Etihad Airways Hoping to Resume Scheduled Passenger Flights from 1 May

Etihad Airways has announced that if current UAE
government imposed travel restrictions are lifted, it plans to
operate a reduced network of scheduled passenger services from 1
May to 30 June, with the aim of gradually returning to a fuller
schedule as and when the global situation improves.

Etihad is also continuing to operate a growing
schedule of special passenger flights allowing foreign nationals
in the UAE the opportunity to travel out of the country, and to
carry essential belly-hold cargo such as perishables, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies. To date, the airline has
also repatriated almost 600 UAE nationals on return services.


“The term ‘unprecedented’ is currently the
most used in our industry, and the most appropriate. The
monumental challenges being faced by all airlines, and our
customers, have been beyond measure. However, we remain cautiously
optimistic and will push ahead with our plans to resume normal
flying, while striving to better serve and support our customers
and our employees,” said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive
Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. “While the intention is to
assume a ‘business as usual’ approach to the restart of our
operations, the aviation landscape has changed, and how it will
look month by month is difficult to predict. This has necessitated
a fundamental shift in focus for us. However, the cumulative gains
achieved by our ongoing transformation, and the unwavering support
of our shareholder, has left us in a relatively strong position to
withstand any instability. We will pivot on this and act with agility to seize opportunities we may not have previously
considered. We are implementing a series of
network-wide route and fleet efficiencies, while conducting an
extensive brand study and trialing new service concepts in our
guest experience proposition. We are also using this time to drive
further internal improvements in the efficient use of automation
and technology across all areas of the business, while maintaining
productivity, creativity and quality.”

Currently, Etihad is using 22 Boeing 787 Dreamliners
and 777-300ER passenger aircraft, with five more ready for
service, to complement its operational fleet of five 777-200F
freighters. These aircraft are providing scheduled and special
passenger and belly-hold cargo services to several destinations
worldwide.

Since 25 March, approximately 500
special passenger, freighter and cargo flights have been operated.
These include passenger and belly-hold freight flights to
Amsterdam, Bogota, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Jakarta, London
Heathrow, Manila, Melbourne, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Seoul
Incheon, Singapore, Tokyo Narita, Washington, D.C., and Zurich,
with other destinations planned.

Etihad Cargo is now operating up to
100 turnaround flights per week to 32 destinations on five
continents. In addition to normal scheduled cargo services,
special freighter and humanitarian flights have been flown to
Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Beijing, Bogota, Bucharest, Copenhagen,
Chennai, Cochin, Dublin, Frankfurt, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Karachi,
Khartoum, Kiev, Milan, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tbilisi, Wuhan, and
Zagreb. More special flights are expected to be introduced in the coming
weeks.

Etihad has
revised the launch date of its inaugural service to Vienna from 22
May to 1 July.

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