’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Kamark, revealed that he did not expect the airline to return to profitability until 2023.
In the meantime, Etihad will continue to scale back on the lavish spending which characterized its first few years in operation. The airline has already reduced its order for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner by a total of 20 aircraft. Similar moves could be on the horizon depending on how strict the five-year turnaround plan is.