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HomeUSEtihad Airways Land In Boston With Eyes Towards Future US Expansion

Etihad Airways Land In Boston With Eyes Towards Future US Expansion

Summary Etihad Airways launched new nonstop services between Boston and Abu Dhabi with a Boeing 787-9.
Boston serves as a crucial gateway for Etihad due to partnerships and easy passenger connections.
Etihad strategically chose a moderate-capacity 787-9 for the route and has seen high load factors so far.
On 31 March 2024, Middle Eastern legacy carrier Etihad Airways touched down at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), marking the commencement of new nonstop services between the city and the carrier’s fortress hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). This service now marks the fourth nonstop US connection for Etihad, which also offers services to Chicago-O’Hare Airport (ORD), New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), alongside flights to Toronto-Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Canada.
This new service will initially operate four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and is operated by the carrier’s modern and fuel-efficient Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The plane features Etihad’s industry-leading business studio seats alongside a comfortable and modern economy-class product.
Photo: Alexander Mitchell | Simple Flying
On 1 April 2024, the first flight from Boston back to Abu Dhabi took off from Logan Airport, and Simple Flying was on hand for an inaugural ceremony at the facility to celebrate this new route expansion. Additionally, Arik De, Etihad’s Chief Revenue Officer, took the time to offer his thoughts on the route launch and the airline’s greater US growth strategy in an exclusive interview.
An ideal gateway
According to the airline’s leadership team, Boston stands as a crucial gateway for Etihad and a unique linchpin for the carrier’s expanding service network. Logan Airport strategically allows Etihad to cater to different markets at the same time and provide both with an exceptional standard of quality that competitors could find challenging to match.
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One of Etihad’s most important US partners is JetBlue, which maintains a far-reaching interline and codeshare agreement that allows for connectivity between the two carriers. As Etihad already flies to JetBlue’s major hub in New York, the carrier has chosen to double down on its commitment to their partnership by launching new nonstop flights from Abu Dhabi to Boston, the US carrier’s other major hub.
This decision has already paid off, as Etihad has already seen an impressive number of passengers choosing to capitalize on the new codeshare agreement. As Arik De was quick to indicate in his speech at the beginning of the inaugural ceremony, a significant portion of the passengers onboard yesterday’s inaugural flight were connecting to other US destinations using the extensive JetBlue network.
Photo: Alexander Mitchell | Simple Flying
An interline agreement with JetBlue allows Etihad passengers to fly to destinations across the United States on a single ticket without having to worry about rechecking baggage onto their new flights. Furthermore, due to the US Customs and Border Protection preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi, arrivals to Boston will experience a similar procedure as any other domestic passenger, allowing for even easier connections.
Blazing a unique trail
The market between Boston and the Middle East is heavily saturated with flights from high-capacity widebodies, something all three of Etihad’s major competitors fly on their routes from their hubs to the New England city. Emirates operates a high-capacity Boeing 777, while Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways both operate A350 flights, all of which stand in sharp contrast to the moderate capacity of Etihad’s 787-9.
Photo: Alexander Mitchell | Simple Flying
The aircraft that Etihad will be flying on this route features 28 business studio seats alongside 262 in economy class, a configuration that offers a significantly lower premium capacity than many of the airline’s competitors. If you ask Arik De, however, this was by design. In the interview, he shared the following words regarding the decision:

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