Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways has increased frequencies on their Abu Dhabi to Madrid route from four times per week to daily, starting June 1, 2017. The airline will use the same aircraft on the route, the Airbus A330-200, with 22 business class seats and 240 economy seats, offering passengers an extra 786 seats per week.
After launching the four-times-per-week service in April 2015, this service enhancement follows as a quick success for Etihad. The airline hopes that frequency expansion to Madrid appeals to corporate and leisure travelers.
These extra flights offer connections to some of Etihad’s key markets across the world such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Mumbai, and Delhi. Within Madrid alone, Etihad Airways already has a significant presence on code-sharing agreements with Air Europa. These extend to seven cities in Spain such as Barcelona, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, La Coruna, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, and Vigo as well as long haul flights to Asuncion, Cancun, Lima, and Santo Domingo. Etihad Airways also offers connections with codeshare partner Avianca between Madrid and Bogota.
Etihad Aviation Group Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Kevin Knight commented on this frequency expansion: “Our expanded Madrid operation is in line with Etihad Airways’ strategy to offer more choice, greater frequency, and additional travel options when aircraft availability and market conditions permit. The extra flights will cater to the strong demand between the two capital cities, and connect our diverse international network even more with the Spanish capital and destinations across Spain and beyond, through our partners.”
In terms of external benefits to this route expansion, the additional services will provide an extra 36 tons of air freight capacity and boost visitor numbers within Spain’s bustling tourism industry. It will also strengthen ties between Spain and the United Arab Emirates in terms of supporting growing trade and cultural ties. Industries such as fashion, petrochemicals, construction, health care, transportation, and tourism will benefit the most with this route expansion.
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