The Scottish capital will almost certainly be dropped from the Etihad network in a few months’ time.
According to The Scotsman an announcement is expected in the near future regarding the future of the Edinburgh route which may not last beyond October.
According to the carrier’s website there are still flights shown for travel well into November. But this situation could change as soon as an official announcement is made.
October would be a logical time to discontinue the route. The peak month of August (when the famous Festival takes place) will be long past and there will still be time to advise travellers booked for the Christmas/New Year season of the changes.
When Business Traveller contacted Etihad for comment a spokesperson said, “Etihad continues to review its network and make a select number of adjustments which will be announced at the appropriate time.”
Former CEO James Hogan announced the Edinburgh route barely four years ago. Flights started in 2015.
At the time there was jubilation in the Scottish capital. It meant that both business and leisure travellers could access the world through Abu Dhabi rather than through a European hub.
However as we have previously reported Etihad has made some poor business decisions (two examples being the investments in Air Berlin and Italy’s Alitalia) in recent years and these have led to many millions of losses.
As a result the Gulf airline has been forced to make economies across the board.
If Etihad quits Edinburgh it will leave the Scottish capital with a single Gulf airline, namely Qatar Airways.
What about Emirates you might ask ?
Emirates is committed to Glasgow and, in any case Edinburgh would not be able to handle its large aircraft.
Glasgow can handle the B777-300ER and, with some improvements, it could also handle the A380.
Emirates has already operated the A380 into Glasgow to test the airport’s infrastructure.
However things could change. Emirates has ordered no fewer than 40 B787s, an aircraft which Edinburgh would be able to handle, although these will not be delivered until 2022.