Etihad Airways has confirmed plans to reduce its Abu Dhabi-New York JFK service to one flight per day from the current double daily frequency.
The change will take effect from October 1, with flights EY103 (departing Abu Dhabi at 0250) and EY102 (departing New York at 1150) being dropped.
Flights EY101 (departing Abu Dhabi at 0955) and EY100 (departing New York at 2255) will continue to be served by the carrier’s A380 aircraft.
In a statement Etihad said that: “Along with our travel agency partners, we will work closely with any impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries and re-accommodate them on alternative flights.
Only last June the carrier moved to an all-A380 operation on its double daily service between the two destinations, with CEO Peter Baumgartner saying at the time that “The response we have received from our guests travelling between Abu Dhabi and New York since we first launched the A380 service two years ago has been phenomenal”.
Last year Etihad dropped its Abu Dhabi – San Francisco route, citing “lower than planned yields and load factors”, and the carrier also ceased operations to Dallas in March of this year, blaming American Airlines’ recent decision to end codeshare agreements with the Gulf carrier.
The A380 aircraft freed up by the dropping of the second New York service, will be deployed on Etihad’s Paris CDG route from the start of October, moving the double-daily service to an all-A380 operation.
Commenting on the move Baumgartner said: “Paris has always been a very special destination on the Etihad network and the number of visitors from France to Abu Dhabi, and vice versa has continued to show significant growth. The route has never been more in demand.
“We have seized the opportunity to place our flagship Airbus A380 on our second daily flight, following the great reception the aircraft has received from our guests, and to ensure we offer product consistency on the route.”