DALLAS – Etihad Airways (EY) has announced that it will be adding more frequencies to its Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Rome (FCO) flights in response to the increase in demand for flights between Italy and the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE carrier will now offer a second evening schedule to give passengers more convenient connection possibilities with its extensive Asia-Pacific network, increasing weekly flights from 7 to 11. This second service will run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, departing Rome at 21:35CET. The move is part of EY’s preparation for the winter 2023 season.
Arik De, CRO at EY, said, “We’re delighted to announce the expansion of our Rome service, which underscores our commitment to providing more flexibility and better travel options to our guests in Italy, the UAE and across our network.
“With Etihad Airways increasing its Rome flight frequency, visitors from the UAE will now have even more opportunities to get a taste of la dolce vita or connect onwards to one of 45 Italian, European or Americas destinations with our codeshare partner ITA Airways.
“Our second Rome service has also been timed to provide optimised local flight times for those visiting Abu Dhabi, with an evening departure and a convenient morning arrival that allows for maximised time in the capital.”
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will operate the Flights, configured in a two-class layout, carrying 290 passengers. Recently, Etihad announced the introduction of a new state-of-the-art passenger cabin with enhanced comfort and privacy for passengers flying on board the newest Dreamliners in August this year.
Low-Cost Competition on the Five-Hour Route
As strange as it may seem, Etihad Airways is not alone in operating the route between Rome-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH). Rapidly growing low-cost carrier Wizz Air (W6) has also been flying the route daily since February 2023.
This service, operated by the modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo aircraft, has forced Etihad Airways to drop its prices a brutal 1.000% in some cases to try to match the cheap offers of Wizz Air, even though both airlines offer entirely different products. This has caused interesting situations where an unbeatable economy class experience on a five-hour flight was priced as any other low-cost ticket.
Apart from Adu Dhabi, Wizz Air has also recently entered into direct competition with many other Middle-Eastern airlines, such as El Al (LY) and ITA (AZ) to Tel Aviv (LTV), Kuwait Airways (KU) to Kuwait City (KWI), Royal Jordanian (RJ) to Amman (AMM) or Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV) to both Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH).
Featured image: Tony Bordelais/Airways.