Etihad Blames American as the Reason for Suspending Its Service to Dallas
Etihad is suspending its Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Dallas (DFW) route in 2018. The carrier announced on Thursday that effective March 25, it'll no longer operate to the Texan city — a decision it's blaming on American Airlines.
Etihad launched the AUH-DFW route in December 2014 with 3x weekly service before upgrading it to daily service in February 2017. However, in recent months, tension between American Airlines and Etihad has grown. Most recently, in July, American announced it was going to end its codeshare agreements with both Etihad and Qatar. The reasoning behind AA's decision was that the two carriers have an unfair advantage over American carriers because of government subsidies. Now, Etihad is using that decision as reasoning for suspending its DFW service.
"The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth," said Etihad CEO Peter Baumgartner.
Coincidentally, American announced the codeshare agreement with Etihad will end on March 25, 2018 — the same date Etihad announced on Thursday for suspending its AUH-DFW service. Of course, the Dallas area is where American Airlines is headquartered, and DFW is its biggest hub.
"We are open to American Airlines reversing its decision to cancel our codeshare agreement so that Etihad Airways can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines," Baumgartner said.
Currently, and while the route is still in service, Etihad operates AUH-DFW with the Boeing 777-200LR. This AUH-DFW suspension is only the latest cut to US service for Etihad. Last month, the carrier announced that it cut its route to San Francisco (SFO) entirely as of October 29. The carrier struggled to fill aircraft, even after it reduced service to 3x weekly.
With the suspension of AUH-DFW in 2018, Etihad will operate four daily nonstop routes between the US and its hub in Abu Dhabi: Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK) twice daily and Washington (IAD). In addition, as of January 14, 2018, Etihad is reducing its daily nonstop to Los Angeles (LAX) to 4x weekly service.