Something of a battle royale will be taking place on the kangaroo route to Sydney this winter.
Yesterday we reported that Doha-based Qatar Airways had increased capacity by 44 per cent
and today we can reveal that Abu Dhabi’s Etihad is strengthening its position by adding an extra three weekly flights.
In truth however these extra flights (representing around 1,000 seats per week) are currently operated by Virgin Australia under a code-share arrangement.
But from February 2017 they will be taken over by Etihad who will be able to market them more effectively.
It also means less confusion for passengers who will now be flying Etihad right the way though to Sydney.
It also means that, for the first time, Etihad will be able to boast of a double-daily Abu Dhabi-Sydney service which, of course, connects (at Abu Dhabi) with a multitude of flights to/from the UK and mainland Europe.
The extra three flights for EY450/EY451 will be operated by one of Etihad’s three-class B777-300ERs configured for eight seats in first, 40 in business and 280 in economy class.
Flights EY454/EY455 will continue to be operated by one of Etihad’s three-class A380s.
Etihad’s CEO Peter Baumgartner said, “Australia is a critical part of our network, and we will continue to add capacity to meet the growing demand for business and leisure travel.”
Winter schedules (effective February 6) are:
EY450 Abu Dhabi-Sydney 09.25-06.15 (following day)
EY454 Abu Dhabi-Sydney 22.15-19.15 (following day)
EY451 Sydney-Abu Dhabi 16.20-23.55
EY455 Sydney-Abu Dhabi 21.50-05.40 (following day)