Etihad Airways Expands Network with New Saudi Destination

An Etihad Airways A320-232 passes overhead.
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, further strengthens its presence in the Middle East.  

The carrier has announced the addition of Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia, to its network. This brings the total number of Saudi Arabian destinations served by Etihad to four.

Taking Flight to Al Qassim

Starting June 24, 2024, travelers can enjoy convenient connections from Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport.

The service connects with Al Qassim’s Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (ELQ) with four weekly flights.

Arik De, Chief Revenue and Commercial Officer at Etihad Airways, shares his enthusiasm: “This new route to Al Qassim is more than just adding a new destination.”

“It’s a celebration of Etihad’s 20 years of connecting Abu Dhabi to the cultural and economic vibrancy of Saudi Arabia.”

This expansion allows passengers to explore the unique charm of both Abu Dhabi and captivating destinations like Al Qassim.

The airline is proud to expand its Saudi network and looks forward to welcoming travelers on board to experience their renowned hospitality and service.

Al Qassim: A Blend of Tradition and Modernity

The journey begins in style at Etihad’s new home, Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

This state-of-the-art terminal sets new standards for travel comfort and exceptional service, ensuring a seamless and memorable travel experience from start to finish.

Al Qassim, renowned for its lush date palm groves, rich cultural heritage, and bustling markets, offers the perfect blend of traditional Saudi charm and contemporary attractions.

This new route caters to both business travelers seeking new opportunities and leisure travelers yearning for an authentic exploration of Saudi Arabia’s historical and cultural treasures.

Increased Flight Frequencies

As well as the new service inauguration, the airline will also increase flight frequencies on several routes. Starting June 15th, Etihad will boost service frequencies on several key routes, along with launching the previously announced flights to Antalya and Jaipur.

Travelers can now enjoy increased weekly frequencies to:

  • Thiruvananthapuram (up to 10),
  • Amman (up to 14),
  • Cairo (up to 24),
  • Karachi (up to 17), and
  • Colombo (up to 20).

Enhanced Network and Improved Connections

This strategic expansion translates to a significant 33% increase in Etihad’s total weekly flights, growing from 642 last summer to 855 in 2024.

The airline’s network also expands from 65 to 76 destinations, offering passengers greater global connectivity and a wider range of travel options.

The updated schedule and new routes, coupled with the sophisticated amenities and exceptional service at the newly inaugurated Terminal A, ensure an optimized travel experience for all passengers.

The latest network addition furthers Etihad’s growth strategy. The initiative has yielded strong results into 2024. February saw an impressive 46 per cent year-on-year growth in customer numbers for the airline.

It welcomed more than 1.4 million guests onboard and saw its load factor average out at 89 per cent across the month.

It also inducted three new Boeing 787-9s, a move which supports its network expansion strategy of adding new destinations and expanding frequencies into key markets.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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