Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways has begun to expand the number of destinations it serves as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) eases travel restrictions on citizens and residents.
Throughout July and August – subject to the lifting of international constraints and the reopening of individual markets – the airline plans to fly to 58 destinations around the world from its Abu Dhabi hub.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer at Etihad Aviation Group, said: “The easing of restrictions on travel to and from the UAE is an important first step and a great development for Abu Dhabi. By August we aim to operate approximately 45% of our pre-COVID capacity.”
The operator’s return to a larger network is supported by an extensive sanitisation and safety programme. According to the carrier, Etihad Wellness will ensure the highest safety standards of hygiene are maintained at every stage of the customer journey.
Meanwhile, the firm has launched an interactive travel map on its website which gives guests the opportunity to access a comprehensive overview of the situation relating to COVID-19 at each destination in the airline’s network.
Etihad partnered with Sitata, a Canadian travel risk management company, to launch the map which uses advanced computer algorithms to detect new travel information globally.
The system also relies on official government websites and reputable media channels for up-to-date information. The data is also vetted by Sitata’s team of editors before it is added to the map.
Frank Meyer, chief digital officer at the company, said: “With travel restrictions beginning to ease in many destinations, we are keen to provide our guests with current information on COVID-19 related guidelines from the countries they plan to travel to. The situation is still very volatile and dynamic, and with new guidelines being implemented daily - and sometimes even more frequently - it is important for us as an airline to support our guests with as much information as possible”.
The airline has also recently launched a COVID-19 self-assessment tool which guides users in evaluating the probability of having contracted the virus, enabling them to make informed decisions about travelling.