Etihad to launch all-economy A320 flights

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Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways is to introduce its first all economy-class flights from October. Two Airbus A320s will be configured to carry 162 passengers, an increase of 42 economy seats on the normal configuration.

The aircraft will operate to short-haul Etihad destinations, which have high demand for economy traffic and low demand for premium traffic, says the airline. Initially, the destinations will include Alexandria, Calicut, Colombo, Damascus, Doha and Thiruvananthapuram.

Etihad plans to expand the all-economy fleet to ten A320 aircraft, which will enable the airline to launch new short-haul destinations. The carrier says it has 15 A320s in service and a further 35 on order.

"Our all economy aircraft will allow us to offer a more competitive product in key point-to-point markets in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, while maintaining the high standards of service we have become known for," says Etihad CEO James Hogan.