Etihad Airways reinforces US expansion with new A350s and JetBlue partnership


Etihad Airways has reinforced its position in the US market by increasing flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The news follows the launch of the airline’s Airbus A350-1000 fleet and an expanded partnership with low-cost airline JetBlue. 

Last month the Gulf carrier announced that it would be adding four weekly flights on its Abu Dhabi – New York route from November 15, 2022, serving a total of 11 weekly nonstop services to JFK, alongside daily services to Chicago and Washington.  

The new flights will be operated with the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, while existing daily services will be served by Etihad’s new Airbus A350 aircraft, the airline said. 

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“The US remains one of our leading markets and that is why New York and Chicago were amongst the first destinations to be serviced by Etihad’s new A350,” Tony Douglas, Etihad Airways Group CEO, said in a statement released on September 10, 2022.  

Etihad will serve a total of 25 weekly services during the winter. 

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What does an expanded codeshare mean for JetBlue and Etihad?  

Etihad and JetBlue have been codeshare partners since 2014 and currently codeshare across 46 destinations throughout the Americas. 

JetBlue recently began codesharing on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to Chicago and New York, with Washington, D.C to be added soon. 

“As Etihad prepares to increase flights to New York’s JFK International Airport in November, the partners are planning to add additional destinations offering travellers seamless connectivity to new gateways”, the statement added.  


New A350s to take over Etihad’s daily US operations  

Etihad first unveiled its new Airbus A350-1000, registration A6-XWB, on a special inaugural commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris new in March 2022. Since then, the airline has added five A350s to its fleet and aims to deploy the aircraft to key North American and Indian destinations.   

The Gulf carrier launched its A350 US operations with a commercial flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to JFK on June 30, 2022. A day later, on July 1, the airline announced that all Etihad flights servicing New York and Chicago O’Hare International Airport would be operated by the A350.  

Etihad’s new A350-1000s were deployed on short to mid-range routes in Q2, which included Mumbai and Delhi, before being introduced on ultra-long-haul operations to Chicago and New York, the airline added.

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