Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, today introduced its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner into commercial service. The first flight, operated by a Boeing 787-9, departed Abu Dhabi at 2.15am as flight EY23 for the seven-hour, 25-minute flight to Düsseldorf, Germany. The flight arrived at 6.40am the same morning. The return service from Düsseldorf to Abu Dhabi departs at 10.20am with a scheduled arrival time of 7.50pm at Abu Dhabi.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a tremendous milestone for Etihad Airways. The Boeing 787 is without doubt the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class. It will provide us with a clear reduction in operating costs and carbon emissions, at maximum reliability and efficiency. The dimensions and unique features of this aircraft have allowed us to customise it with the most innovative and sophisticated cabins, providing our guests with levels of comfort and attention to detail not previously enjoyed by the modern airline traveller.”
The new Etihad Airways B787 interiors feature 8 First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats, offering superior levels of comfort, entertainment and in-flight connectivity. On-board décor and lighting has been inspired by contemporary Arabian design, complementing the new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ design identity recently introduced by the airline.
Etihad Airways’ order for two variants of the B787 (-9 and -10), is one of the largest for the type, totalling 71 aircraft. The airline will place the aircraft on other key medium and long-haul routes such as Mumbai and Brisbane, with more destinations being added as the airline takes delivery of more of the type. The airline will also begin taking delivery of B787s in a two-class configuration from 2016.
The lightweight composite materials used in the aircraft mean that the B787 uses up to 30% less fuel than other aircraft in its category and as a result produces a comparable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The B787 also uses a number of new technologies to ensure that the aircraft’s noise footprint is more that 60% smaller than other aircraft of its size.