ETIHAD Airways has confirmed plans to start four-weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Chengdu from December 15.
The flights will be operated using Airbus A330-200s with 22 business-class seats and 240 economy-class seats.
Etihad will be the first Middle Eastern airline to operate to the capital of Sichuan province, which will be Etihad’s 69th destination worldwide, and second in China after Beijing.
Calling Chengdu the economic centre and transportation and communications hub of China’s booming South-west, Etihad CEO, James Hogan, said: “(The new route) will provide a new, more convenient gateway into South-west China for business and leisure travellers from Europe and the Middle East, and a faster, new route to Europe and the Middle East for the rapidly growing Chinese outbound travel market.”
“With the purchasing power of the Chinese consumer rising in sync with annual GDP growth of 7.5 per cent till 2030, the Chinese travel market has enormous latent potential,” Hogan added.