Karachi: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced it would commence services to Chengdu and Shanghai – both subject to government approval. Flights to Shanghai will commence from March 1, 2012, while flights to Chengdu will begin from December 15, 2011.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province and Shanghai, the business hub, will be connected to the airline’s hub and home base in Abu Dhabi with daily non-stop return services to Shanghai and four flights per week to Chengdu. The new flights will make Shanghai the airline’s 70th global destination.
Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said, “The airline’s new Abu Dhabi-Chengdu service would provide the first ever flight link between the United Arab Emirates and Sichuan province”.
Mr. Hogan further stated, “We will continue to work together to strengthen ties between our key markets, like Pakistan, and China and help forge strong, new links between the communities at both ends of the route,” Mr. Hogan said.
“The commencement of services to Chengdu and Shanghai and this week’s increase in frequency to Beijing are major investments of aircraft and commercial resources into China. It reflects our confidence in the current strength and future potential of the inbound and outbound travel markets,” Mr Hogan said.
Etihad will operate an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class configuration on the sector – offering 22 Pearl Business class and 240 Coral Economy class seats on both these routes. Etihad Airways currently operates daily flights to and from Abu Dhabi via Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.