Etihad Airways will operate a third daily flight to Riyadh from next month.
The extra services underscore a sharp rise in the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia.
Traffic from Saudi Arabia at Abu Dhabi International Airport rose sharply in November compared with the same month the previous year, with an increase of 43.5 per cent.
Etihad’s new daily late night departures from both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are timed to allow guests to spend full days in either city. Together with a Boeing 777 and the recently-introduced Boeing 787 on the route, the new service will increase the number of weekly seats to 10,600 between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Codeshare partner flynas will continue to operate a daily flight on the route.
“Our expanded services between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are in line with Etihad Airways’ strategy to offer more choice, greater frequency and additional travel options when aircraft availability and market conditions permit,” said Kevin Knight, the Etihad Aviation Group chief strategy and planning officer.
“The extra flights will cater to the strong demand between the two capital cities, and bring closer our global network to Riyadh over our Abu Dhabi hub.”
Saudi Arabia was the seventh-largest market for Abu Dhabi during the first 10 months of last year, with 125,470 tourists visiting the emirate, a 3 per cent year-on-year increase, according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
By National Staff www.thenational.ae