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Etihad isn’t doing great financially, having lost almost $2 billion in 2016. It’s been making cuts to routes, service on-board and even its Six Senses Spa in London.
In June, we found out that Etihad would cut its route to San Francisco (SFO) entirely on October 29. The airline first tried to reduce service to three times a week but still struggled to fill planes. Part of the blame for this route cancellation can be attributed to Air India’s 6x weekly flights from SFO to Delhi (DEL). While Air India doesn’t have a compelling premium class product, the flights from SFO-DEL makes a West Coast flight to the Indian subcontinent a lot easier than flying all the way through Abu Dhabi (AUH).
Now another US West Coast Etihad gateway is getting cut back. Effective January 14, Etihad is reducing its daily flights to Los Angeles (LAX) to a 4-times-weekly operation. Flights will continue to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
It’s entirely possible that this is once again due to Air India making inroads on routes that Etihad has relied on to connect US-based travelers with the Indian subcontinent. In May, Air India’s Chairman announced the airline would launch flights to LAX starting September 1, however, that date came and went and there’s still been no word since the original tease.
Fortunately, this reduction in service is just temporary at this point. Daily flights are resuming effective May 1 and are scheduled to run through the end of schedule (currently September 8). The airline is scheduled to maintain a Boeing 777 on the route through the cutback and resumption of daily service.
Etihad is maintaining at-least-daily service on its four surviving US routes:
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Chicago (ORD): daily
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Dallas (DFW): daily
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK): 2x daily
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Washington, D.C. (IAD): daily
As part of verifying the schedules on this news, I was able to confirm that the American Airlines codeshare on this route ends March 25, as originally reported by Forbes in July.
H/T: One Mile At A Time
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