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September 16, 2009updated Dec 20, 2023

Chicago Becomes Second U.S. Destination for Etihad

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has launched service to Chicago from its hub at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Etihad Flight EY151 from Abu Dhabi International Airport landed late this afternoon at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, where as it taxied to Terminal 5 the 286-seat wide-body aircraft branded in eye-catching Formula 1™ livery was welcomed by airport fire trucks and a “water arch” from their cannons. The Airbus A340-600 features the official F1 logo and checkered flag on the tail fin.

The launch of the new service – Etihad’s third destination in North America after New York and Toronto – brings the number of international destinations served by the Abu Dhabi-based airline to 55 in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “We are delighted to start services to Chicago, our third major destination in North America. Chicago is set to become a key part of our global flight program with strong traffic expected to and from cities across our Middle East and Indian Sub-Continent network. Etihad’s fleet of new, fuel-efficient aircraft allows us to launch flights to ultra-long haul destinations, such as Chicago, while providing customers in all three cabins with the most luxurious in-flight experience on offer in the industry.”

“On behalf of Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Department of Aviation, we are pleased to welcome Etihad Airways to O’Hare International Airport,” said Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. “Adding Abu Dhabi as a new city destination complements O’Hare’s robust international service offerings and further strengthens our airports’ key role in the global aviation system.”

The Chicago flights, operating Wednesday-Friday-Sunday, depart Abu Dhabi at 1040 and arrive at O’Hare Terminal 5 at 1640 the same day. Return flight EY150 departs Chicago at 2030, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 1955 the next evening (local times). The service will increase to six per week (daily except Tuesday) from October 31 and to daily from the beginning of 2010.

Chicago service will operate with an Airbus A340-500 configured to carry 240 passengers: 12 in Diamond First Class, 28 in Pearl Business and 200 in Coral Economy.

In July, Etihad and American Airlines announced a wide-ranging code-share agreement. The Etihad ‘EY’ code can now be seen on selected domestic and international services operated by American, and the ‘AA’ code has been placed on Etihad services to North America and Europe.

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