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Etihad will nearly doubled the 'premium capacity' on the New York and Chicago routes with the new aircraft. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Etihad Airways will be deploying its new A350-1000 aircraft on certain US routes, following the inaugural flight to New York on Thursday. The aircraft, which accommodates 371 passengers, is one of five new Airbus A350s to join Etihad’s fleet this year.

The Abu Dhabi carrier said that starting today (July 1) all flights servicing New York and Chicago O’Hare International Airport will be operated by the A350, joining the Mumbai and Delhi routes that began flying in April last. “T is an incredible aircraft with highly efficient fuel consumption and CO2 savings, which enables us to support our goals to reduce carbon emissions and deliver an unmatched flight experience for our guests,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice-President Global Sales and Cargo, Etihad Airways.

“By introducing the A350, we have almost doubled premium capacity on our New York and Chicago routes to 44 seats in the Business cabin, which provides a luxurious experience comparable to First Class on other international airlines.”

Easy clearance

Etihad passengers travelling to the US have access to Etihad’s US pre-clearance, the only US Customs and Border Protection facility in the Middle East. This allows passengers bound for the US to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight, avoiding immigration and queues on arrival in the US.

Sustainability programme

Formed as a partnership between Etihad, Airbus and Rolls Royce in 2021, the Sustainable50 programme will make use of Etihad's A350s as flying test beds for new initiatives, procedures and technologies to reduce carbon emissions. This will build on the learnings derived from Etihad's similar Greenliner programme for the Boeing 787 aircraft type.

Etihad recently established a formal framework with Airbus to collaborate on sustainability across a number of areas, including the promotion and commercialization of sustainable aviation fuel, waste and weight management, and the development of data-driven analysis.