Etihad Airways to fly Boeing Dreamliner to Beirut in anticipation of increased travel following ban lift
Etihad Airways has announced that it will increase capacity between Abu Dhabi and Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, by upgrading the current daily Airbus A321 service to a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from 27th October, 2019.
The step up from narrow-body to wide-body aircraft follows yesterday’s announcement by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the immediate removal of a travel ban to Lebanon for UAE citizens. Lifting this restriction, imposed in February 2016, is expected to spur a significant increase in demand for travel between the two capitals.
Etihad will operate the upgraded flights with two-class Boeing 787-9s, the newest aircraft type in the airline’s fleet. These 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.
Commenting on the announcement, Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said, "Lebanon is a critically important market for the UAE and for its national airline, Etihad Airways. 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."