Etihad to launch daily flights to Istanbul
Abu Dhabi, September 29, 2012
UAE national airline Etihad Airways has announced plans to launch daily flights from its hub in Abu Dhabi to Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, starting from January 1.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline had started its Istanbul operations with four non-stop flights a week in June 2009, later increasing to five services per week the same year.
To date, Etihad Airways has flown more than 200,000 guests on the route, said a top official.
"The daily service will support traffic growth between Abu Dhabi and Turkey and connecting traffic to onward destinations across the GCC, Indian Subcontinent, North Asia and Australia," remarked James Hogan, Etihad Airways president & CEO.
He said the move to daily services was motivated by strong performance and the potential for further growth.
“Since launching, we have observed a high point-to-point traffic flow between Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, accounting for the largest share of travellers on the route. This is indicative of the thriving trade and commercial relationship between these two countries, as well as world-class tourism programs," he noted.
"A significant number of passengers on the route travel between Turkey and Northeast Asia and Australasia. Further supporting this traffic is Etihad Airways’ ongoing growth in Asia," said Hogan.
"Tokyo, for example, will increase from five services per week to daily in April 2013 and we also commenced Shanghai and Chengdu services in the last year, enhancing connections to China," he stated.
The daily flights to Istanbul will be operated by a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft, configured with 16 Pearl Business class and 120 Coral Economy class seats.
Flight EY097 will take off from Abu Dhabi airport at 9.40am and land in Istanbul at 12.50pm. On return, flight EY096 will leave Istanbul airport at 2.05pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 8.25pm.
“We continue to look at ways to enhance our codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines in order to develop our presence in Turkey. By putting our EY-code on their four times weekly flights to Abu Dhabi, in addition to their TK-coding on our flights on the route, we bring strong feeds onto our network and theirs, generating significant revenue for the Istanbul-Abu Dhabi route,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service