Etihad Airways will launch non-stop daily flights to Medina, the regional capital of the western Saudi Arabian province of Al Madinah and the second holiest city in Islam after the Holy city of Mekkah.
With the addition of the new service, which will start on February 1 2014, Etihad Airways will now offer 50 weekly flights to four destinations in Saudi Arabia which, along with Medina, include Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah.
Flights between Abu Dhabi and Medina will be operated by an A320 aircraft fitted with 16 Pearl Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats, offering a total 1,904 seats per week.
The new services are set to meet growing demand from religious Hajj and Umrah travellers wishing to visit this Holy city which is the home of Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque and burial site. They will also allow maximum connectivity over Abu Dhabi for flights between Saudi Arabia and the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, GCC and Europe, as well as serving strong point to point traffic.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to announce the introduction of Medina to the Etihad Airways’ global flight network. Saudi Arabia has always been a key market for Etihad Airways and Medina is therefore an important strategic destination for the airline. Our new flights will cater to the Saudi Arabian population living in the UAE, as well as to the growing numbers of business and religious travellers looking to fly to the city”.
“The demand for the Umrah flights has always been very strong and with plans for the expansion of the Prophet Mohammed Mosque underway, we expect this demand to continue to grow in the future,” Mr Hogan said.
The new service to Medina will be Etihad Airways’ ninth destination in the Arabian Peninsula, joining Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, and Sana’a.