Sunday, January 1, 2017

Etihad Route Map, September 2016: the Near Asian & East African Routes

Picking up from where we left off before the end of the year, when we had exhaustively examined the redesign of Emirates Airline's route map, here is the example of its counterpart, barely 130 kms down the national highway in Abu Dhabi: Etihad, officially the national airline of the UAE. 

The smaller but, if anything, more luxurious rival connects its home base to six continents, shown here and in the next several posts of this week with an examination of its rather pedestrian route map from the September edition of its in-flight publication. 

Starting in this post, the routes radiate out from Abu Dhabi, as does every single flight of the airline. The airlines geographic extent mirrors, in lesser form, the six-continent coverage of its rival. All the usual regional capitals are served, but more often with narrow-body A320s than with the widebodies of Emirates. Equally well-covered are the south Asian gateways, economically important but also bridges to the vast majority of the UAE's foreign labor force.

We will look further east in Asia in the next few posts, but for now it is interesting to note the strong appearances in Kazakhstan. While a number of airlines fly to Almaty, the former capital and large commercial center, it is somewhat rarer to also service Astana, the new-built capital on the steppes. 

With far fewer routes to Africa than Emirates, Etihad has but one interesting distinction, if not exactly an advantage: its non-stop flight to Mahe is in cooperation with Air Seychelles, in which Eithad acquired a 40% stake.

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