Etihad Airways is planning to launch non-stop
daily flights to Washington, D.C., the airline’s fourth
destination in North America, from 31 March 2013, subject to
The Washington region is home to America’s
second largest market flying to the Middle East, after New York.
Etihad Airways’ new service will link D.C. with Abu Dhabi, a
vibrant and growing hub for business, culture and tourism.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief
Executive Officer, said, “No other UAE carrier is offering nonstop
services between D.C. and the UAE, so this capital-to-capital link
is a huge opportunity for Etihad Airways.”
service will further strengthen the already strong political and
economic ties between the National Capital Region and the UAE.
Last week, the US Department of Commerce released data showing
that total trade volume between the US and the UAE rose to $18.3
billion in 2011, a 43% increase from the year before.
This increase represents the highest trade volume to
date between the US and UAE. It also means that, for the third
consecutive year, the UAE is the single largest export market for
US goods in the Middle East. The US is the fifth largest trade
partner worldwide for the UAE.
point-to-point traffic between D.C. and Abu Dhabi is expected to
contribute significantly to overall loads on the route. The
schedule also allows maximum connectivity to key markets in the
GCC, Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia,” said Mr Hogan. “The
Washington, D.C. metropolitan area ranks as one of the
strongest-performing economies in the country. Demand for premium cabins from the market is significantly higher than from other
potential US destinations, so we forecast that our award-winning Diamond First class and Pearl Business class will be very popular. A large and fast-growing population in the D.C. metro
area, coupled with increasing ties to the UAE, means that the
demand for travel across all cabins will only increase.”
In addition to strong economic ties between the US and
UAE, the two countries also have significant mutual investment in educational, technological and cultural sectors.
In the Washington region alone, there are a number of
organizations that have a strong business presence in the UAE, or
deep relationships with UAE institutions. Among those companies
are the Carlyle Group, Hilton International, Lockheed Martin and Children’s National Medical Center. Respected local think tanks
and policy organizations, such as the Brookings Institution and
the US Institute of Peace, are also working closely with their
counterparts in the UAE.
The Cleveland Clinic Abu
Dhabi is expected to open later this year. New York University,
which opened its downtown Abu Dhabi location in 2009, will expand
its presence to include permanent campus facilities on Saadiyat
Island in 2014. The Guggenheim is also scheduled to open its
much-anticipated Abu Dhabi museum in 2017.
The direct flights will be operated by a
three class A340-500 aircraft. Each flight will offer 12 Diamond
First class, 28 Pearl Business class and 200 Coral Economy seats,
for a total 3,360 seats per week.
Etihad Cargo will
offer cargo capacity on services to D.C., with an anticipated load
of 140 tonnes per week.
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