Dubai: Flyers from the UAE can book air tickets at a much lower cost if they choose to fly without a checked baggage.
Etihad Airways announced on Tuesday that it is testing a new "hand baggage only" deal fare on two key routes this winter season, for bookings between 18 October to 18 December.
Under the new scheme, passengers will get a complimentary carry-on baggage allowance of 7 kilos. It is initially offered on flights between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait for travel until 31 March 2018, and could be later implemented on a wider scale.
"We are testing a new lower fare on these key routes," said Etihad Airways executive vice president for commercial Mohammad Al Bulooki. “This trial is designed to provide an option for those who are looking for cheaper fares when travelling light.”
The carrier, which earlier reported $1.87 billion (Dh6.86 billion) in net losses for 2016, is on the lookout for ways to diversify its revenues, and the special deal is just the first of many trials that are set to be rolled out over the coming months.
The special fare is also in response to a growing trend of passengers who opt to travel light, those who fly to different destinations without requiring a checked baggage, especially weekend or day travellers.
“Passenger feedback and travel habits show that many of Etihad Airways’ customers, especially those travelling for business, weekend getaways or day trips, don’t require checked baggage," said Al Bulooki.
He said the trial is an effective tool for gauging customer reaction in the real world and testing the product’s viability for wider implementation.
"It follows the successful implementation of several new ancillary products including extra legroom seats, neighbour-free seats and preferred seating," Etihad said in a statement.