Etihad A340-500Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will increase its Abu Dhabi-Beirut services from double daily to 18 flights per week from 1 January, 2010.

Etihad’s services to Beirut, which were launched in November 2003, have proved extremely popular with travellers, providing high volumes of traffic into Abu Dhabi as well as transit traffic to many Asian destinations. The additional four flights per week will offer passengers increased connections to some of Etihad’s key destinations, including Etihad’s newest destination, Colombo, four times per week.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer, said “Our Beirut services have been very successful, with average load factors of between 80 and 90 per cent on both inbound and outbound flights.

“In addition to the strong demand for flights from Lebanese nationals who work in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, we are seeing a strengthening in corporate and leisure traffic across our network. Demand for flights between Beirut and Colombo, and on Etihad’s services to Sydney, Melbourne, Manila and Thailand, has been particularly strong, and our additional services will help meet that growing demand.

“Abu Dhabi is an important hub, and we are committed to offering our passengers a range of accessible connection options to our worldwide network.”