Etihad Adds More Flights To Madrid & Dublin

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Etihad has announced a significant increase in service between Abu Dhabi and two of its European destinations from 2017. Dublin will see services from Abu Dhabi increase from Spring 2017 while Madrid will get added flights from summer.

Etihad Adds Flights To Dublin

From 1 April 2017 Etihad will double the number of fights it offers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin giving the airline a double-daily service between the two cities all year round. In the past the airline has offered a seasonal double-daily service but this will be the first time two flights will be operated year-round.

The posted schedule will be as follows:

EY45 AUH 02:30 – 08:00 DUB (Daily)
EY41 AUH 09:30 – 14:55 DUB (Daily) – NEW

EY42 DUB 09:30 – 20:20 AUH (Daily)
EY48 DUB 19:10 – 06:00+1 day AUH (Daily) – NEW

On the face of it this looks like a fantastic increase in service and one that should do wonders for Business Class fares between Europe and the Middle East next year…..but it’s not as simple as that.

As things stand Etihad flys a Boeing 777-300ER on 6 of its daily flights with the 7th being operated by an Airbus A330-200…..but from 1 April 2017 all 14 of Etihad’s weekly flights will operate using A330-200.

Etihad’s 777-300 comes with 40 Business Class Seats and 340 Economy Class seats while the A330-200 offers just 22 Business Class seats and 240 Economy Class seats.

etihad-a330-200-business-class-seat-mapEtihad A330-200 Business Class seat map

Although Etihad is doubling the number of flights there will only be an extra 4 Business Class seats on most days and that’s probably not enough to make much of a difference to Business Class fares.

On a positive note there shouldn’t be any lowering of the standard of the Business Class cabin as both the 777-300 and the A330-200 offer the same very good Business Class seat (reviewed here).

Etihad Business Class 777-300Etihad 777-300ER  Business Class Seat

The total increase in capacity on this route is as follows:

  • Business Class seats available in either direction increase from 262 to 308 seats per week (17.6% increase)
  • Economy Class seats available in either direction increase from 2,280 to 3,360 seats per week (47.4% increase)

Per Etihad:

Business and leisure travellers will be able to enjoy double daily connections via Abu Dhabi to several key destinations, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila, and daily connections to markets such as Brisbane, Perth, Beijing, Tokyo and Phuket.

In further Etihad/Ireland news:

As a result of improved infrastructure at Dublin Airport, Etihad Airways will switch its existing Dublin flights from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, starting 24 January 2017. The move follows extensive investment in passenger and retail facilities in the terminal by airport operator DAA.

Etihad To Offer A Daily Service To/From Madrid

From 1 June 2017 Etihad will add an additional 3 flights between Abu Dhabi and Madrid to give it a daily service between the two cities.

The planned schedule is as follows:

EY75 AUH 02:10 – 08:40 MAD (Daily A330-200 service)
EY76 MAD 10:00 – 19:45 AUH (Daily A330-200 service)

Per Etihad:

The extra flights will provide connections to key markets across the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Australia. Popular connecting destinations via Abu Dhabi include Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Mumbai and Delhi.

From Madrid, travellers are able to connect to the network of Etihad Airways’ codeshare partner Air Europa to seven cities in Spain, including Barcelona, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, La Coruna, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife and Vigo. Guests can connect with Air Europa beyond Madrid to destinations in South America and the Caribbean, including Asuncion, Cancun, Lima and Santo Domingo. Etihad Airways also offers links with codeshare partner Avianca between Madrid and the Colombian capital Bogota.

This is a 75% increase in capacity in this route and that could be significant. I’m often posting good Etihad Business Class fares out of Europe and, although I don’t recall the last time I saw a particularly great fare out of Madrid , these added services can’t do any harm.

In addition, Etihad’s improved service to/from Madrid may offer some increased competition to the likes of Qatar and Emirates who both offer double-daily services between the Middle East and Madrid.

Featured image: Aero Icarus via Flickr