Etihad Airways continues its expansion, increasing its global network to 110 destinations, with the most recent addition of Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam in the second half of 2015. The addition of these three cities brings the total number of new destinations announced by the airline for next year to nine.
The airline states that the fast-growing Caucasus region will be a major focus area of its fleet expansion strategy next year, with a new service to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, which will operate four times a week starting 1 October 2015. Service to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, will be three times a week starting 2 October 2015.
Etihad has announced that it will also begin daily service to Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, from 1 December 2015, which supports Etihad Airways’ continued expansion in Africa. This will be the airline’s 11th destination in the continent.
These new routes will be serviced by Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration, with a total of 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said of the airline’s expansion plans:
“As a fast growing international airline, our network is constantly being enhanced to better serve travellers, either by adding depth to existing markets or expanding into new markets. Seven new routes have already been introduced this year and three more will follow by the end of 2014, strengthening our operations in the United States, Europe, GCC, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia.
“The development of Etihad Airways’ network will be accelerated in 2015, supporting a long-term vision to position Abu Dhabi as a leading international travel hub, with extensive connections across the globe. We have announced nine new destinations so far for next year, including Baku, Tbilisi and Dar es Salaam, and we look forward to aligning operations and enhancing codeshare agreements with our strategic airline partners on these upcoming routes.”
The airline has previously announced that it will begin serving Phuket (Thailand) as well as San Francisco and Dallas in the US over the remainder of 2014. During the first half of 2015, the airline will also commence service to the European capitals of Madrid, Spain and Edinburgh, Scotland. It will also begin service to the historic state capital of Kolkata in India, and to Entebbe in Uganda.
Launch schedule of new Etihad Airways routes in 2015:
|Kolkata||15 February 2015||Daily|
|Madrid||29 March 2015||Daily|
|Entebbe||1 May 2015||Daily|
|Edinburgh||8 June 2015||Daily|
|Hong Kong||15 June 2015||4 per Week|
|Algiers||17 June 2015||3 per Week|
|Baku||1 October 2015||4 per Week|
|Tbilisi||2 October 2015||3 per Week|
|Dar es Salaam||1 December 2015||Daily|
The airline will also begin direct service to Brisbane, Australia from Abu Dhabi from June 2015, a route currently operated via Singapore Airlines. Etihad will serve this route with a three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which will feature the airlines’ new First Suite, Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat introduced earlier this year.
In addition to new cities, the airline has indicated it will continue to increase its frequencies on a number of existing routes next year to Europe, Middle East, Gulf region, Indian subcontinent, Africa and North America.
To support this growth, the airline continues to grow its fleet with 14 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2015: four Airbus A380s, three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and seven A320 family aircraft. Etihad currently has a total of 104 aircraft in its fleet, with over 200 new aircraft on firm order, plus options and purchase rights for 81 additional aircraft.