Etihad’s arrival in Washington Dulles was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute. James Hogan, the airline’s CEO, commented: “Government and corporate customers in both markets have given us strong indication that the route can support a daily service from day one. We have confidently responded by committing 3,360 seats per week and already our forward bookings on the route are very encouraging in both directions.” Etihad also plans to open a $6.8 million premium lounge this week to benefit premium travellers.
- Etihad Airways commenced services on the 11,400-kilometre route from its Abu Dhabi (AUH) hub to Washington Dulles, VA (IAD) on 31 March, becoming the last MEB3 carrier to serve the US airport. Daily flights are offered on the route using A340-500s, and Etihad faces indirect competition from Emirates and Qatar Airways, which serve Washington Dulles from their respective hubs with flights of the same frequency. In addition, United Airlines provides further daily departures from Dubai as the only non-MEB3 carrier in the market. Etihad Airways already serves two other US gateways, Chicago O’Hare and New York JFK, each with daily flights.