Etihad Reduces Flights To The West Coast

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Following last week’s announcement that Etihad will be increasing service to Dallas/Ft Worth the airline has now announced that it will be decreasing service to San Francisco from early next year. Etihad will reduce its daily service between Abu Dhabi and San Francisco to just 3 flights per week and this may go some way to explaining where the airline is getting the aircraft to operate the extra flights to Dallas/Ft Worth.

From 1 February 2017 Etihad’s Abu Dhabi – San Francisco service will operate on Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays on the following schedule using the airline’s 777-200LR aircraft:

EY183 AUH 02:25 – 06:40 SFO
EY182 SFO 08:55 – 12:55+1 day AUH

[HT: Routes Online]

This change appears to be permanent and not just for the end of the winter season – 3/week service is currently scheduled through summer 2017 as well.

Some thoughts appear to suggest that the airline is suffering from the competition that Air India now provides but I suspect this has quite a bit to do with connectivity and commerce as well.

Not only is Dallas/Ft Worth the home of American Airlines (with whom Etihad partners) but it’s also a lot better positioned for intra-US connections than San Francisco is – I can’t imagine may travelers using the Abu Dhabi – San Francisco route as a stepping stone to anywhere in the US other than perhaps somewhere else on the West Coast.

Also, Abu Dhabi and Dallas are both about as synonymous with oil and gas as you can get so adding more flights between the two cities makes sense – Abu Dhabi and San Francisco share no such common ground.

If Etihad is looking to reallocate its Abu Dhabi – USA capacity rather than simply add more (which would almost certainly put pressure on fares) this change makes a lot of sense.

If you are booked on Etihad’s flights to San Francisco past 1 February next year I would check your reservations to make sure all is as it should be. If not, make sure you contact the airline asap to get yourself re-accommodated on a new flight.