Etihad Airways will increase its services between Abu Dhabi and Moscow to double daily from June 1 and triple daily from October 1.
The Gulf carrier currently operates seven flights per week to the Russian capital’s Domodedovo airport, a route it launched in 2008 (see news, August 2008).
The additional services will open up more connections to destinations including Bahrain, Bangkok, Doha, Johannesburg, Perth and Singapore.
Etihad plans to deploy a two-cabin A320 aircraft on the triple daily service, meaning 5,712 seats a week — 672 in Pearl Business class, and 5,040 in Coral Economy.
In 2013, passenger volumes on the route rose 36 per cent compared to the previous year, achieving double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive year, the airline said.
James Hogan, Etihad’s president and CEO, said: “The UAE is home to almost 25,000 Russians and 400 Russia-UAE joint venture companies, and as a result, the business and cultural ties between the two countries have never been stronger.
“With flights three times per day, Etihad Airways provides more convenient services to Abu Dhabi, the UAE and across our global network.
“Etihad Airways will offer 31 per cent of the weekly frequencies between the UAE and Moscow, providing more direct flights than any other carrier.”
The flight schedule will also boost onward codeshare connectivity with S7 Airlines beyond the Russian capital to the cities of Kazan, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg and Samara.