Etihad Adds A 4th Daily Service To London


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There’s no shortage of service between the UAE and London with Etihad currently offering 3 daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Heathrow and Emirates offering 78 flights/week between Dubai and various London Airports…but apparently there’s still room for more.

As of this coming winter season, Etihad will add another daily flight to its Abu Dhabi – London Heathrow route and it will do so using its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Etihad 2-Class 787-9

From 27 October 2019 this is what Etihad’s London Heathrow Schedule will look like:

EY11 AUH 02:40 – 06:45 LHR (Daily A380 Service)
EY19 AUH 08:05 – 12:00 LHR (Daily A380 Service)
EY25 AUH 10:45 – 14:50 LHR (Daily A380 Service)
EY17 AUH 13:40 – 17:45 LHR (Daily 787 Service)*

EY12 LHR 09:00 – 20:05 AUH (Daily A380 Service)
EY20 LHR 14:05 – 01:05+1day AUH (Daily A380 Service)
EY26 LHR 20:00 – 07:00+1 day AUH (Daily A380 Service)
EY18 LHR 21:05 – 08:05+1 day AUH (Daily 787 Service)*

*New flight

Robin Kamark, Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group Chief, is quoted as saying:

The flagship Abu Dhabi to London route is tremendously popular with point-to-point business and leisure travellers, and those transiting beyond our hub and we recently boosted frequencies between the two cities to meet increased demand at peak travel times. Adding a fourth year-round flight will provide much needed capacity and optimised timings and easy connections to key destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. 

The new service demonstrates our commitment to the crucially important UK market, and ensures we provide our customers with all the benefits of a next-generation fleet across all 42 weekly departures to and from the United Kingdom. 

Etihad Business Studio on its A380

Thoughts

I’m struggling to understand the rationale for these new flights as it’s hard to believe that there is this much demand for travel between the UK and the UAE.

Yes, Dubai is a stopover point for most travelers heading to the UAE as they look to connect to Emirate’s worldwide network, so the London – Dubai route is understandably busy…but London – Abu Dhabi?

I have to believe that Etihad has run the numbers on this route and that the statistics show that a 4th daily flight is a profitable option…but it’s still hard to see why.

Etihad doesn’t have anywhere near the same worldwide network out of Abu Dhabi as Emirates has out of Dubai, so it has to rely a lot more heavily on passengers looking to terminate their trips in the UAE or the UK….and are there really that many people looking to do this that it warrants three daily A380 flights and a 787-9 Dreamliner flight too?

Apparently so!

Bottom Line

Whatever the reason for Etihad’s 4th daily year-round flight between Abu Dhabi and London the main winners here will be miles & points enthusiasts.

One of the best deals available using American Airlines AAdvantage miles is a Business Class redemption between Europe and the Middle East (42,500 miles each way) and, with another 28 Business Class seats soon to be added to this route in each direction (daily), these awards will only be easier to find for departures out of London Heathrow.

I’m not going to complain about that! 🙂

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