The photo has been used for illustrative purposes only.
The step up from narrow-body to wide-body aircraft follows yesterday’s announcement by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the immediate removal of a travel ban to Lebanon for UAE citizens. Lifting this restriction, imposed in February 2016, is expected to spur a significant increase in demand for travel between the two capitals.
Etihad will operate the upgraded flights with two-class Boeing 787-9s, the newest aircraft type in the airline’s fleet. These jets are configured to seat 299 passengers in a mix of 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. The 787s will also provide a significant increase in cargo capacity.
Commenting on the announcement, Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, "Lebanon is a critically important market for the UAE and for its national airline, Etihad Airways. When Etihad was launched in November 2003, Beirut was our first very first scheduled destination. Following the announcement yesterday that travel restrictions between these markets will be lifted, we moved quickly to increase our capacity to meet an expected increase in passenger and cargo demand, and to allocate our newest aircraft and product to the route."
Etihad Airways has announced that it will resume flights between Abu Dhabi and Khartoum, Sudan, on Tuesday, 16th July.
Etihad will also operate six charter flights dedicated to the General Authority of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Zayed Foundation and Abu Dhabi police. The outbound flights will operate from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah and Medina between Aug.1-5, with return flights scheduled for Aug.16-17.
The airline said that these changes will cause delays on some departures from Abu Dhabi, "due to increased congestion in available airspace, and will increase journey times on some routes."
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