All Etihad Airways passengers flying from Abu Dhabi to the United States will from Thursday benefit from US immigration pre-clearance.
From January 15, pre-clearance will be granted to travellers on the early morning EY103 to New York JFK and EY183 to San Francisco flights.
Currently, pre-clearance is available on mid-morning Etihad flights to Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK, and Washington DC.
This week’s extension means all US-bound Etihad flights departing Abu Dhabi will have US immigration pre-clearance.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ CCO, said: “We’re delighted that from this Thursday all air travellers flying to the United States from Abu Dhabi will enjoy the benefits that US customs and immigration preclearance offers.
“Since its opening in January last year, the US preclearance has been extremely popular with air travellers, particularly those from the Indian subcontinent and Middle East region. More than 325,000 people have passed through the facility, arriving in the United States as domestic passengers.”
The pre-clearance process provides passengers with the opportunity to pass through all required checks including US customs, immigration and security conveniently while in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight to the US, enabling them to avoid queues on arrival.
At the end of last month, US Customs and Border Protection agreed a reciprocal arrangement between its US Global Entry programme and Germany’s Easy Pass, allowing expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers (see news, December 30).