Etihad to boost European services

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates is to increase capacity through Manchester Airport as it takes delivery of five new wide-bodied passenger aircraft, three A330-300s and two B777-300ERs, in 2011.

In a statement Etihad, sponsor of Manchester City FC, said it will have 62 passenger and cargo aircraft in operation by the third quarter of 2011.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said the aircraft deliveries were in line with its target to boost frequencies on five key European routes in 2011 and increase capacity on a range of other routes.

The destinations are Paris, Manchester, Geneva, Milan and Brussels. Capacity increases will be made to Etihad's services to cities like Beijing, Bangalore and Chicago.

Enhancements to the schedule mean that by October this year,74% of Etihad's flight network of 66 destinations, will be served by at least daily flights.

The company also said it would continue its retro-fit programme for the wide-body and narrow-body aircraft currently in its fleet.

In December, Eithad opened a passenger lounge at Manchester Airport, pictured above.

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