Etihad Airways will deploy a state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on its daily Washington service from 15 March 2015, marking the US debut of its next generation First, Business and Economy class products.
The airline’s acclaimed interiors for the Boeing 787-9 include eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, offering superior levels of comfort, entertainment and in-flight connectivity. Onboard décor and lighting have been inspired by contemporary Arabian design, complementing Etihad Airways’ new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery design.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said:
“As the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class, the Boeing 787 will reduce the operating costs and carbon emissions on our Washington, D.C. route and provide maximum efficiency and reliability. Importantly, we have customised the aircraft with the world’s most innovative and sophisticated First, Business and Economy class cabins, providing our guests with superior levels of comfort and attention to detail not previously enjoyed by the modern air traveller.”
Etihad Airways commenced its daily non-stop flights between Abu Dhabi and Washington, D.C. in March 2013, creating the first direct air link between the two capitals. The service has attracted strong demand from government and business travellers, and has also supported the continued growth of leisure travel between and beyond the two cities.
Guests travelling to Washington, D.C. experience the unique benefit of arriving having pre-cleared US Customs and Border Protection at Abu Dhabi Airport. The process allows passengers to pass through all required checks including US customs, immigration and security before they board their flight to the US, enabling them to avoid queues on arrival.
Another key benefit of US preclearance is that baggage security screening meets United States TSA security standards, allowing air travellers who connect onto a domestic flight in the US to have their baggage checked through from Abu Dhabi to their final destination.
Guests travelling from Washington, D.C. have the convenience of an attractively timed evening departure, allowing them to travel after completion of their business day.
Etihad Airways’ premium guests are also provided with access to the airline’s lounge at Dulles International Airport. The split-level facility offers soothing relaxation spaces, elegant fine dining areas, state-of-the-art business amenities, family entertainment areas, and luxurious bathrooms with invigorating shower facilities. With a prime location next to Etihad Airways’ departure gate in Terminal A, it also provides unfettered and convenient direct access to the aircraft without having to go through a traditional departure gate.
Washington, D.C. is one of six destinations served by Etihad Airways in the United States, alongside San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort Worth, Chicago and New York.
Mr Hogan said:
“Etihad Airways operates 45 flights a week to and from the US and connects the country with our extensive global network, including 34 destinations in the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent. We continue to experience strong demand for travel between the US and India, where we serve 11 cities in our own right and 15 in combination with our partner Jet Airways, providing unparalleled reach into the country. In addition, our guests benefit from some of the fastest journey times in the industry from Washington D.C. to popular destinations such as Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai.”
Etihad Airways’ order for two variants of the B787 (-9 and -10), is one of the largest for the type, totalling 71 aircraft. The lightweight composite materials used in the aircraft mean that the B787 uses up to 30 per cent less fuel than other aircraft in its category and therefore produces a comparable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. New technologies are also used to ensure its noise footprint is more than 60% smaller than other aircraft of its size.