Etihad to up Manchester capacity

18 Feb 2010 by Mark Caswell

Etihad is to increase capacity on its Manchester-Abu Dhabi route by replacing its A330-200s with B777-300 aircraft. Capacity will be further increased as the carrier looks set to go to a ten-across economy layout on the 777s.

Etihad’s chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner says that the airline’s services to Manchester “have been performing very strongly, with load factors of close to 80 per cent in 2009”, leading to the decision to increase capacity by around 60 percent by replacing its two-class A330-200s with larger B777-300 aircraft.

The switch will take place in June, and will see an additional 2,100 seats per week added to the carrier’s daily flights from Manchester. Etihad will continue to offer a two-class service on the route, but will see capacity increased in both the economy and business cabins.

Business class capacity will increase from 22 to 28 seats, but the increase in economy seating will be particularly acute. Not only is the economy cabin on the 777-300 siginificantly larger than on the A330-200, but Etihad looks set to increase capacity further by going to a ten across layout, something we reported late last year (see online news November 17, 2009).

The carrier has yet to officially confirm that the 777 aircraft serving the Manchester route will have ten across seating, but it is known that the number of seats in the economy cabin will be 384, compared to the current 350 (click here for the current 777 seatplans as per Etihad’s website), suggesting that the these aircraft will feature the denser seating layout favoured by rivals Emirates.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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