DALLAS — Etihad Airways launched service to its sixth US destination–Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas,– from Abu Dhabi on December 3.  The flight currently operates three times weekly (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday) using a 777-200LR, and it will begin daily service in April 2015. Arriving passengers will have the advantage of US Customs Pre-clearance, bypassing customs at DFW and allowing their baggage to be checked through to their final destination.

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In order to kick off the new service, Etihad hosted a launch party at the Hall of State at Fair Park—a building which celebrates Texas’s history and culture.  Models of the first and business class seats on various aircraft types were on hand to allow guests to experience the onboard product. Most of the models were for the two newest aircraft types—the A380 and 787—neither of which will be used to serve DFW.  Notably absent was the model of The Residence—the only three-room suite in the sky.  Catering featured many of the products available onboard, and music featured Italian trio Il Volo.

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President and CEO James Hogan was on hand to offer Texans a resounding “Howdy,”
and His Excellency Abdulla Alsaboosi, the UAE’s Consul General for Los Angeles, spoke about the vital economic connections between Texas and the UAE, particularly for the energy and tourism industries.  Alsaboosi even highlighted the service being offered by Etihad’s biggest competitor, Dubai-based Emirates.

dsc_0262DFW has received a great deal of attention from the Middle East Big 3 carriers this year. Qatar Airways began daily service to Doha in July using a 777-200LR, and Emirates upgraded their daily flight from a 777-200 to an A380 in October.  Abu Dhabi is DFW’s 18th new international destination of 2014.