Etihad Airways is to use Boeing 787 Dreamliners on all its flights to China from July 1 following the upgrade of its Abu Dhabi to Chengdu route. The service will be flown by 787-9s configured with 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart seats. Also providing an increase in belly cargo capacity of four tonnes, the move comes as the airline continues to phase out its Airbus A330-200s.
Once the changes take effect, the carrier’s 28 weekly flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hong Kong will all be flown by Dreamliner variants. Etihad’s daily service from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai is also to be upgraded from July. The equipment change, from a 787-9 to a -10, adds 37 seats per flight, the larger -10 seating 336 split between 32 Business Studios and 304 Economy Smart seats. Belly-hold cargo capacity will be increased by two and a half tonnes.
— Etihad Airways (@EtihadAirways) February 13, 2019
Robin Kamark, Etihad Aviation Group’s chief commercial officer, said: “We are delighted to include Chengdu to our growing list of Dreamliner destinations. All our Chinese gateways will now be served by these technologically advanced aircraft, ensuring our guests experience the latest in-flight product innovations. We are equally pleased to be upgrading our Shanghai flights to our 787-10 aircraft.”
Etihad Airways recently celebrated 10 years of direct flights between Abu Dhabi and China, the capital-capital airlink was launched in 2008. The airline has since carried over four and a half million passengers between Abu Dhabi and China.