March 20, 2009
"The airline will expand its global flight network to 55 destinations as well grow its fleet to 52 aircraft in 2009," said James Hogan, the airlines Chief Executive Officer.
He added that "11 new passenger aircraft are set to join Etihad's fleet in 2009, which would enable it to launch services to Melbourne, Istanbul, Athens, Larnaca and Chicago, as well as increase frequencies on many existing routes across its network of international destinations".
Currently Etihad has a fleet of 44 narrow and wide-body aircraft which will rise to 52 by the end of 2009. The new additions consist of two Airbus A330-200s, one A330-300, two A340-600s, five A320-200s and one Boeing 777-300ER.The airline will fly to Melbourne on March 29 and the route will be flown by an Airbus A340-600, configured to carry 292 passengers and 15 tonnes of cargo. The addition of Melbourne, will joins Sydney and Brisbane, as its destination in Australia. Larnaca in Cyprus is slated to be open in June.
The introduction of flights in June to Istanbul, Athens and Larnaca, as well as increases in frequency to Brussels, Geneva, Milan and Moscow, means that Etihad will offer its customers a choice of 98 weekly flights into 14 European countries.
The first commercial flight operated by Etihad was in November 2003. The 6 years old airline operates 50 international destinations in 2008.
The Philippines and United Arab Emirates recently amended its Air Service Agreement in January to handle and accommodate increase traffic from both countries.