Etihad doubles up on Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf route

The Abu Dhabi flag carrier will fly to the German city in the country's industrial heartland twice daily from March with the addition of an extra service

An Etihad Airways A380 aircraft heads for the runway for its departure from Abu Dhabi International Airport. The carrier has increased its flight to Dusseldorf. Delores Johnson / The National
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Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, is set to get another daily service from the UAE capital when Etihad Airways launches an extra daily service to to Düsseldorf

The Abu Dhabi fcarrier will fly to the German city 14 times a week with the addition of the new daily service, effective from March 26.

The twice daily schedule will provide greater choice to local passengers travelling between Abu Dhabi and Düsseldorf, and further increase connectivity to and from Germany via the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub. Etihad will also increase international connections through codesharing with partner carrier airberlin via Düsseldorf.

The new mid-morning departure from Abu Dhabi and return overnight service from Düsseldorf will offer two-way connectivity to additional markets across Asia and Australia, including Brisbane, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Phuket, Kathmandu and Seychelles. The extra daily frequency will provide further connections to popular destinations including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Mumbai and Delhi.

With the additional capacity, Etihad’s frequency between Abu Dhabi and its three German gateways of Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich rises from 35 to 42 flights a week, resulting in double daily flights to each city. Its partner carrier airberlin also operates twice-daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Berlin.

“Increased frequency to our key destinations globally is a focus for Etihad Airways as expansion ensures more travel options for guests looking for greater flexibility,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’a chief executive. “We are therefore delighted to soon offer double daily options to all four German destinations on Etihad Airways and our strategic partner airberlin.”

Düsseldorf is the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. There have been many changes in the state’s economy in recent times. Employment in the creative industries is up while the mining sector is employing fewer people.The Ruhr region has – since the 1960s – undergone a significant structural change away from coal mining and steel industry.

Düsseldorf city’s economy is dominated by accounting and auditing, corporate consulting and legal services, advertising and fashion. In addition, Düsseldorf is the second-largest urban centre of banking and securities activities in Germany, after Frankfurt, with its own stock exchange (Börse Düsseldorf).

“With its new twice-daily service between Düsseldorf and Abu Dhabi, this clearly shows that the airline recognises the great significance of the Rhine-Ruhr Region as an attractive destination with one of Europe’s strongest catchment areas,” said Thomas Schnalke, the Düsseldorf Airport chief executive.

“North Rhine-Westphalia is a key business region, home to many international companies, and it is hugely important to offer the best possible accessibility for business travellers from the Arabian Gulf. Abu Dhabi, too, is an excellent destination for both leisure and business, and promises to appeal even more for travellers from Düsseldorf and the neighbouring region with these new services.”

Düsseldorf Airport is the third-largest in Germany after Frankfurt and Munich with a throughput of 22.4 million passengers in 2015. The airport handles about 300 flights daily, inclduing A380s, and is the 24th busiest in Europe out of well in excess of 500 airports across the continent.

airberlin, which operates a daily service between Düsseldorf and Abu Dhabi, has notified Etihad of its decision to discontinue the route and redeploy the aircraft on to other markets from the beginning of the 2017 summer schedule. airberlin will continue to offer its Düsseldorf-based customers access to Abu Dhabi and beyond through codesharing on Etihad’s existing and new flights from the western German city.

Passengers booked on airberlin flights from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi and beyond will be reprotected on services operated by Etihad Airways.

chnelson@thenational.ae

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