Etihad to incease capacity to Beirut following removal of a travel ban
Etihad will operate the upgraded flights with two-class Boeing 787-9s
Etihad Airways is to increase capacity between Abu Dhabi and Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.
The airline has revealed that the current daily Airbus A321 service will be upgraded to a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from October 27.
The announcement comes following the removal of a travel ban to Lebanon for UAE citizens, sister publication Arabian Business reported.
Robin Kamark, chief commercial officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “When Etihad was launched in November 2003, Beirut was our first very first scheduled destination. Following the announcement yesterday that travel restrictions between these markets will be lifted, we moved quickly to increase our capacity to meet an expected increase in passenger and cargo demand, and to allocate our newest aircraft and product to the route.”
Flight EY 535 will depart Abu Dhabi at 9.50am daily, arriving in Beirut at 12.30pm, with the return flight EY 538 leaving Beirut at 2pm and arriving back in Abu Dhabi at 7.35pm. Etihad will operate the upgraded flights with two-class Boeing 787-9s, the newest aircraft type in the airline’s fleet.
The jets are configured to seat 299 passengers in a mix of 28 business studios and 271 economy smart seats. The 787s will also provide a significant increase in cargo capacity.
However, there is no similar moves planned by the country’s other two major airlines, Emirates airline and Flydubai, who will operate services to Lebanon as scheduled.
Emirati nationals had been banned from travelling to the neighbouring country since the start of the Syrian Civil War, amid heightened fears over potential kidnappings and other safety and security concerns.
However, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced this week that the restrictions have been lifted.