Etihad Airways to Increase Capacity to Manchester

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 19 February 2010

Etihad Airways is to increase capacity by close to 60% on its Abu Dhabi - Manchester services from June 2010, upgrading its current two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft to a two-class Boeing 777-300.

Etihad currently operates seven return services per week between Manchester and Abu Dhabi, with onward connections to Etihads expanding global network, including popular destinations Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok, Cape Town and Islamabad. The capacity increase will mean an additional 2,100 seats per week on the route.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihads chief commercial officer, said, Our services to Manchester have been performing very strongly, with load factors of close to 80% in 2009. The business and investment ties between Manchester and Abu Dhabi have never been stronger and the introduction of the Boeing 777 furthers our commitment to this important route.

Etihad has been operating services to Manchester since 2006 and offers connections from Manchester to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow with its codeshare partner, bmi and from Manchester to Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Inverness with its codeshare partner, Flybe.

In 2009, the airline signed a three-year deal to be the official shirt sponsor and partner of English Premier League side, Manchester City. This is one of the airlines most important sponsorships, and allows the airline to build even stronger relationships between the two regions, including team tours to the United Arab Emirates, as well as community-based schemes in the UAE and Manchester such as the hugely successful Soccer Schools.

Andrew Cornish, Manchester Airports Managing Director, said, Etihad's service provides a crucial link between our two closely-linked regions and Etihad's decision to add capacity demonstrates real confidence in this vital relationship. The extra capacity further strengthens Manchester Airport's long haul route network and also provides an early sign of the predicted economic recovery. We look forward to working with Etihad to make the service a great success.

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