Etihad eyes Shanghai as part of China expansion
Etihad Airways has announced plans to expand its network in China with daily non-stop, return services between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai – subject to government approval.
The new flights, scheduled to commence on 1st March 2012, will make Shanghai the airline's 70th global destination.
Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan announced the new services today in an address to 300 representatives of the global aviation industry who are attending the Aviation Outlook China Summit in Shanghai this week.
"Shanghai, the most populous city in mainland China, is a strategically important addition to Etihad's China network. Together with our daily flights to the capital Beijing, the Shanghai route will offer travellers competitive access to the two biggest centres for commerce, trade, government, culture, and tourism in China,” he said.
"For travellers originating in China, this means a wider choice of convenient flight options to the UAE, Middle East, Europe, and North America, and on the way, the award-winning combination of luxuriously appointed aircraft, best-in-class service, and some of the finest international cuisine in the sky.
"Through Etihad's efficient Crystal Cargo operation, we also intend to pursue growth of the valuable export trade for high tech and other commodities."
Today's announcement follows a press conference in Chengdu yesterday, where Hogan released details of the airline's planned new services to the Sichuan province.
"The commencement of services to Chengdu and Shanghai and this week's increase in frequency to Beijing are major investments of aircraft and commercial resources into China. It reflects our confidence in the current strength and future potential of the inbound and outbound travel markets," added the chief executive.
Etihad will operate an Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the Abu Dhabi-Shanghai route, configured in Pearl Business and Coral Economy class.