Etihad 'to launch' direct route to LAX

8 Oct 2013 by GrahamSmith

Etihad Airways is planning to launch direct flights to Los Angeles next year.

The United Arab Emirates carrier will begin non-stop daily services between its Abu Dhabi base and LAX from June 1, subject to regulatory approval.

The Californian city will be Etihad's fourth US destination - after Chicago, New York and Washington, DC - and will bring its total number of US-bound return flights to 28.

Etihad will deploy a three cabin Boeing 777-200LR on the Los Angeles route. It will be configured to carry 237 passengers, with eight Diamond first class suites, 40 Pearl business flatbed seats, and 189 Coral economy seats.

Flight EY171 will depart daily from Abu Dhabi at 0845 and arrive in Los Angeles at 1415 the same day. The return flight, EY170, will the depart LAX at 1615 and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 1935 the following day.

James Hogan, Etihad’s president and CEO, said: "We are delighted to add Los Angeles to the Etihad Airways network in 2014. This expansion will see Etihad Airways offer air travellers daily flights, from our Abu Dhabi hub, to four destinations across the US."

He added: "The new service will also offer maximum connectivity, via Abu Dhabi, with 25 Etihad Airways destinations across the Middle East region and Indian subcontinent, 12 of which are in India, catering for the demand from Los Angeles' diverse and multicultural population."

EDIT: added with further information.

The aircraft being used on this route have been purchased from Air India. Etihad announced that five B777-200 LRs, the longest range passenger aircraft in operation will, subject to approvals, be delivered to Etihad Airways from the beginning of 2014 and will be re-fitted in a three class cabin configuration consistent with similar aircraft in the Etihad Airways fleet. It is expected the first aircraft will enter service in April 2014.

The B777-200 LR, of which less than 60 were manufactured, has a design range of 17,370 km, allowing it to connect almost any city in the world from Etihad Airways’ hub at Abu Dhabi.

The five Air India B777-200LR aircraft, which Etihad Airways is purchasing are, on average, six years old, helping the airline to maintain its overall position of having one of the most modern fleets in the industry.

Etihad Airways’ current fleet will reach 87 aircraft by year end, with 14 new deliveries from aircraft manufacturers during 2013.

Last month, Etihad unveiled plans to more than triple the number of seats on its Mumbai and New Delhi routes from November (see news, September 23).

Graham Smith

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