Mancunians will get to sample Etihad’s new B787-9 Dreamliner when they fly to Abu Dhabi and beyond effective November 1.
Etihad tells Business Traveller the idea is that travellers taking the Abu Dhabi to Manchester route will get to sample the carrier’s latest product on one of its twice daily flights (the other service being operated by B777-300ER equipment).
On the other hand replacing the two-class B777-300ER with the newer two-class B787-9 represents a 10 per cent capacity reduction.
And as we know Etihad is cutting back in all areas in a bid to reduce losses.
Another reason is likely to be the arrival of India’s Jet Airways (24 per cent owned by Etihad) which intends to operate Manchester to Mumbai from November.
India represents an important market for Etihad (most of whose passengers are connecting through Abu Dhabi) and Jet Airways is expected to capture a slice of Etihad’s business.
Although Jet Airways will be plying Manchester-Mumbai there will be dozens of domestic connections available (at Mumbai) for towns and cities throughout India.
Yet another reason is the fact that Gulf rival Qatar Airways will shortly be adding more Manchester-Doha services which will impact Etihad’s transfer market beyond AbuDhabi.
Etihad’s B787-9 will operate the following flights from November 1:
- EY015 Abu Dhabi-Manchester (departing 0255, arriving 0640)
- EY016 Manchester-Abu Dhabi (departing 0810, arriving 1900)