Etihad Airways today announced the introduction of an additional daily year-round service between Abu Dhabi and Dublin which increases frequency on the route to 14 flights a week, effective 1 April 2017.
The second daily operation, from the beginning of the Summer 2017 season, reflects Etihad Airways’ long-term commitment to the route, and coincides with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s 10th anniversary of flying to the Irish capital.
Operating with a two-class Airbus A330-200 offering 22 Business and 240 Economy Class seats, the extra daily service will give guests more travel options at convenient timings, and greater connectivity to key markets across the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia.
Business and leisure travellers will be able to enjoy double daily connections via Abu Dhabi to several key destinations, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila, and daily connections to markets such as Brisbane, Perth, Beijing, Tokyo and Phuket.
The extra capacity will provide a boost to tourism in Ireland, with visitors from around the world benefitting from a greater choice of flights for a short or long break in a country known for its warmth and hospitality. More frequencies will also double cargo capacity each week to facilitate greater movement of international freight to and from Dublin.
Kevin Knight, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “We are delighted to announce the Dublin frequencies moving from a seasonal double daily to twice-daily year-round service. This is a commitment to the Irish market and demonstrates our confidence to dedicate capacity throughout the year on a route that has enjoyed tremendous support from travel partners. It also reflects our strategy to offer more flexibility, greater convenience and increased choice.”
As a result of improved infrastructure at Dublin Airport, Etihad Airways will switch its existing Dublin flights from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, starting 24 January 2017. The move follows extensive investment in passenger and retail facilities in the terminal by airport operator DAA.
Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport Managing Director, said: “Since Etihad Airways launched the route in 2007, Dublin has been a hugely popular destination in its network, and the return to a double daily service will be welcomed by both business and leisure travellers. It is good news for Irish tourism and also for those travelling to Abu Dhabi and beyond with Etihad’s excellent connectivity to the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
“We have been improving the departures and arrivals areas in T1 and have also recently enhanced the boarding gate facilities and the retail experience. We look forward to welcoming Etihad to its new Dublin home from early next year.”
Beatrice Cosgrove, Etihad Airways General Manager Ireland, added: “With our enhanced schedules from next April, we will be able to provide excellent new connections for travellers from Ireland to many more destinations in our network via Abu Dhabi. The expansion comes as we celebrate 10 years of flying on the route and welcome more guests to enjoy our fine hospitality and service.”
Etihad Airways recently hosted a delegation of officials from Tourism Ireland led by CEO Niall Gibbons as part of a travel trade incentive roadshow for UAE agents to promote holidays to Ireland. Tourism Ireland estimates 65,000 visitors travelled from the UAE to Ireland in 2015, representing an 18 per cent growth over the previous year.