Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the UAE, will introduce its first ‘all economy’ class aircraft into its fleet in October 2010. The two Airbus A320s will be configured to carry 162 economy class passengers, an increase of 42 from the current economy capacity.
The all economy cabin aircraft will operate to short haul Etihad destinations, which have high demand for economy traffic and low demand for premium traffic. Initially these will be Alexandria, Calicut, Colombo, Damascus, Doha and Thiruvananthapuram.
Plans are in place to expand the all economy fleet to 10 A320 aircraft which will enable the airline to launch new short haul destinations which have low demand for premium travel and also to existing Etihad destinations.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Etihad has grown at a remarkable pace during the past six and a half years. We have built a strong brand and a robust business, and it is the right time to challenge the way we serve our various markets and segments.
“Our all economy aircraft will allow us to offer a more competitive product in key point-to-point markets in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, while maintaining the high standards of service we have become known for.”
Customers travelling on the new ‘all economy’ aircraft will receive the same world class service and product that is featured on our current narrow body fleet, such as seat back in-flight entertainment screens and hot and cold meals and beverages. Each seat has a 32 inch pitch.
Etihad currently has 15 A320 aircraft within its fleet and 35 aircraft are on order from Airbus.