Etihad Finds Solace in London Demand as Global Network Shrinks
(Bloomberg) -- Etihad Airways may be cutting routes and slashing jet orders after racking up billions of dollars in losses, but one market at least is providing the Abu Dhabi-based carrier with much-needed growth: the U.K.
Etihad will offer a fourth daily trip to London year-round for the first time after introducing the service in May to tap the usual jump in summer demand. Flights to Heathrow airport will be operated by Boeing Co. 787-9 planes, adding 299 seats to the 1,458 already available on three Airbus SE A380 superjumbos.
The embattled carrier scrapped $21 billion of jet orders in February amid a restructuring that’s seen it cut thousands of jobs and eliminate more than a dozen marginal routes. The move to swell London capacity means the extra daily service will be maintained beyond the planned cutoff point of Oct. 26 -- just days before the new deadline for Britain to quit the European Union.
Etihad is currently operating five times daily to Heathrow during the height of the European summer, which combined with two daily 787 trips to Manchester in northern England gives it a more than 2,600 daily seats to the U.K.
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