Etihad Airways is to suspend flights between Abu Dhabi and Dallas Fort Worth next year, citing American Airlines’ recent decision to end codeshare agreements with the Gulf carrier.
The route will cease operations on March 25, 2018, the same day that the codeshare deal terminates, at which point the Etihad said that the route “will become commercially unsustainable”.
The airline said it had invested heavily in the route since its launch in December 2014, upgrading the service to daily in February this year. It added that over 235,000 travellers have flown on the route, but that almost half of these connect onto US codeshare flights operated by AA.
In a statement Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways CEO, said:
“The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth.
“We are open to American Airlines reversing its decision to cancel our codeshare agreement so that Etihad Airways can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines.”
Etihad recently dropped flights between Abu Dhabi and San Francisco, and Baumgartner said that “The cancellation of the Dallas route is one of several adjustments that we are making to our US network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability”.
“Further changes are possible as we monitor the full impact of the American Airlines codeshare cancellation on summer 2018 bookings,” he added.
Etihad currently operates 42 nonstop flights per week to the five US gateways of Chicago, Dallas, LA, New York and Washington.
In July the carrier announced net losses of nearly $1.9 billion for 2016, as fuel hedging losses and financial exposure to bankrupt equity partners Alitalia and Air Berlin hit the airline.