Currently Etihad (the only Middle East carrier flying to Canada) operates three flights a week to Toronto via Brussels. But from June 2 these services will move to a non-stop operation.
Flights will be operated by the latest Airbus A340-500 planes which feature fully flat bed seating in both first and business class.
Flight EY141 will operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday departing Abu Dhabi at 0205 and arriving in Toronto the same morning at 0840. Return flight EY140 leaves Toronto at 1020 the same to reach Abu Dhabi the next morning at 0745. Flight time is 14 hrs 35 mins west and 13hrs 25 mins eastbound.
Besides tapping the Gulf market these non-stop flights will also have connections to and from India. Flights linking India with Canada are limited to a daily service to Toronto with Air Canada from Delhi and a five times a week link (also from Delhi) with Air India. So passengers seeking other alternatives tend to take indirect routings via Europe.
Meanwhile Etihad has announced details of a promotional offer for its new Australian service starting next month (see Online News, Feb 1).
Travel agent Airline Network is offering business class companion fares for £2,219 return (per person for a minimum of two passengers) for London-Sydney flights. Bookings must be made by February 26, for travel between April 9 and April 30.
Report by Alex McWhirter