Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights

Etihad Airways announced that it is expanding its offerings of repatriation flights. Starting the week of April 12th, Etihad will introduce flights onboard Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft to five new cities around the world to help bring passengers home.

Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights
Etihad Airways is launching additional repatriation flights using 787s and 777s. Photo: Etihad Airways

Additional repatriation flights

Already, Etihad is operating repatriation flights for foreign citizens in the UAE to Seoul, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. In a post on LinkedIn, Head of Strategic Communications at Etihad, Tony Harrington, announced that the airline is adding five new cities to that list:

  1. Tokyo
  2. Dublin
  3. London
  4. Brussels
  5. Zurich

That brings the total number of repatriation destinations to 11 with flights departing Abu Dhabi. Combined with the initial destinations, here is the map of Etihad’s repatriation flights for the week of April 12th.

Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights
Etihad’s operations for passenger repatriation starting the week of April 12th. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

These flights are on sale and bookable at the airline’s website. Not every city will be served daily. The aircraft type varies by destination, however, the Boeing 777 and 787 are operating a majority of these routes.

Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights
Some flights will be operated with 777 aircraft. Photo: Transport Pixels via Flickr

Additional cargo flights

In addition to its existing cargo operations, Etihad announced that it is also marshaling some passenger planes to transport essential goods. Etihad Cargo will operate services to Melbourne, Chennai, Kerala, Karachi, Amsterdam, Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Riyadh using both its Boeing 777 freighters and 787 passenger jets. In total, there will be 90 roundtrip flights per week to 29 destinations.

Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights
Etihad has a fleet of dedicated Boeing 777 freighter aircraft. Photo: Oliver Holzbauer via Flickr

Some of the cargo onboard these planes include the imports of food to the UAE such as meat, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables. And, the aircraft are also transporting essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to assist in the nation’s healthcare efforts.

Moreover, the airline has also been contracted for special charters to carry medical supplies from China and Hong Kong to countries such as Serbia, Greece, Chad, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Italy.

Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights
Etihad will use some passenger 787s to assist in the transportation of cargo. Photo: Etihad Airways

The benefits for Etihad

Etihad Airways has spent the last few years dealing with financial losses after periods of major expansion and failed investments that drained the airline’s cash. This led to a number of cost-cutting initiatives and a reduction in aircraft orders. But now Etihad faces an unprecedented challenge. With most of its schedules cut, these repatriation and cargo flights are bringing just a little bit of relief and cash to Etihad.

Etihad Further Expands Repatriation Flights
These repatriation flights and cargo charters are bringing some much-needed revenue to the carrier. Photo: Tomi Fülesi via Flickr

These repatriation flights also give Etihad a chance to shine as the national carrier as fellow UAE airline, Emirates, reduces flights to two destinations this week.

What do you think about Etihad’s additional repatriation flights? Will these flights help you get home? Let us know in the comments!