Etihad Airways will add Brisbane to its growing Australia portfolio at the end of September. The carrier will begin three-times weekly flights via Singapore to Queensland's capital on September 28, using a two-class A330-200.
Etihad and other gulf carriers have been granted permission to increase flights to Australia following a treaty signed earlier this year (see online news March 29), and the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has already taken advantage by launching flights to Sydney this spring. Now the airline has added Australia's third-largest city, a destination already served by rivals Emirates and Asian carrier Singapore Airlines.
Timings have yet to be officially announced, but a quick look at the airline's website show the flights have been loaded into the system (although prices are not yet available). Flight EY470 will depart on Friday, Sunday and Wednesday at 1005, arriving in Brisbane at 0820 the next day, with return leg EY473 leaving at 1325 and arriving in Abu Dhabi at 2359. The carrier's A330-200 will be configured to carry 262 passengers, with 22 in business class and 240 in economy.
The announcement is unlikely to be Etihad's last foray into Australia, as the carrier has been granted 21 extra flights per week between now and 2010 – place your bets on the airline joining Emirates (and Qatar later this year) in flying to Melbourne before too long.
Report by Mark Caswell