United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier Etihad Airways is to introduce a second daily rotation on its route between its Abu Dhabi International Airport hub and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from July 15, 2013 and it is again turning to its global partners to support its network growth. The new rotation will be operated using one of two Airbus A330-200s it will be dry leasing from Indian carrier Jet Airways in which, subject to regulatory approval, it will acquire a 24 per cent equity shareholding.
The carrier launched flights on the route in January 2007 and last year turned to its Australasian partner Virgin Australia to support its operations with one of its Boeing 777-300ERs being flown on a weekly rotation under a wet lease arrangement. This partnership will continue once the second daily flight is introduced using the Jet Airways equipment. Schedule information suggests that the second Jet Airways A330-200 will also substitute Etihad’s own 777-300ER on selected dates on the original ‘EY418/411’ flight.
“The airline’s new double daily schedule caters for the growing demand for travel between Abu Dhabi and Malaysia and gives our guests a greater choice of travel times. We have enjoyed strong support from business and leisure travellers at both ends of the route. More than one million passengers have travelled with Etihad Airways to and from Malaysia since the commencement of services in January 2007.”James Hogan
President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways
The new schedule will add 1,400 new seats per week to the route – an increase in capacity of approximately 23 per cent. It will enable Etihad Airways to offer better flight connections to its global network and to foster the growth of tourism and trade. The UAE is Malaysia’s most important partner in the Gulf region with trade increasing by approximately 20 per cent between 2011 and 2012 and the extra belly-hold capacity of the double daily services will provide significant new opportunities for Etihad’s cargo business.
“We have enjoyed strong support from business and leisure travellers at both ends of the route. More than one million passengers have travelled with Etihad Airways to and from Malaysia since the commencement of services in January 2007,” said James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways. “The airline’s new double daily schedule caters for the growing demand for travel between Abu Dhabi and Malaysia and gives our guests a greater choice of travel times. Malaysian travellers will enjoy shorter connection times in Abu Dhabi and more convenient onward travel to Europe.”
The Jet Airways A330-200s will be configured in a two-class configuration of 18 seats in Business Class and 236 in Economy class and the new flight will also carry the Malaysia Airlines code as the existing codeshare partnership is extended to include the new rotation, providing seamless connectivity beyond the airlines’ respective Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur hubs.