Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today announced the launch of direct flights to Los Angeles. The expansion of its U.S. operation will see the airline commence nonstop daily flights between its Abu Dhabi home-base (AUH) and Los Angeles (LAX) from June 1, 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.
Los Angeles will become Etihad Airways’ fourth U.S. destination, joining Chicago, New York and Washington D.C, and will see the airline provide 28 return flights each week between the UAE and the United States.
The announcement was made by James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer in Los Angeles. Hogan said, “We are delighted to add Los Angeles, a major U.S. and global destination with a significant metropolitan population and growing economy, to the Etihad Airways network in 2014. This expansion will see Etihad Airways offer air travelers daily flights, from our Abu Dhabi hub, to four destinations across the U.S.”
“We are thrilled Etihad Airways chose LAX, gateway to the world, for this new, historic service,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, Los Angeles World Airports executive director. “Etihad joins an impressive list of international air carriers that are now able to offer passengers an improved and exceptional level of customer service with the opening of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal.”
The new air service will increase Etihad Airways’ operations in the U.S. market by 33 percent and will cater to growing leisure and business traffic demands in Los Angeles, as well as the city’s considerable catchment area.
Los Angeles, one of the world’s most iconic, popular, and multicultural destinations with a metropolitan population area of more than 18 million people, is the second largest in the U.S. It is classified as a “global city’ with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research.
Hogan added, “The expansion of the U.S. network also will be of considerable benefit to the growing commercial and cultural ties between the U.S. and UAE, with trade between the two countries set to increase beyond the current annual level of US $22.5 billion.*
“The new service will also offer maximum connectivity, via Abu Dhabi, with 25 Etihad Airways destinations across the Middle East region and Indian Subcontinent, 12 of which are in India, catering to the demand from Los Angeles’ diverse and multicultural population.”
Etihad Airways, four times voted World’s Leading Airline,** will deploy a three-cabin, ultra-long range Boeing 777-200LR on the Los Angeles route. The aircraft will be configured to carry 237 guests, with eight Diamond First Class suites, 40 Pearl Business Class flatbed seats, and 189 Coral Economy Class seats.
Flight EY171 will depart daily from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 8:45 a.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 2:15 p.m. the same day. The return flight, EY170, will the depart Los Angeles at 4:15 p.m. and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 7:35 p.m. the following day.
Etihad Airways’ superior levels of service, hospitality and product have been popular with U.S. air travelers since it launched flights to its first U.S. destination, New York, in 2006.
The airline has carried nearly two million passengers between Abu Dhabi and its destinations in the U.S. in the last seven years, with 2013 passenger volumes expected to increase by 30 percent over passengers carried in 2012.
The airline’s Diamond First Class has its own in-flight chef; Pearl Business Class offers a specially trained food-and-beverage manager; and families across all three cabins enjoy the benefits of the recently introduced Flying Nanny.
Etihad Airways and American Airlines have had an extensive code-share agreement in place since September 2009. Etihad Airways places its EY code on American flights through ts current gateways at Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. to more than 70 U.S. cities.
The new operation to Los Angeles will further strengthen the reach and depth in the U.S. American places its AA code on all Etihad Airways flights between the U.S. and UAE, and this will also occur on the new Los Angeles service.