Etihad Airways CEO, James Hogan, yesterday announced that the airline shall be launching service to Washington D.C from Abu Dhabi on 31st March 2013, subject to regulatory approval. No schedules for the service are available at the moment.
United Airlines is already flying on the Washington D.C - Dubai route, while Qatar Airways is also flying to Washington from Doha.
This moves mostly appears as a preemptive strike against Emirates - which does not have service to Washington at the moment. It is no secret that Emirates had been waiting for the right time to announce a Washington service and Etihad has become the first to make a move in this market - which albeit having a smaller connectivity potential - is of significant geographical importance. Nevertheless, the chance is there that we may actually see Emirates in Washington before when Etihad begins service in 2013.