Etihad Airways Boosts Capacity to Dublin

United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier Etihad Airways has confirmed it will increase capacity on its link between its Abu Dhabi International Airport hub and Dublin Airport in the Republic of Ireland by introducing a Boeing 777-300ER on the route from July 02, 2013.  The larger aircraft, configured to carry 412 passengers, will replace an Airbus A330-200 on six of the ten weekly flights that the carrier currently operates, increasing capacity by over a third with an additional 900 seats available each week, comprising 36 more Pearl Business Class and 864 more Coral Economy seats.

Etihad Airways launched its services to Ireland in July 2007 with an initial four flights per week to Dublin, increasing to six and then moving to a daily service in March 2008.  This was further increased to the current service of ten flights per week in March 2010.  Although the airline is the sole carrier offering flights between the Irish capital and Abu Dhabi, it does now compete for passengers with Emirates Airline which launched its own flights between Dubai and Dublin in January 2012 and is also targeting passengers travelling to onward markets via the UAE.

“Dublin is one of our most successful routes and this increase in capacity is indicative of the confidence we have that demand, especially in the premium cabin, will continue to grow,” said James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways.  “Ireland is an important market and country for Etihad Airways and this can be seen in our investments which include our line maintenance facility at Dublin Airport, the opening of a premium lounge at Terminal 2 in 2011, as well as cultural partnerships with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and The Gathering Ireland 2013.”

The confirmation of Etihad Airways’ growth in the Irish market was announced ahead of a keynote address by James Hogan at the Global Airfinance Conference in Dublin this week, where he also revealed that the UAE national carrier was again profitable in 2012, although full details of its results are not expected to be made public until next month.  The 2012 result follows Etihad Airways’ maiden profit in 2011 of $14 million.

“Etihad Airways has achieved double-digit passenger and revenue growth in recent years and established world-class product and service.  We are set to post our second successive profit which is rare in the current uncertain economic climate and illustrates the impact and success that the Etihad Airways’ unique business model has made,” said Hogan.

Etihad Airways said it had carried more than 215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin in 2012, with the route once again in the airline’s top ten most popular.  The increase in capacity is a reflection of the strong demand from Irish customers for the route to Abu Dhabi which allows travellers to connect with Etihad Airways’ global network with Australia, Thailand and India as some of the most popular onward destinations.

According to estimated O&D data around 10.4 per cent of passengers who flew on the airline’s flights from Dublin in the 12 months until September 2012, ended their journeys in Abu Dhabi, with the remaining 89.6 per cent continuing on to another destinations via the UAE carrier’s wider network.  In the table below we highlight the ten largest destination markets for travellers on Etihad Airways’ services from Dublin.

MAIN DESTINATION MARKETS FOR PASSENGERS FLYING ON ETIHAD AIRWAYS’ DUBLIN – ABU DHABI ROUTE (one-way directional O&D traffic; 12 months until September 2012)

Rank

Destination

Estimated O&D Passengers

% Total Demand

1

Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD)

11,893

13.1 %

2

Abu Dhabi International (AUH)

9,501

10.4 %

3

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International (BKK)

8,378

9.2 %

4

Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL)

7,291

8.0 %

5

Cochin International (COK)

7,182

7.9 %

6

Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)

4,824

5.3 %

7

Brisbane International (BNE)

4,193

4.6 %

8

New Delhi Indira Gandhi International (DEL)

2,001

2.2 %

9

Kuala Lumpur International (KUL)

1,966

2.2 %

10

Johannesburg OR Tambo International (JNB)

1,828

2.0 %

TOTAL

91,018

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