Etihad Airways will add a second daily flight between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi from 1 August 2015 as the Gulf airline continues to build its presence in Australia against neighbour, competitor and Qantas partner Emirates.
The new flight will depart Melbourne at 3pm as EY463, arriving into Abu Dhabi at 11.05pm; the return leg EY462 departs Abu Dhabi at 10.30am to reach Melbourne at 6.05am the next day
The schedule is designed to complement Etihad's current daily EY460/461 service, which leaves Melbourne at 10.40pm.
Both of Etihad's Melbourne flights will run on a Boeing 777-300ER jet with first, business and economy class.
2015 will also see the opening of a new Etihad lounge at Melbourne Airport's international terminal.
Read our review of Etihad's Sydney lounge to see what's in store
From 1 July 2015 Etihad will also fly its new flagship Airbus A380 superjumbo to Sydney and the advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Brisbane.
"We commenced flights to Melbourne in 2009 and it has since become one of the strongest routes on our network" said Etihad Airways President James Hogan, who added that "together with Virgin Australia and our other partner airlines, we have built a large and loyal customer base."
“The new schedule will offer our guests a choice of two convenient departure times and seamless connectivity over Abu Dhabi to the Etihad Airways and Etihad Partners’ global networks."
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT