Etihad boosts Melbourne services

Etihad Airways is to increase capacity on its daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, introducing a new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from 1 December.

The three-class, 328-seat Boeing 777 will replace the current Airbus A340 fleet, delivering 252 more seats per week – a 12.3% increase – between the capital of the State of Victoria and the capital of the UAE.

“Melbourne is one of the best-performing routes in our global network, and has the highest passenger load factor of our three Australian destinations,” said James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways. “Victorians are not only flying with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi, an emerging business and leisure destination, but also on to destinations in the Gulf region, Middle East, Europe and Africa.”

Since launching flights between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi in March 2009, Etihad Airways has carried over 580,000 passengers on the route, including 162,112 last year. Already this year, a load factor of 87% has been achieved, one of the highest in the airline’s network of 86 destinations.

“Our decision to increase capacity between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi reflects not only the growth we have achieved so far, but also our confidence in the Victorian market,” Mr Hogan added. “In addition to increasing the number of seats we offer to Melbourne, we also continue to invest in the city, having opened a line maintenance base at Melbourne Airport and secured high-profile sponsorships of Etihad Stadium and the Melbourne Recital Centre.”

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