Etihad Airways’ latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner route was launched on Oct 30, with the state-of-the art aircraft touching down in Riyadh, capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The occasion was marked with an official welcome ceremony attended by the airline’s senior management led by Hareb Almuhairy, Etihad Airways Senior Vice President Corporate and International Affairs, together with Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Vice President UAE and GCC Commercial, Sultan AL Mansoori, GCC Country Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Adel Al Ragadi ,Terminal Operation Manager, King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.
The Dreamliner offers more seats and features the airline’s award-winning interiors in a two-class configuration – 28 Business Studios, each providing aisle access and equipped with an in-seat massage and air cushion control system, and 271 Economy Smart Seats with unique ‘fixed wing’ headrests. The aircraft operates on one of the twice-daily flights between Abu Dhabi International Airport and Khalid International Airport.
Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways Vice President UAE and GCC Commercial, said: “Since its launch in 2004, the route has seen consistently strong passenger growth, and to date, we have carried more than 2.5 million guests between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways’ decision to offer additional capacity on this important route will undoubtedly be well received in the market. Linking the two capitals of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with the Boeing 787 further underscores the importance of Riyadh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to our operations.”
Riyadh becomes Etihad Airways’ newest B787 destination this year following the induction of the aircraft on flights to Perth, Dusseldorf and Shanghai, with Abu Dhabi – Johannesburg set to become a Dreamliner route on 1 November. Etihad Airways’ current fleet of nine B787s also operates to Singapore, Washington DC, Brisbane and Zurich. The flight schedules provide optimal timings for guests in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, and convenient connections to and from destinations across key markets in Europe, the Indian subcontinent, North America, Asia and Australia.
The aircraft is equipped with full mobile and Wi-Fi services as well as the latest Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system featuring seven satellite channels of live TV including BBC World News, Sport 24 and CNN to name a few. “To experience our world class product, Etihad Holidays and the Hala Group offer our Saudi guests exciting holiday packages which cater to a broad range of interests and include visits to some of the region’s finest beaches, luxury hotels, and the city’s many cultural and sporting attractions,” Mr Al Bulooki added.
To mark the launch of the new Boeing 787 to Riyadh, Etihad Holidays is offering fantastic rates on hotel packages with return flights starting from as low as AED 2350 per person including three nights’ accommodation on twin sharing basis until 30 November, 2016. Guests can enhance their travel experience with one or more attractions including Hala Abu Dhabi Signature City Tours, Ferrari World, Yas Water World and many more. Etihad Airways’ flights to Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina and Dammam are complemented by Saudi codeshare partner flynas, whose dedicated services between Abu Dhabi and both Riyadh and Jeddah provide travelers with even more choice. Etihad Airways currently operates 14 weekly non-stop flights to and from Riyadh; 21 weekly services to Jeddah; 21 weekly flights to Dammam, in addition to a daily operation to Medina. Other Boeing 787 Dreamliner routes in Etihad Airways’ global network, include: Washington DC, Zurich, Dusseldorf, Shanghai, Singapore, Perth and Brisbane. Effective 1 November 2016, the B787 will operate daily on the Abu Dhabi – Johannesburg route, followed by Abu Dhabi – Tokyo, from 1 December 2016.