Etihad Airways is adding capacity to the US from next April with plans to increase frequencies on Abu Dhabi (AUH)-New York John F Kennedy (JFK) to double-daily.
The airline currently offers 11 flights per week on the route using a mix of Airbus A350-1000s and Boeing 787-9s. However, service will grow to 14 round trips per week from April 24, 2023.
“Etihad is responding to customer demand for increased frequency to New York,” said Martin Drew, SVP of global sales and cargo.
Before the pandemic, Etihad served AUH-JFK daily using A380s, providing 6,804 two-way weekly seats. After grounding its A380 fleet at the start of the crisis, the route was operated daily using 787-9s until July 2022 when the airline switched to the larger A350-1000.
Frequencies were increased in mid-November to 11X-weekly with four 787-9 flights added to the existing daily A350-1000 service. Etihad said the further expansion to double-daily will offer passengers connecting opportunities to 47 destinations beyond JFK through its codeshare with JetBlue Airways.
Details of the US expansion came as the Gulf carrier confirmed that it will resume flights to Kolkata (CCU) in India. Daily service will restart from March 26 using A320s.
In addition, Etihad last week unveiled plans to bring back the A380 during the summer 2023 season following a “surge in demand for air travel” across its network. Four A380s will operate between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow (LHR) from July.
“We have decided the time is right to return some of our A380s into the fleet to satisfy the demand which has made them financially viable once more,” said CEO Antonoaldo Neves, who succeeded Tony Douglas in October.
Alongside the planned network changes for 2023, Etihad has appointed Raffael Quintas as CFO. He joins from Infracommerce, a Brazil-headquartered e-commerce platform, where he was CFO.
Quintas previously held the CFO role at TAP Air Portugal and was the corporate treasurer at Brazilian airline Azul Linhas Aéreas. He becomes the second former TAP executive to join Etihad after Neves, who helped to oversee a turnaround of Portugal’s flag carrier after serving as CEO from 2018 to 2020.
Quintas takes over as CFO from Adam Boukadida, who has left Etihad after nine years.