Etihad Airways to increase service to Erbil to meet traveler demand

Etihad Airways to increase service to Erbil to meet traveler demand

Business and government travelers who are flying between Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Erbil in Iraq now have double the flying options, as Etihad Airways plans to increase its service to this area.

Beginning in September 2011, Etihad, the flag carrier airline of Abu Dhabi, will double its service to Erbil, from two times per week to four. For the route, the carrier uses its Airbus A320, which features a Pearl Business Class cabin that can seat 16 passengers who purchase business class tickets.

According to airline officials, the decision to offer additional flights along this route, which was introduced in June 2010, was due to a load factor that was over 80 percent by May 2011.

"We are committed to building and strengthening ties in our region," said James Hogan, the airline's chief executive officer. "With these additional flights, Etihad will offer air travelers from around the world significantly improved connection opportunities through our Abu Dhabi hub as we continue to add breadth and depth through additional frequencies on key routes across our expanding global network."

Hogan adds that Etihad expects to see continued demand for flights to Erbil, especially among business and government travelers as well as Iraqis who wish to visit their friends and family in different parts of the world.

The increase in service to Erbil is the latest in a series of additional flights the carrier has added this year.

Individuals who purchase business class airfares for one of Etihad's A320s will fly Pearl Business Class. The 16 reclining seats that are featured in this cabin offer passengers a 49-inch pitch, footrest, adjustable headrest and lumbar support, according to the carrier's official website.

While seated, travelers with business class fares can access over 600 hours worth of entertainment, from new movies and television programs to video games and music. Passengers can enjoy these options through their own 10.6-inch personal LCD screens and noise-cancelling headsets. This system also allows people to recharge their electronic devices while in the air.

Those who fly Pearl Business Class will be able to choose from a range of menu items and boutique wines as the cabin's food and beverage manager helps passengers identify the best meal for their mood. 

By Jason Faulkner

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