Etihad Airways will boost its daily Melbourne flights with the debut of a new Boeing 777-300ER to replace the current Airbus A340 on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi route.
Just don't get too excited: the move's some nine months away, with the big bird set to take wing on December 1st.
And if you're not travelling at the pointy end you'll be in for a squeeze: the Boeing 777's economy seats are roughly an inch narrower than their A340 counterparts, and are arranged in a tighter 3-4-3 compared to the A340's 2-4-2.
But from Etihad's perspective this makes for an increase of 252 more seats per week, representing a 12.3% bump in capacity – a move which Etihad Airways President and CEO James Hogan says is driven by Melbourne's star performance.
“Melbourne is one of the best-performing routes in our global network, and has the highest passenger load factor of our three Australian destinations,” Hogan explains.
“Victorians are not only flying with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi, an emerging business and leisure destination, but also on to destinations in the Gulf region, Middle East, Europe and Africa."
"Our decision to increase capacity between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi reflects not only the growth we have achieved so far, but also our confidence in the Victorian market.”
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