Etihad to fill Abu Dhabi-Sydney gap as Virgin pulls out

Etihad to fly double daily to Sydney after Virgin swaps its Sydney-Abu Dhabi route for Perth

Gulf News

Dubai: Etihad Airways is adding three weekly flights to Sydney from February 2017 in order to maintain its double daily frequency after equity partner Virgin Australia announced it is dropping the route.

Minority Etihad-owned Virgin said on Tuesday it would stop its three weekly Sydney-Abu Dhabi service on February 4, 2017 and launch three weekly flights to Abu Dhabi from Perth in June. Etihad later said its additional Sydney services would start on February 6.

Virgin is swapping its Sydney-Abu Dhabi service with Perth so that it can relaunch flights to Los Angeles in the United States, according to a statement on its website.

Etihad will code-share on the new Virgin Perth service, the Abu Dhabi airline said in separate statement.

The number of flights between Australia and Abu Dhabi will increase to 45, up from 42 today, following the launch of additional Etihad services to Sydney and the Virgin Perth flight.

“Australia is a critical part of our network, and we will continue to add capacity in order to meet the growing two-way demand for business and leisure travel,” Etihad chief executive Peter Baumgartner said in the statement.

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