Later this month, the airline will launch flights to Al Qassim in Saudi Arabia and Bali in Indonesia. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Abu Dhabi: UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways announced Thursday that it has launched flights to eight new destinations this June, including several summer destinations and year-round flights to Al Qassim, Bali, and Jaipur.

The new seasonal summer destinations Etihad launched this month are Antalya, Nice and Santorini, and returns to Malaga and Mykonos, the airline said in a statement.

With the massive boost to its network schedule, the airline’s total number of operating routes this summer has increased to 76.

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Antonoaldo Neves, CEO at Etihad, said, “It is an exciting month for Etihad as we deliver on our plans to expand our network with eight additional locations. We are launching flights to three important sites—Bali, Jaipur, and Al Qassim—which we can see from our forward bookings are already proving popular with our guests.”

He added, “At the same time, we’ve commenced operations to new seasonal destinations and returned to popular summer hotspots.”

During Eid this year, the airline began operating directly to summer destinations, including Nice on the French Riviera and Antalya on the Turkish Riviera. It also returned to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Earlier in June, Etihad relaunched its services to the popular Spanish holiday resort of Málaga for the season.

This week, Etihad launched services directly to Jaipur, marking the airline’s 11th gateway into India and cementing its commitment to the Indian market.

On June 24, Etihad will launch a new service to Al Qassim, marking the fourth destination for Etihad in Saudi Arabia. The following day, June 25, Etihad will launch its first flight to Bali, Indonesia. The airline will operate to Bali four times a week.

UAE’s national carrier remains steadfast with its growth plans despite aircraft shortages and supply chain challenges in the aviation industry. The ongoing aircraft shortage, driven by issues with Boeing planes and Airbus engines, is creating significant challenges for the airline industry and travellers alike. In an earlier interview with Gulf News, Neves said the airline “will do whatever it takes” to achieve its goal of doubling its fleet to 150 planes by 2030.

“We are buying new planes, we lease planes, we get used planes, we do everything. We are very flexible in our approach. We are very agile in trying to address these problems,” he said. Neves said if the delays impede Etihad’s growth plans, he will “work harder to get new planes from the secondary market source with other airlines. We don’t have a plan B. I discuss fleet every week. It is our expensive asset and is a scarce asset,” he said.